6 Dedicated Cycling Advocacy Organizations
The growth of cycling for everyday transportation can offer a variety of benefits to individuals and communities, from reduced traffic congestion to better physical fitness. Numerous regional organizations are working to encourage people to take up biking, with programs to improve road safety, build rider skills, and grow the cycling community. The groups outlined here, in no particular order, strive to create welcoming environments for bicycle traffic.
Starting our overview at #1 is Asheville on Bikes, a nonprofit advocating for better cycling and walking infrastructure in its Western North Carolina region. This group promotes laws and regulations to improve safety and ease of access for non-motorists, engaging with elected officials through policy questionnaires and candidate forums. The organization also reviews and comments on development proposals, and recommends policy positions that support its goal of safe, bike-friendly roads.
In addition to advocating for change, Asheville on Bikes takes direct action to improve road safety through its Street Tweaks Team, which works with communities to make experimental additions like cycling lanes and high-visibility crosswalks, studying subsequent changes in traffic accident frequency. Other programs include after-school riding lessons for kids and CycleSmart commuter classes for adults, as well as community events like the DRAFT Meetups for networking, or the yearly Bike Love celebration and fundraiser.
Following up at #2 is the Houston Bikeways Program, a collaborative effort to improve safety, accessibility, and ridership in Texas's most populous city. The organization coordinates the design and implementation of the Houston Bike Plan, a long-term effort to create more than a thousand miles of high-comfort cycling lanes and pathways, and to update local roads with safety features like pedestrian refuge islands.
Along with creating numerous new bike lanes and improving existing infrastructure, Houston Bikeways has helped to significantly expand the BCycle rental program, and has produced a major study on the environmental benefits of its White Oak Bayou Greenway trail. The organization works to build public enthusiasm for cycling through events like the annual Bike To Work Day, as well as by soliciting community input to improve the design process for the future.
Our #3 is the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, which promotes cycling and road safety in the metropolitan region surrounding the nation's capital. Through outreach efforts like the DC Bike Ambassadors and the Trail Ranger program, the Association recruits enthusiasts to start conversations and provide useful information for cyclists. Public events, including the annual Cider Ride, bring locals together for fundraising and social biking. The group also organizes inclusive Community Rides to help people explore the area.
WABA advocates for improved regulations and infrastructure to support cycling, calling for measures like better training for traffic officers, commuter bike parking, and safe routes for children riding to school. Efforts like the Capital Trails Coalition push local authorities to create, expand, and connect bike lanes in the city, and the group has successfully lobbied for better legislation to prosecute motorists who harass or assault riders. WABA also offers basic skills and traffic safety classes for youth and adults.
Next up is #4, GObike Buffalo, which champions active mobility, trails and greenways, and safe streets in Western New York. Initiatives include the Complete Street Coalition, which aims to build public support for measures such as protected bike lanes and wider sidewalks. Meanwhile, the group's pop-up infrastructure projects help local communities build road safety features. Large-scale efforts like GO Buffalo Niagara provide support for commuter options such as walking trails, bike shares, and public transit.
Through educational programs like its Recycle-A-Bicycle classes, GObike Buffalo teaches repair techniques and road safety to people of all ages, while its Community Workshop offers a space where area residents can practice their skills and purchase refurbished bikes. The group organizes public events such as the SkyRide, an annual tour of the city's urban highway system, and provides maps detailing routes of various difficulty levels throughout the region.
#5 on the list is Cycle Toronto, a member-supported not-for-profit organization that works to create a healthy, safe, and vibrant cycling city for all. Advocacy efforts, such as the Bloor Loves Bikes campaign, have secured protected lanes along a number of major streets, while other initiatives work toward regulations to enhance rider safety throughout the area. The organization supports bikers with resources including a route planning guide, a directory of repair shops, and a road safety video series for motorists.
Cycle Toronto provides a number of educational resources intended to improve road safety, such as its interactive Street Smarts workshops and its Toronto Cycling Handbook. The Get Lit campaign educates riders about the importance of safety lights, and gives away complimentary sets, while the Bike to School Project works with families and educators to promote active transportation among young people. Other informational tools include tips on shopping by bike, guides to local recreational trails, and answers to common legal questions.
We'll close with #6, BikeWalk KC, a non-profit organization striving to make Greater Kansas City a safer and more accessible place for pedestrians and bicyclists. This initiative's youth education programs teach safety skills and fight childhood obesity, while its adult classes help commuters gain confidence in navigating urban traffic. As part of the national Safe Routes to School campaign, the organization works with schools, families, and policymakers to create secure pedestrian and cycling options for students.
BikeWalk KC provides a variety of community planning services, helping municipalities and other agencies to design bike-friendly infrastructure and safety regulations, and creating outreach campaigns to build support for roadway improvements. The organization generates research reports highlighting challenges faced by cyclists and pedestrians, and operates the RideKC network of rentable cycles and scooters, with a Bike Share for All program offering discounted memberships for low-income individuals.