In 2012, Bikes Belong launched an innovative new program: the Green Lane Project. Designed to help six focus cities build a network of protected bike lanes and related bicycle facilities, this initiative has spurred greater commitment and investment from the participating communities while inspiring others to follow their lead. As part of our commitment, we dedicated $100,000 of our grant funding to green lane projects. These four grants will help the applicant cities build more safe, stress-free places for their citizens to ride and create best practices from which other cities can learn.

The Bikes Belong Grants Program is funded by our Employee Pro Purchase Program. Many thanks to the following participating members and their employees for making these awards possible:

Overton Broad Connector (Memphis, TN)

Livable Memphis is spearheading the development of bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly routes as part of efforts to create healthy, thriving, and economically sustainable communities throughout Greater Memphis. This $20,000 grant from Bikes Belong will allow them to finalize engineering documents for a critical link between the Shelby Farms Greenline and the neighborhoods, schools, and business district stretching west to Overton Park.

Neighborhood Bikeways Campaign (Chicago, IL)

Bikes Belong’s $20,000 grant to Active Transportation Alliance will focus their community outreach and organizing work on four projects that are part of the city’s Green Lane Project goals. Supporting Chicago’s Streets for Cycling Plan 2020, Active Trans will generate aldermanic and community support in the neighborhoods where the projects are taking place while continuing their education around the benefits of a safe, connected network of protected bicycle lanes.

Bicycle Master Plan Protected Bikeway Amendment (Austin, TX)

This $20,000 grant will help the City of Austin amend their Bicycle Master Plan to incorporate protected bikeway information and map out a protected bikeway network. The process will include extensive community outreach and opportunities for public input and will result in an adopted City Ordinance that recognizes where a network of cycle tracks are appropriate in Austin. This effort will also provide a replicable and straightforward planning process that will serve as a model for other cities.

Market Research and Message Development (San Francisco, CA and Portland, OR)

Bikes Belong will work with San Francisco and Portland to determine which messages best resonate with key audiences around two topics: more people on bikes benefits cities and city investment in bicycling infrastructure is good. This $40,000 Bikes Belong grant will provide critical information on what existing research tells us, who we need to reach, and what arguments are most effective in advancing bicycling as an activity and an investment.

Three “Build More Than Bicycles” Grants Awarded at Interbike 2012

To inspire a spirit of giving back to bicycling, Bikes Belong held a “Build More Than Bicycles” challenge at Interbike 2012. More than 200 industry members—ranging from small mom-and-pop retailers to large suppliers—submitted stories about how they are working to improve bicycling.

Bikes Belong awarded three $1000 grants to the top initiatives. Read about the winners here.

Bikes Belong Grants In Action

We are always delighted to hear of the successes of our past grant recipients. Here are a few reports from the field:

Community Cycling Center of Portland, OR celebrated the grand opening of the Bike Hub, a community bike repair shop located in the New Columbia housing development, on September 5, 2012. Next up: a pump track where neighborhood children can ride safely.

Housatonic Heritage in Connecticut is encouraging visitors and residents to Ride It Now with their promotion of the HouBike Trail which will extend for 45 miles once complete. Maps, a website, and loop routes into some of the towns and villages along the trail are making it a popular destination this fall.

The City of Columbia, SC held a grand opening of Phase I of the Vista Greenway, which included paving the former railroad tunnel from Lady to Taylor Streets, on July 7, 2012. Community members now enjoy a multi-use trail connecting residential neighborhoods to shops, restaurants, galleries, employment centers, and more.