Incremental change can be good, and in fact, in some instances it’s the only sustainable way to make changes that truly stick, but sometimes this ‘progress at a snail’s pace’ is too little to make a difference, and what’s called for is a virtual sea change – a big jump, if you will. And that’s exactly the idea behind the aptly-named Big Jump Project, which seeks to double or triple the number of cyclists in specific areas, using “a series of quick investments” to effect massive change over the next three years.
People For Bikes, the folks behind the Green Lane Project, which sought to help interested cities build protected bike lanes, is now looking to build on its momentum with a more ambitious initiative, called The Big Jump Project, that seeks to help US cities build more connected bike networks.
“The Big Jump will put bikes at the center of connecting people to the places where they live, learn, work and play. Through a mix of on-the-ground infrastructure, smart outreach and community engagement, The Big Jump will partner with community leaders in the U.S. to identify opportunities for improvements specifically tailored to each community’s needs.”
The Big Jump Project, which is currently open for applications from representatives of local government agencies, seeks to find 10 places — not cities, but rather smaller geographic areas, such as a single neighborhood or district in each city — where “a series of quick investments in a bike network could double or triple bicycling by 2020.”
Here’s a quick intro video for The Big Jump Project:
“The Big Jump will provide a set of resources to selected communities that will assist them in achieving the goals and objectives of the program. These resources will include, but are not limited to the following:
- Study tours and peer exchanges with national and international experts as in-depth networking experiences for lead transportation staff, project designers, elected officials, community and business leaders.
- Access to a robust online forum for collaboration between the ten communities on wide range of topics related to implementing high-comfort bicycle networks.
- Targeted grants that will assist with the implementation of bicycle networks and community-based support programs.
- Training, best practices, and research on community outreach and communications, framing and messaging complete bicycle networks, and leading on issues of equity during the planning and implementation phase of projects.
- National media focus and widespread recognition as a leader beyond your local market.
- Original reporting on stories in your city that combine anecdotes and data to help you and others build a public narrative about the benefits of biking.
- Research on economic impacts of bicycling, perceptions of safety and comfort for people riding bikes, designing bicycle networks of appropriate size, scale, and density, ridership levels and the factors that influence them, and the health, environmental, and equitable impact of bicycling in your community.
Other benefits and resources will be determined once Big Jump communities are selected and local needs are assessed and identified. Resources may increase as additional national and local funding opportunities are identified.”
Informational webinars are planned for July 21st and August 4th, and full applications are due by October 28, 2016, with selected cities being notified in January of 2017. For full details, see The Big Jump Project.