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Support better biking, walking and transit 


An average of nearly 125,000 daily bike trips are taken in Chicago, most of which — nearly 91,000 — are errand-related trips like going to the store or the library.

What is Bike Walk Every Town?

Walkable communities, high quality bike lanes and easy-to-use public transportation: These are not pipe dreams, but attainable goals that will make our region cleaner, healthier and more livable.

Join Bike Walk Every Town, the Active Transportation Alliance’s new suburban advocacy program. The program will help you develop the skills and access the resources needed to strengthen biking and walking in your community.

See below to learn how to get involved (through our online training, webinars, meet-ups, and creating an action plan) and check out our advocacy resources for tips, tools, case studies, and more. 


Why participate? 

Participating in Bike Walk Every Town will give you: 

  • Skills building training – hone your skills and become a savvy advocate
  • Issue based education – learn the nuts and bolts of biking, walking and transit infrastructure and policy issues
  • Local advocate network – meet other advocates in your area and start building your local movement
  • Professional coaching – get hands on support from Active Trans expert advocacy staff to help you bring change to your town

How to get involved

>> Watch our online advocacy training video to get started building a campaign 

Bike Walk Every Town kicked-off with four in-person advocacy summits and one online summit which gathered over 100 advocates from 63 cities and villages from across the region. This training video (40 minutes) was recorded as part of the online summit to give you the same tools to build a campaign to improve biking and walking in your community.

>> Participate in the webinar series

A series of webinars will be offered in 2018 to help advocates dig deeper into bicycle and pedestrian policy ideas, review case studies, and introduce tips and tools for outreach and campaign building. The program will include guest speakers and experts from around the region. Topics and registration links will be updated below on an ongoing basis:

January 2018: Election Advocacy Strategies (youtube)
February 2018: Communications & Messaging (registration link)
March 2018: Outreach & Base Building 

>> Commit to carrying out your campaign 

Bike Walk Every Town is open to anyone interested in developing a campaign to improve biking and walking in their community. Here's how you can get started:

    • Get in Touch: Contact Maggie Melin at and we will connect you to resources and other advocates in your area. 
    • Assess Your Community: Fill out the Policy Assessment Worksheet to assess the walking and biking friendliness of your community.
    • Make a Plan: After you have a handle on what is happening in your community, fill out the six-step Campaign Action Planning Worksheet
    • Get Started: Get started implementing your plan!

For those interested, Active Trans will send you a Bike Walk Every Town logo (customized for your community) which you are welcome to use as part of your campaign. 

>> Connect with other local advocates

Join one of our our regional Google Group email lists to exchange ideas and share resources, and attend one of our regional meet-ups to connect with other advocates in-person. Email for more information. 

>> Apply for our Bike Walk Every Town Mini-Grant - NEW GRANT OPPORTUNITY! 

We are pleased to announce a mini-grant opportunity to support suburban advocacy work that advances the Bike Walk Every Town policy platform. This funding opportunity will award multiple grants of $250-$500 dollars each. The application deadline is Monday, March 12, 2018. 



Campaign Building Worksheets

Policy Assessment Worksheet (pdf)

Policy Assessment FAQ (pdf)

Sample Request Letter (doc, pdf)

Campaign Action Planning Worksheet (pdf)

Bike Walk Every Town Training Video (youtube)

Policy Platforms

Bike Walk Every Town Local Policy Platform (pdf)

Bike Walk Every Town State & Regional Policy Platform (pdf)

Bike Walk Every Town Model Resolution (pdf)

Campaign Building Tip Sheets

Building a Base of Supporters (pdf)

Outreach and Communications (pdf)

Engaging Decisions Makers (pdf)

How to Write a Petition (pdf)

How to Develop an Elevator Pitch (pdf)

Suburban Election Advocacy

Election Advocacy Platform (pdf)

Local Candidate Questionnaire (pdf)

Case Studies

Complete Streets Policies (pdf)

Active Transportation Plans (pdf)

Funding for Bicycle/Pedetrian Projects (pdf)

Project Prioritization and Implementation (pdf)

Bicycle and Pedestrians Advisory Councils (BPAC) (pdf)

Existing Suburban Advocacy Groups & Bike Clubs

North Suburbs

West Suburbs

South Suburbs

Additional Resources

How can Active Trans help your community? (pdf)

Resource Bank (pdf)

Suburban Bikeways for All Report


In the News

Group advocates for safer bicycle, pedestrian transportation routes (Daily Southtown)

Training Program Helps Suburban Residents Push for Biking, Walking Paths (CBS Chicago)


Stories from the Suburbs

Suburban superstars: a tale of two walking advocates (part 2)

Suburban superstars: a tale of two walking advocates (part 1)

An advocate's lesson in making a difference

31 days of car-free suburban life

Brookfield's first bicycle boulevard is here

Kids on the move in Highland Park

Mobilizing suburban advocates

Better trail connections in DuPage County

More protected bike lanes coming to Evanston

1st grade transportation advocate of Summit



This publication was supported by the Grant or Cooperative Agreement Number, 5 U48 DP 005010, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.