5X: Inside the goals of PeopleForBikes

January 15, 2014

by Tim Blumenthal, PeopleForBikes president

Better bicycling means different things to different people in different places. For some, it’s all about safe bike commutes and short trips; for others it’s about the variety of recreational riding options. Many parents are concerned about finding even one appealing place to bike near home with their kids, while others can’t access decent mountain biking trails without driving for hours. There are so many perspectives….

PeopleForBikes focuses on improving the bicycling experience for everyone.  But our work goes way beyond this general goal. We have developed key measures of progress: We call them 5X.

5X: the goals of PeopleForBikes

By 2025, we want the total number of annual bike rides that Americans make to grow from 4 billion (the current figure) to 20 billion. That’s 5X. Better bike infrastructure and safer, more appealing riding conditions will make this happen.

By 2025, we want the number of protected bike lanes in U.S. cities to total 1,000 or more. As of today, about 200 of these lanes have been built, and most are well used and appreciated by riders of all ages and levels of experience.

We envision five times the mileage of singletrack riding to be available and a 5X leap in the number of bike parks that provide dirt riding options for kids and kids-at-heart.

We are focused on getting 5X the number of Americans to stand tall on behalf of bicycling. PeopleForBikes is about to pass 800,000 supporters, so we’re talking about 4 million. That’s a major movement with major political clout!

What does 5x mean?

Our work is guided by these (and other) 5X goals. All of them are based on what’s working in the U.S. towns, cities, and states that are doing the best job of promoting bicycling. These are real numbers that are attainable—if we all band together, get our friends and families involved, and think big.

To achieve our 5X goals, we focus on four things here at PeopleForBikes:

1.     Building a grassroots army of support for better bicycling;
2.     Developing a new group of leaders (elected officials, business CEOs, media movers, celebrities, and pro athletes) to endorse our goals and boost the grassroots effort;
3.     Improving bike infrastructure through political work, sharing best practices, and cash grants that support actual projects and the best organizations that are working to make them happen.
4.     Telling the story—loud and clear—about all the great things that happen when people ride bikes.

5X. Four things. However you count it, we believe this is important work that benefits all Americans. We hope you agree. Thanks for your support!

Tim BlumenthalTim Blumenthal, President, PeopleForBikes

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