The Big Jump logo

Got application questions? Check out the FAQ.

Building on the momentum of the Green Lane Project, 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 is a three-year effort to help 10 places achieve a big jump in biking – a doubling or tripling of people riding – by building a network of safe and comfortable places to ride and engaging the community. The goal is also to validate a core concept: that if a city does all the right things, more people will ride and the community will be a better place to live, work and play. The Big Jump team is looking for 10 places that will achieve great things for biking between now and 2020. If this describes an area of your community, we look forward to reviewing your application.


The lead applicant should be a representative of the city, town, county, or municipal authority where a Big Jump Project focus area is proposed. Only representatives of government agencies may apply. Applications are limited to government agencies located in states, districts, territories, commonwealths, or tribal lands within the United States.

Applications should be supported by a diverse team representing your intended focus area. Ideally, this team will consist of elected officials, the head of the city's transportation department or equivalent, supportive community organizations, neighborhood residents or leaders, neighborhood or bicycle advocacy groups, a local foundation or funder, and a business or business organization. These will typically be the same contacts who submit letters of support and will be involved in the ongoing efforts towards achieving The Big Jump Project goals and objectives. 

Non-profits, private sector organizations, businesses, community groups, other agencies and individuals are not eligible to apply. However, demonstrations of support from these voices is an important part of the application.


The Big Jump Project will help 10 places quickly complete planned high-comfort bike networks in a defined focus area — a single neighborhood or district — and use smart outreach and robust community engagement to encourage people to ride more. The goals of the program are as follows:

  • Prove the concept: If a community completes a network of convenient and comfortable places to ride and encourages people to use it, bike use will double or triple over a three-year period and foster a culture where it’s ordinary to ride bikes.
  • Develop best practices in changing habits and fostering a culture where it's ordinary to ride bikes.
  • Develop and institutionalize the concept of connected bicycle networks into the mainstream of the planning world as standard practice.
  • Develop common metrics of use success that are easily understood and replicable in any community across the U.S. Measures will include, but are not limited to:
    • Bicycle use and growth over time
    • Safety of bicycle use, both actual and perceived
    • Quality of connections and ease of use of the bicycle network
    • Economic, health and environmental impacts of bicycling activity
    • Impacts of bicycling activity to underserved populations and neighborhoods

Additional goals and objectives will be developed in a coordinated effort with selected Big Jump Project participants to identify local needs and outcomes specific to each community.


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.

This annual contribution can come from local government budgets, local community foundations, philanthropic partners, national or regional foundations involved in related efforts in the community, or other grant programs. Applications should include letters of interest from agencies or funders that will support the Big Jump Project demonstrating their commitment to financial participation in the local efforts and at what level they intend to do so.


Participation in the Big Jump Project involves various expectations, including ongoing collaboration and communication with the PeopleForBikes team and other focus cities, biannual reporting, and occasional travel to participate in study tours, workshops and other events. Focus cities are expected to:

  • Identify a lead contact person who will be the primary point of contact.
  • Recruit participants for travel to and participate in workshops related to bicycle network development, community outreach and communications, and strategies for building a base of community support.
  • Provide regular updates on progress within the project area via verbal reports on conference calls and annual update process.

The lead municipal contact — most likely the person charged with filling out the application — will be the primary point of communication with the PeopleForBikes team. The lead contact will be the principal organizer of participation in Big Jump Project activities, including identifying delegates for events. Requirements will vary seasonally, but expect to devote an average of 2 hours per week to Big Jump Project business.

The Big Jump Project will be most successful when it involves broad participation across agencies, sectors and departments. The lead contact is encouraged to involve all team members who are actively engaged in the vision, design, communications, outreach and implementation of high-comfort bicycle network projects.


PeopleForBikes and national partners are providing funding for the project so local funding is not a requirement to participate. This support package and services offered as benefits of joining The Big Jump Project is valued at $250,000 annually per community.

However, we have found that communities can achieve better results with the partnership of local funders and foundations helping to strengthen the efforts and expand the base of support in participating communities. Applicants are highly encouraged to include a local funding partner as part of their leadership team and include a letter of commitment from them with their application package. The participation of local funders has two primary benefits: the project will be more effective with additional resources, and local funding is a strong indicator of local support.

The level of financial involvements may vary community by community, but we are suggesting local funders participate at $50,000 per year over three years - a total investment of $150,000. Local funding partners are welcome to contribute at higher levels than the suggested annual contribution. We would encourage local funders to reach out to us directly about the appropriate levels of participation and any unique ongoing efforts that might be leveraged during The Big Jump.

This annual contribution can come from local government budgets, local community foundations, philanthropic partners, national or regional foundations involved in related efforts in the community, or other grant programs. Applications should include letters of interest from agencies or funders that will support the Big Jump Project demonstrating their commitment to financial participation in the local efforts and at what level they intend to do so.


  • Tuesday, June 28, 2016: Applications open
  • Thursday, July 21, 2016: Informational webinar

This date has has passed. The webinar presented basic framework of The Big Jump, cover application and selection process, and allow interested cities to ask questions about the context of their application. Participation in the webinar is not a prerequisite to participate in the program, but it will provide useful information in drafting responses to the application’s questions. If you missed it, you can download the webinar transcript or watch a recording of it.

  • Thursday, August 4, 2016: Funder webinar

PeopleForBikes will host a webinar specifically for potential funders (local and national) to better understand the role they can play in achieving the Big Jump Project goals and objectives as partners with prospective applicants. If you missed it, you can download the webinar transcript or watch a recording of it.

  • Thursday, August 18, 2016: Letter of interest indicating your intent to apply.

This letter is not a prerequisite to participate in the program, but it does give us a sense of the types of communities that are planning to apply. Letters of interest should be submitted at

  • Friday, October 28, 2016: Full application including supplemental materials due.

Applications should be submitted online at The full application can be downloaded for offline reference, but applications will only be accepted through the online submission process.

  • End of 2016: Review committee will discuss and assess applications.

A review committee will discuss and assess all applications during the end of 2016. As part of the selection process, PeopleForBikes staff may contact one or more of the individuals listed in your applications to discuss the merits and potential of your community’s involvement.

  • Early January 2017: Finalists notified by email.


Selection to be a Big Jump Project participant will be determined by several factors. Successful applications will demonstrate:

  • Ambitious plans to implement an interconnected network of low-stress biking in a defined focus area.
  • Evidence of strong political will from elected officials.
  • Supportive and engaged city transportation staff and leadership.
  • Evidence of strong community support.
  • Evidence of support from the business community.
  • Local funding participation at $50,0000 per year or more.

We will also look for:

  • Recent successes that demonstrate momentum.
  • Recent changes in leadership, vision or funding that may prove catalytic.
  • Clear articulation of why being part of the Big Jump Project will help.
  • Leveraging local funding for support of local projects.

Applicants should consider areas within their city where The Big Jump Project can be leveraged to achieve dense networks of high-comfort bicycle infrastructure and a measurable increase in bike riding once infrastructure is combined with effective community outreach programs. The size, demographics, and shape of the focus area will vary city by city and may consist of a neighborhood, business corridor, school zone, downtown, a zip code, residential suburb, or other proposed boundaries. In some smaller communities, this focus area may be equal to the boundaries of the entire town.

Particular areas of interest are the equity lens on the role of biking to improve safety and access to jobs in neighborhoods with concentrations of poverty, tackling the suburban challenge of connecting to transit hubs and town centers, connecting to paths and parks to encourage physical activity, and catalyzing the economic potential of tourism. Focus areas should demonstrate qualities that inherently make the Big Jump Project activities and results replicable in similar communities across the US.

Download The Big Jump Project FAQs (updated on 8/5).

For city-specific questions, please email