Advocacy Planning Webinar Recap: Get in Gear for 2024

MassBike recently hosted an Advocacy Planning Webinar to help folks get in gear for 2024 and plan out how to build bike-friendly momentum in their communities. All great advocacy starts at the local level, our goal is to empower you with some tools to get in gear in your municipality.

You can view the 2024 Advocacy Planning Webinar Recording on the MassBike YouTube Channel and below you can read about the steps we covered to help you plan for the year ahead.

Reflect on 2023

The first step in planning is to look back. By reflecting on 2023, you can determine where you want to put your energy this year to make your advocacy the most effective (and fun!). Here are a few questions to guide that reflection process:

  • What were your top wins in 2023?
  • Are there any big local projects coming up?
  • Who were your biggest supporters?
  • Who would you like to partner with?
  • What is your capacity in 2024?


Identify the types of advocacy activities that interest you

Most people think of advocacy as attending public meetings or building relationships with local/state officials. While those activities are key, there are many other things you can do to build your local bike-friendly community. 

Below are just a few examples of the types of activities you could engage in to encourage more bicycle participation.

  • Community-focused bike rides
    • Family-friendly monthly ride series
    • Bike bus
    • No drop riders to local community events
  • Advocacy-focused bike rides
    • 4 ft passing noodle ride
    • Bike lane celebration ride
  • Bicycling Education
    • Basic Bike Maintenance Clinic
    • Basic Bike Safety Workshop
    • Adult Learn-to-Ride Clinics
  • Gathering data for a more bike-friendly community
  • “Traditional” Advocacy
    • Meeting with legislators/municipal staff
    • Organizing around public meetings/local projects


Create an Outline for 2024

Now that you’ve identified the type of advocacy activities you wish to partake in, it’s time to build an outline for your year. This outline should take into consideration your local capacity. 

Your capacity will determine how many activities you’d like to take on. We highly recommend planning at least one event in May so you can take advantage of Bay State Bike Month and the extra communications support MassBike can provide!

Here is an example of an extremely ambitious plan:

  • March-April
    • Bike clinics
    • Education to help people get in gear to ride
  • May 2024 - Bay State Bike Month
    • Host events, bike audits, etc
  • June-August
    • Outdoor events/rides (leaning into “encouragement”)
  • September
    • Back to School: bike to school days and kids education
    • Commuter-focused events
  • October
    • Lights Brigade
    • Halloween rides
  • November
    • World Day of Remembrance
    • Cranksgiving/Thanksgiving events
  • December
    • Winter riding clinic
    • Lights ride 
    • Celebrating your 2024 accomplishments


Build Your Network

To help expand your capacity and reach new audiences who haven’t heard your bicycling advocacy message, it’s important to expand your network.

Below are some questions to help you assess your network, so you know where to start.

  • Who do you usually collaborate with?
  • Are there other bike-friendly groups you can work with?
    • Example: your group is interested in accessible rides, so you partner with All Out Adventures
  • Other organizations where you can find overlap for collaboration?
    • Examples: co-hosting a bird-watching ride with a Mass Audubon group, running a bike valet at a popular local event, etc.
  • Do you have relationships with municipal staff?
  • Have you met with your state legislators?
  • Build your media list, share your events/wins with local media

What local wins can you celebrate in 2024?

Sometimes it feels like the work is never-ending, which makes celebrating your wins so important! Below are a few questions to help you come up with some local wins that you can celebrate, this could be a big community bike party ride for a new bike lane or getting a story in the local newspaper.

  • Do you have a new bike lane being installed in your area?
  • Is there a new trail opening in your community?
  • Is your MPO or municipality starting a Vision Zero plan?
  • Is your municipality starting a bike/ped committee?


MassBike Resources

MassBike wants to support advocates across the Commonwealth who are building bike-friendly momentum in their communities. We don’t have the capacity to get involved with each individual project, but we want to provide communications support and education as we can! Below is a list of a few of the resources we can offer.

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