New Organization hopes to promote cycling city by city, run by experts in the industryPosted: February 2, 2016
BikeLife Cities Expands, Helping Cities Build Bike Culture and Safer Streets
BikeLife Cites, a new media venture based in the Platinum bike-friendly community of Boulder, Colorado, was spawned by Catalyst Communication to help towns and cities inspire their neighborhoods, citizens and communities to become more bike friendly. BikeLife and Catalyst are rooted in the belief that bicycling makes cities more sustainable, healthier and more vibrant places to live and work. The venture partners directly with city transportation departments and cycling advocacy groups to help them achieve measurable outreach goals.
BikeLife Cities includes a full-color magazine designed to be mailed to all or a targeted portion of a city’s residents, along with an interactive website, social media platform and email marketing campaigns.
The concept launched with three cities that have been designated Bicycle Friendly Communities: Boulder (platinum) including the University of Colorado, Tucson (gold) and Kansas City (bronze) and quickly expanded to include partnerships with Seattle, San Diego, Tempe/Mesa (Phoenix), Kansas City, Denver and Anchorage.
“Our goal is to help the cities reach new audiences with safe ways to enjoy cycling,” said Lynn Guissinger, president of Catalyst. “While the vast majority of car trips taken are under two miles, our vision is that BikeLife can be a means to inspire folks to take a few more trips by bike or just ride for the pure fun of it.”
Working in partnership with city transportation leadership, BikeLife seeks to connect city resources and stories to the majority of the population that are “interested in cycling, but concerned about safety, equipment or routes” identified in research conducted by the Portland Department of Transportation. BikeLife helps cities reach goals of safer streets, increase ridership, while supporting overall health and economic development goals.
Content includes up to 16 pages of local stories provided by the cities and national stories focused on the interests of the local community. Features often target women, families and other groups showing increasing interest in riding. BikeLife Cities combines local maps, events, and showcases businesses connected to the “bike-ecosystem” of each city.
Deb Ridgway, the Bike/Ped Coordinator for Kansas City, MO, said, “We need to provide more information on safe places, routes and ways to ride, to help get more people on bikes. With many cities investing in better bike infrastructure, BikeLife is an excellent complement to promote those facilities to get more people riding and help educate them on rider safety.”
BikeLife Cities magazines are typically mailed directly to households and/or distributed free at key events or locations throughout the city. A full website complements the print versions and digital resources are circulated to major employer networks in the cities.
Cities have been spreading the cost of producing BikeLife across a number of groups, often using it as a communication tool to fulfill grant requirements. Cities typically pay a portion and state or federal grants have also been utilized through the Surface Transportation Program (STP) Tiger, Vision Zero safety grants or air quality grants to help fund publishing costs. National partnerships and advertising also offset printing and distribution.
About Catalyst Communication
Catalyst Communication has 30 years’ experience in the bicycling and outdoor industry producing marketing, media and advertising for retailers, suppliers and advocacy. Under the leadership of its late founder, Leslie Bohm, it has been a leader in bicycle advocacy, as a founder of Bikes Belong (People for Bikes) and a long-time activist with the League of American Bicyclists and other advocacy organizations.
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