Our Strategic Plan 2013-2017


CalBike enables more people to bicycle for healthier, safer, and more prosperous communities for all.


We envision millions of people riding bikes every day in California. Networks of safe streets and paths conveniently connect every destination. People of all ages and abilities enjoy the  health and happiness that comes from bicycling. Our local communities are stronger economically thanks to less automobile dependence. Traffic-related injuries are less common and less severe, and fatalities are rare. California is a national model for sustainable transportation.


Our goal is to double the amount of bicycling in the Golden State by 2017 and triple it by 2020.


Note to reader: a more detailed version of our strategies, with notes on how we intend to measure our progress, can be found here or downloaded using this link

1. Create robust bicycle networks and related infrastructure in communities throughout California. 

Facilitate the planning and construction of networks of streets and paths that are safe and attractive for all kinds of bicycling, from the speedy cycling of highly skilled riders to the inexperienced pedaling of children and the most cautious excursions of seniors. Ensure sufficient transit access, parking, and other facilities as necessary to meet a growing need.

a. Increase state funding for bicycle infrastructure by July 2015.

  • Influence how the new Active Transportation Account disburses money to local agencies and programs its state-controlled funds to increase funding and give priority to complete networks.
  • Win increased funding from existing and new federal and state funding sources, including but not limited to other MAP-21 categories and prospective cap-and-trade revenues.

b. Emphasize the development of high-quality complete bicycle networks.

  • Eliminate outdated restrictions on bikeway design so that by January 2014 most city officials are able to use designs included in NACTO’s Urban Bikeway Design Guide among others.
  • Promote experimentation in bikeway design.
  • Overhaul bike plan requirements to incent the design and construction of complete bicycle networks by January 2015.
  • Develop quality standards for bicycle networks and get Caltrans to adopt them in a new bikeway design manual by December 2017.

c. Provide sufficient intermodal connections and ancillary facilities.

  • Require enough secure bike parking at transit stations to meet the growing demand.
  • Ensure access to transit vehicles to increase transit ridership.
  • Promote model bicycle parking ordinances for residences and businesses so that 20 of the 30 most populous cities have adopted such policies by 2017.

d. Make the design and construction of bicycle infrastructure more efficient.

  • Change environmental review requirements to reduce planning costs of bicycle infrastructure by 2014.
  • Promote model complete streets policies throughout California so that jurisdictions covering a majority of Californian have good policies in place by 2017.

2. Mainstream bicycling in California. 

Use the talent and power of our diverse partner organizations to help all Californians embrace bicycling as part of our culture. Create widespread recognition that bicycling is good for us as individuals and for our families and communities for reasons of health, economy, convenience and happiness.

a. Learn about the best ways to talk about bicycling and help implement those best practices at CalBike and at local coalitions.

  • Update CalBike’s brand, style guide, and communications practices and apply these to all campaign marketing by January 2014.
  • Conduct market research and share results and other insights with our local partners so that all our affiliates are aware of best communications practices by July 2014.

b. Reach as many Californians as possible with our communications.

  • Be inclusive with culturally appropriate outreach and programs so that our outreach is conducted in as many languages and media as necessary.
  • Expand Bike to Work Day to increase each year the number of Californians reached by our message.
  • Help allies and businesses communicate positive messages about bicycling.

c. Promote open streets events throughout California.

  • Have an “open streets” event in 20 of the 30 most populous counties.

d. Promote bike-sharing throughout California.

  • Have a fleet of 20,000 bike-share bikes in place throughout California by 2017.

3. Protect people who ride by improving the respect they receive from motorists and the legal system 

Ensure that Californians respect the rights to the road of people on bicycles and that the laws, regulations, and legal system promote bicycling and protect those who choose to ride.

a. Promote safe passing.

  • Change the language in the drivers’ manual about safe sharing of the roadway and double the attention given to the issue in the manual and driving test by December 2016.

b. Amend laws and regulations as necessary to improve the legal environment for bicycling.

  • Conduct research and outreach in 2013 to determine the most effective actions in 2014 and beyond, including but not limited to the following:
    • Require 3-feet when passing.
    • Make it easier to reduce the speed limit on “bicycle boulevards.”
    • Require police reports to include interviews with both parties in a traffic crash in order to be valid.
    • Pass a vulnerable road users bill.
    • Mandatory license suspensions for drivers who kill somebody while driving and/or are found at fault for a hit and run.
    • Allowing motorists to cross the double-yellow line to pass.

4. Grow the bicycle advocacy movement throughout California.

Strengthen the organizations and support the individuals who advocate for more bicycling. Increase membership and financial resources of organizations, create new ones where they’re needed, and help individuals be knowledgeable and supported by their peers and experts in our movement.

a. Support Local Advocacy so that aggregate membership in local advocacy organizations grows by 10% each year.

  • Create and support the Policy Advisory Council, holding effective meetings with at least two-thirds attendance most months of the year.
  • Continue and improve CalBike communications, providing high-quality clip-and-paste material for dissemination on a monthly basis.
  • Strengthen the relationship between CalBike and local affiliates by implementing the affiliation agreement and expanding its scope and reach to triple the number of organizations formally affiliated by December 2014.
  • Fiscally sponsor new groups when necessary.
  • Link local organizations with national organizations, providing a conduit for resources and a clear channel of communication.

b. Hold the CalBike Summit in 2013, 2015, and 2017 for advocates and media.

Bring together the leaders of bicycle advocacy and our allies and the media, growing the event by 25% each time over the 2011 Summit of about 140 attendees.

c. Conduct best practices in online outreach.

  • Emphasize local membership, including a feature on calbike.org that directs visitors to their own local coalition based on their location.
  • Use social media effectively to increase our outreach and connect Californians to their local advocacy organization.

d. Foster and support other pro-bicycling caucuses

  • Promote, provide technical and administrative assistance, and convene get-togethers of like-minded bicycling advocates, including but not limited to the following:
    • mayors and local legislators
    • women on bikes
    • recreational bike riders
    • bike retailers
    • low-income advocates
    • ethnically diverse bicycling groups

e. Support lobbying and electioneering.

  • Promote the Legislative Bike Caucus with events, at least one per year, in Sacramento.
  • Develop a bike vote scorecard every even-numbered year.
  • Develop a sample questionnaire for Assembly and Senate candidates every even-numbered year.
  • Create state-of-the-art online lobbying tool matching bicycling advocates with their legislators by July 2014.