Advocacy Basics

Folks talking to decision makers at the parking protected bike lane demonstration event.

Talk to decision makers

The key people to focus on are your elected officials, your employer, and government agencies.

Locally, the most important individuals to connect with are Mayor Bill Peduto (click here to email him) and Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald (click here to email him). Call their office, send a letter, or email them stating that you’re a voter and that it’s important to you to make our region’s streets, business districts, and places of employment more bike friendly.

Next, in order of importance, is your city councilperson. It’s the councilperson’s job to represent the interests of the specific neighborhood(s) in which they got elected. They can’t represent those interests if they don’t know what matters to their constituents (i.e. you). So, if you care about making Pittsburgh a better place to ride a bike please take a second to find out who your councilperson is, and write him or her and tell them that you’d like your neighborhood to be made more bike-friendly! Most likely, you’ll be surprised at how engaged they are and the response you’ll receive.

Here are some talking points:

  • Implement the City of Pittsburgh Bicycle Plan
  • Install bike lanes whenever possible
  • Calm traffic using speed humps, “your speed is” signs, pedestrian bump outs better crosswalks, and pedestrian signals
  • Install bike route signs
  • Installing bike racks in your business district
  • Pass Complete Streets legislation in your municipality
  • Repair potholes and other dangerous road hazards
  • THANK THEM!!!! If you see something you like, let them know! They get a lot of complaints, so praises go really far!

Write a Letter to the Editor

Anyone who’s read the comments section of our local newspapers know that we have a long way to go for people to accept biking on city streets.  That’s why it’s crucial that we write to our papers when issues arise, or if new infrastructure that you like has been installed. Otherwise, only the voices of opposition are being heard.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Advocacy 101 Workshops

Learn about what it takes to be a biking and walking advocate. Whether you’re brand new to the bike/ped advocacy world or you’ve been part of the process for years, we want to welcome you to watch our Virtual Advocacy Workshop Series. These workshops take a look at the nuts and bolts of what it means to be an advocate and champion for safer streets. We strongly encourage you to read our Toolkit for Starting and Sustaining a Neighborhood Bike/Ped Committee to familiarize yourself.

How to Pick and Plan a Neighborhood Campaign

So you want to do something to make biking and walking better in your neighborhood. Do you have a lot of ideas but don’t know how to start? Do you have no ideas and need to know what kind of project would work? In this one hour session, we will go through the process of how to pick and plan a winning campaign for your neighborhood.


Knowing what to do to grab the attention of the right people can make a campaign one that is just okay to something that will make a lasting impression. In this workshop, we talk about the various ways to build support for a project and demonstrate that support to decision-makers. We will discuss various tactics that we have used at BikePGH as well as others from around the country.

Coalition Building 101

We can’t change our streets on our own. We need the help of our neighbors, community, and other organizations. One way is to reach out to others and form new friendships and working relationships through coalition building. In this workshop, we go over how to build a network and sustain your relationships with your coalition. 

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