Examining capacity and functioning of bicycle coalitions: A descriptive study

Melissa Jean Bopp, Dangaia Sims, Nicole Vairo, Emily Hentz-Leister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Bicycle coalitions represent a strong partner in creating bike-friendly communities through advocacy for physical infrastructure, encouragement for biking, or education about safety. Despite their versatility, little is known about their functioning. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine capacity, strengths, and weaknesses of these organizations. Methods: Bicycle coalitions/advocacy groups from English-speaking countries were recruited to take part in an online survey via email invitation. The survey addressed basic information about the coalition (community demographics, location), leadership, communication strategies, coalition priorities, barriers to programming/activities, and partners. Results: Coalitions (n = 56) from four countries completed the survey. Most coalitions operated as a non-profit (n = 44, 95.7%), 45% (n = 21) have paid staff as leaders, while 37% (n = 17) have volunteers as leaders. The following skills were represented in coalitions' leadership: fundraising (n = 31, 53.4%), event planning (n = 31, 53.4%), urban planning (n = 26, 44%), and policy/legislation expertise (n = 26, 44.8%). Education (n = 26, 63.4%) and encouragement (n = 25, 61.6%) were viewed as top priorities and the safety of bicyclists (n = 21, 46.7%) and advocacy for infrastructure and policy (n = 22, 48.9%) is the focus of most activities. A lack of financial resources (n = 36, 81.8%) and capable personnel (n = 25, 56.8%) were significant barriers to offering programming in the community and that the availability of grants to address issues (n = 38, 86.4%) would be the top motivator for improvements. Conclusion: Bike coalitions represent a critical partner in creating activity-friendly environments and understanding their capacity allows for creating skill/capacity building intervention programs, development of effective toolkits and fostering strong collaborations to address physical inactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number296
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Volume5
Issue numberNOV
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 8 2017

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City Planning
Capacity Building
Safety
Education
Program Development
Foster Home Care
Organized Financing
Legislation
Volunteers
Communication
Demography
Organizations
Surveys and Questionnaires

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Bopp, Melissa Jean ; Sims, Dangaia ; Vairo, Nicole ; Hentz-Leister, Emily. / Examining capacity and functioning of bicycle coalitions : A descriptive study. In: Frontiers in Public Health. 2017 ; Vol. 5, No. NOV.
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title = "Examining capacity and functioning of bicycle coalitions: A descriptive study",
abstract = "Background: Bicycle coalitions represent a strong partner in creating bike-friendly communities through advocacy for physical infrastructure, encouragement for biking, or education about safety. Despite their versatility, little is known about their functioning. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine capacity, strengths, and weaknesses of these organizations. Methods: Bicycle coalitions/advocacy groups from English-speaking countries were recruited to take part in an online survey via email invitation. The survey addressed basic information about the coalition (community demographics, location), leadership, communication strategies, coalition priorities, barriers to programming/activities, and partners. Results: Coalitions (n = 56) from four countries completed the survey. Most coalitions operated as a non-profit (n = 44, 95.7{\%}), 45{\%} (n = 21) have paid staff as leaders, while 37{\%} (n = 17) have volunteers as leaders. The following skills were represented in coalitions' leadership: fundraising (n = 31, 53.4{\%}), event planning (n = 31, 53.4{\%}), urban planning (n = 26, 44{\%}), and policy/legislation expertise (n = 26, 44.8{\%}). Education (n = 26, 63.4{\%}) and encouragement (n = 25, 61.6{\%}) were viewed as top priorities and the safety of bicyclists (n = 21, 46.7{\%}) and advocacy for infrastructure and policy (n = 22, 48.9{\%}) is the focus of most activities. A lack of financial resources (n = 36, 81.8{\%}) and capable personnel (n = 25, 56.8{\%}) were significant barriers to offering programming in the community and that the availability of grants to address issues (n = 38, 86.4{\%}) would be the top motivator for improvements. Conclusion: Bike coalitions represent a critical partner in creating activity-friendly environments and understanding their capacity allows for creating skill/capacity building intervention programs, development of effective toolkits and fostering strong collaborations to address physical inactivity.",
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Examining capacity and functioning of bicycle coalitions : A descriptive study. / Bopp, Melissa Jean; Sims, Dangaia; Vairo, Nicole; Hentz-Leister, Emily.

In: Frontiers in Public Health, Vol. 5, No. NOV, 296, 08.11.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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N2 - Background: Bicycle coalitions represent a strong partner in creating bike-friendly communities through advocacy for physical infrastructure, encouragement for biking, or education about safety. Despite their versatility, little is known about their functioning. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine capacity, strengths, and weaknesses of these organizations. Methods: Bicycle coalitions/advocacy groups from English-speaking countries were recruited to take part in an online survey via email invitation. The survey addressed basic information about the coalition (community demographics, location), leadership, communication strategies, coalition priorities, barriers to programming/activities, and partners. Results: Coalitions (n = 56) from four countries completed the survey. Most coalitions operated as a non-profit (n = 44, 95.7%), 45% (n = 21) have paid staff as leaders, while 37% (n = 17) have volunteers as leaders. The following skills were represented in coalitions' leadership: fundraising (n = 31, 53.4%), event planning (n = 31, 53.4%), urban planning (n = 26, 44%), and policy/legislation expertise (n = 26, 44.8%). Education (n = 26, 63.4%) and encouragement (n = 25, 61.6%) were viewed as top priorities and the safety of bicyclists (n = 21, 46.7%) and advocacy for infrastructure and policy (n = 22, 48.9%) is the focus of most activities. A lack of financial resources (n = 36, 81.8%) and capable personnel (n = 25, 56.8%) were significant barriers to offering programming in the community and that the availability of grants to address issues (n = 38, 86.4%) would be the top motivator for improvements. Conclusion: Bike coalitions represent a critical partner in creating activity-friendly environments and understanding their capacity allows for creating skill/capacity building intervention programs, development of effective toolkits and fostering strong collaborations to address physical inactivity.

AB - Background: Bicycle coalitions represent a strong partner in creating bike-friendly communities through advocacy for physical infrastructure, encouragement for biking, or education about safety. Despite their versatility, little is known about their functioning. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine capacity, strengths, and weaknesses of these organizations. Methods: Bicycle coalitions/advocacy groups from English-speaking countries were recruited to take part in an online survey via email invitation. The survey addressed basic information about the coalition (community demographics, location), leadership, communication strategies, coalition priorities, barriers to programming/activities, and partners. Results: Coalitions (n = 56) from four countries completed the survey. Most coalitions operated as a non-profit (n = 44, 95.7%), 45% (n = 21) have paid staff as leaders, while 37% (n = 17) have volunteers as leaders. The following skills were represented in coalitions' leadership: fundraising (n = 31, 53.4%), event planning (n = 31, 53.4%), urban planning (n = 26, 44%), and policy/legislation expertise (n = 26, 44.8%). Education (n = 26, 63.4%) and encouragement (n = 25, 61.6%) were viewed as top priorities and the safety of bicyclists (n = 21, 46.7%) and advocacy for infrastructure and policy (n = 22, 48.9%) is the focus of most activities. A lack of financial resources (n = 36, 81.8%) and capable personnel (n = 25, 56.8%) were significant barriers to offering programming in the community and that the availability of grants to address issues (n = 38, 86.4%) would be the top motivator for improvements. Conclusion: Bike coalitions represent a critical partner in creating activity-friendly environments and understanding their capacity allows for creating skill/capacity building intervention programs, development of effective toolkits and fostering strong collaborations to address physical inactivity.

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