Our goal is to increase the number of people biking and walking safely in Tennessee.
To achieve this goal, the Bike Walk Tennessee Board of Directors has developed and approved four core strategies. Our board and staff team work to advance these strategies though our work at the state level and through our regional committees.
Strategy #1: Create a network of high quality bicycle and pedestrian facilities and related multimodal infrastructure across Tennessee. Additionally, we will support local municipalities in their requests for state and federal funding.
Strategy #2: Weave bicycling and walking into the cultural fabric of communities across Tennessee by producing the Tennessee Bike Walk Summit in cities across Tennessee and promoting events and programs statewide.
Strategy #3: Protect people who walk and bike through educational efforts with law enforcement, motorists, and people who walk and bike. We will do that by partnering with law enforcement agencies and offering trainings and resources, as well as by supporting local educational programs and pursuing funding for statewide campaigns.
Strategy #4: Increase the number of advocates and size of advocacy organizations across Tennessee. This will be accomplished by providing a scholarship for new attendees to the National Bike Summit and providing resources and guidance in the creation of local committees across the state.
What We're Advocating For
Cycling on Sidewalks Position
Bike Walk TN promotes policies and programs in the State of Tennessee that provide safe places for people of all ages and abilities to walk, bike and use other micro-mobility modes, and to ensure the safest possible interactions between these different modes and motorists. Under Tennessee state law bicycle riders are allowed to ride on sidewalks but must provide due care not to create an unsafe situation for pedestrians. Local jurisdictions may enact laws restricting bicycle riding on sidewalks, but this can be problematic if safe facilities are not provided for bicycle riders to move across town and access stores, schools and places of employment for daily trips. This can especially be the case for new riders, low-income bike-dependent riders, and children who are riding to neighborhood locations and to school.
The ideal course of action for cities, towns and counties in the state is to provide networks of bicycle facilities consisting of buffered and protected bike lanes, side paths and greenways, and traffic-calmed neighborhood streets to facilitate safe riding and reduce the risk of pedestrian/bicycle conflict on sidewalks. Bike Walk TN recommends that if a local jurisdiction pursues an ordinance that restricts bicycle use on sidewalks, that the ordinance language provides caveats to distinguish between sidewalks and side paths based on width, and that enforcement is only applicable where a safe alternative is provided along the same roadway for bicycle users of all ages and abilities.