Tips for Bike Activism: How to Engage in Your City


1. Engage with the city:

Email your councillor and city project managers to let them know your opinion on a project, or to make the case for a project.

2. Engage with your community:

Community associations, parents at your school or other groups may be open to biking improvements. There is power in numbers!

3. Be constructive:

Elected officials and city staff will hear plenty about what is right or wrong with a project, and will be more likely to engage when offered concrete proposals for making better infrastructure for people on bikes. 

4. Get your message heard:

Make sure your message is short, sharp and easy to understand. What would you tell a reporter if you were interviewed, or if you had the chance to speak at a community meeting?

5. Learn from your experience:

There will be victories and there will be times when you aren’t able to achieve what you hoped. This is what everyone will experience. By talking about what worked and what didn’t with people who are working on similar projects. 

Bike Ottawa’s Biking Infrastructure Technical Guide

Bike Ottawa’s Guide to Advocacy

Got a Biking-Related Problem? What do you do now?

We’ve assembled this guide to help you advocate for biking-related problems you encounter.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions at any stage!

Document the problem:

Take photos or videos, record the time, record any other details.

Contact the relevant authority:

This will most often be a councillor (wards here), but could also be the NCC. If you’re completely unsure, contact Ottawa 311.

Describe the problem and how it impacts you and others.

E-mailing is best, as it leaves a paper trail (and please CC us!).

Follow up!

If you don’t hear anything back in about a week, contact the authority again

If you’re dissatisfied with the response you receive, contact us for help.

Talk with neighbours:

See if others have had similar experiences and will join your efforts.

Contact local community associations or other neighbourhood groups.