Our Purpose - Thunderhead Alliance

Our Purpose



The mission of the Thunderhead Alliance is to create, strengthen and unite state and local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations.

Mission-Vision Link:

The Thunderhead Alliance improves communities through unified state and local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations.


The Thunderhead Alliance envisions that every state, province U.S., European, Australian and Asian areas have effective and sustainable bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations. These organizations are highly respected by the public, media and policy makers. Their efforts in their communities and their united strength at the national level has shifted the transportation policy debate from simply accommodating bicycling and walking to creating greater mode shift. All types of communities benefit from the fun and efficiency of bicycling – 15% of all trips made by bicycle – and walking for all reasons, from personal health to environmental sensibility to economic necessity to religious responsibility.


The Thunderhead purpose is achieved by:


We seek out areas of America where there are no bicycle or walking advocacy organizations and bring together individual advocates to create professional, respected and effective bicycle and/or pedestrian advocacy organizations.


We use our combined resources, talents and experiences to strengthen our member organizations and their bicycle and pedestrian advocacy efforts which include:

  • bicycle and pedestrian facility advocacy, planning, design, and implementation (e.g. bike/ped plans, bike lanes, bike routes, sidewalks, and multi-use paths)
  • bicycle and pedestrian safety and education programs such as Safe Routes to Schools, motorist education, adult new riders, bicycle rodeos, PSAs, information booklets, public presentations, etcetera
  • bicycle and pedestrian policy development and implementation
  • bicycle and pedestrian legislation
  • bicycle and pedestrian advocacy as a part of community planning and design

Just a few of the ways that we strengthen our member organizations are:

  • Networking with other members
  • Email listserv for members
  • Listing on our website to attract new members to their organization
  • Members-only resources on our website (downloadable documents, best practices, sample grants and publications, program resources, etc.)
  • On-call expert for members
  • Trainings for members
  • Thunderhead Retreats for members


Our website and listserv help to keep our members connected throughout the year. The most valuable networking happens at our regional and targeted Trainings and our Thunderhead Retreats. All of these ensure that our members have at their fingertips the very latest and best resources for their bicycle and pedestrian advocacy efforts.

But even beyond the direct benefits to our member organizations of uniting them, this part of our mission directs our combined power towards national, state, and local initiatives that affect bicycling and walking. Our united voice is heard in national campaigns as we work with our national bicycle and pedestrian advocacy partners for better bicycle and pedestrian provisions in national transportation policy. Our united voice is heard at the state level when our member state bicycle and/or pedestrian advocacy organizations wield the resources and successes other Thunderhead members have provided. And this occurs every day in city halls and public works offices across the country as our member local advocacy organizations offer, as solutions, pertinent resources from their fellow Thunderhead Alliance members.

The Thunderhead Alliance IS our members and everyday we are making American communities better for bicycling and walking.


Thunderhead Values:

  • the power of the bicycle to transform individuals and communities.
  • the role of bicycling and walking in efficient transportation.
  • the importance of social change at the state and local level.
  • our cost effectiveness and resilience.
  • our professionalism and our careers as the leaders of state and local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations.
  • the uniqueness of our diverse communities and the collective brilliance of our membership.
  • the role of song: “there is no movement without music.”
  • connecting, playing together and reinvigorating ourselves through gatherings.
  • our history and heart embedded in our name.


Thunderhead Goals:

  1. Provide expert advice, professional consultation and resources to take our member organizations to their next level of effectiveness.
  2. Build the momentum of our 50/50 Project to establish effective bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations in all states, provinces and at least the 50 top population U.S. metropolitan areas.
  3. Articulate and act on Thunderhead’s role in the national bicycle and pedestrian advocacy movement in concert with current and new partners.