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Boston Cyclists Union

 375 Dudley Street
 Roxbury, MA 02119
[P] (617) 5168877
[F] --
Pete Stidman
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 80-0579364

LAST UPDATED: 05/30/2018
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

The Union is helping Bostonians lead healthier lives by promoting the everyday use of the bicycle for transportation. 

Mission Statement

The Union is helping Bostonians lead healthier lives by promoting the everyday use of the bicycle for transportation. 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2012 to Dec 31, 2012
Projected Income $133,412.00
Projected Expense $131,089.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Bike to Market
  • Connect the City

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The Union is helping Bostonians lead healthier lives by promoting the everyday use of the bicycle for transportation. 

Background Statement

In 2008, the City of Boston hired a new bicycle coordinator and began to support infrastructure for better biking. Despite this positive development, some of the most important projects in the city met with resistance from neighborhood advocates. Some of the city’s most dangerous bike routes were still not getting safe bike facilities after their reconstruction. This inspired 20 bike advocates from nine Boston neighborhoods to gather in January 2010 and begin building an organization that focused on grassroots organizing for better bicycling. This organization became the Boston Cyclists Union.

Taking advantage of stimulus grants for repaving and for bike parking, the Boston Cyclists Union placed a Freedom of Information Act request for ARRA stimulus road repaving schedules and convinced the City of Boston to paint new bike lanes in Mattapan, Dorchester and Roxbury by gathering petitions from neighborhood residents and neighborhood organizations. Working with local advocates, the Union also convinced the MBTA to build a bike cage at Dorchester’s Ashmont Station—a location where the agency had previously said there was not enough room. After a tragic accident in the Fenway neighborhood, the Union worked with other advocates to overhaul the MBTA’s entire set of policies concerning bikes and ensured that many of the more challenging changes were made.

More collaborative organizing successes followed, along with innovative programs like Bike to Market, and today the Union has “boots on the ground” on almost every roadway or bike path design or reconstruction in Boston as well as strong connections with dozens of health, youth, sustainability and main streets organizations. Its Union Rider newsletter reaches 4,500 cyclists and is followed by elected officials, state, city and federal staffers, transportation consultants, and health professionals. The Union is in a period of sustained growth, with many opportunities for growth on the horizon.

Impact Statement

In 2011 the Boston Cyclists Union:
  • Repaired 1,012 bicycles in neighborhoods without bike shops, sold or gave away over 250 affordable bike helmets ($5 each), and sold or gave away 40 affordable U-locks to youth as part of the Bike to Market program.
  • Organized Charlestown residents to support and successfully win a bike lane on Main Street, which was initially blocked by the powerful Charlestown Neighborhood Council.
  • Added 1,500 subscribers to the Union Rider newsletter.
  • Officially became a non-profit 501c3 organization.
  • Hired an executive director.
In 2012, the Boston Cyclists Union is continuing its work by:
  • Organizing support for the upcoming Bike Network Master Plan, which contains a wealth of input from the Boston Cyclists Union and its members. This work includes helping the city find ways to diversify its federal funding sources.
  • Ensuring a more bike friendly future for Forest Hills in Jamaica Plain by helping educate residents about the benefits of an at-grade solution for the Casey Overpass and continuing participation on a Working Advisory Group for the process, as well as participation in a new planning process for the Fairmount Indigo Greenway that stretches through Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan.
  • Fixing over 1,200 bikes, handing out over 400 helmets and 80 U-locks and establishing a new vocational element to the Bike to Market program.
  • Affecting significant change in the public view on key issues such as reallocating space to bikes and pedestrians, better car parking management to lower demand, and requiring indoor bike parking space in buildings.
  • Completing a long-term goal of establishing access to Boston Police Department narrative reports for in-depth study of crashes and their causes in the city—including where they are common and any patterns involved therein. This work is the Boston Cyclists Union’s goal for its participation in a Boston Public Health Commission task force on bike crash reporting.

Needs Statement

The next steps for the Boston Cyclists Union include:
  • Establishing an office (currently the Union office dominates the Executive Director’s living room). Opening an office in a MBTA-friendly location would greatly improve the Union’s ability to secure and retain volunteer help, as well as provide storage for its growing Bike to Market operation.
  • Building capacity by adding a second full-time development and membership professional. Nearly 40 percent of the Union’s funding will come from membership dues and other individual donations this year, but the potential for this kind of funding is estimated to be six to 10 times this amount—and growing along with Boston’s biking population each year. Adding a professional membership development person will help maximize these donations.
  • Expanding the Union’s influence by adding a full-time organizer for the Connect the City program.
  • This year the Union will be implementing Salesforce, which will help streamline membership services and volunteer management.

CEO Statement

Thank you for your interest in the Boston Cyclists Union. We envision a Boston that is world renowned for year round cycling, a place where people ride for fun, exercise, and transportation:
  • With bicycles commonplace, residents are healthier and have reduced levels of cardiovascular disease, asthma and obesity. They also have more expendable income, more free time, and greater choice in how they move about their city.
  • Transit is well-funded and integrated to support cyclists and pedestrians, providing an alternate means of travel during the winter.
  • The city is greener; there is less pavement and more open space, like gardens, parks and outdoor plazas. In this city, automobiles are not the automatic choice of transportation for most people, and traffic is slower and safer and combines respectfully with all other modes of transportation.
We look forward to updating you on our progress in the coming months. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly with questions or comments.

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

Greater Boston Region-All Neighborhoods
Greater Boston Region-Dorchester Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-East Boston Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Hyde Park Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Jamaica Plain Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Mattapan Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Allston / Brighton Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Back Bay / Beacon Hill Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Charlestown Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Chinatown Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Downtown Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Fenway / Kenmore Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Mission Hill Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Roslindale Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Roxbury Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-South Boston Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-South End Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-West Roxbury Neighborhood
The Boston Cyclists Union promotes bicycling throughout Greater Boston, with a specific focus on low-income and underserved residents in neighborhoods that are not easily accessible to full-service bicycle shops.

Organization Categories

  1. Health Care - Public Health
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Bike to Market

Bike to Market was developed in 2010 with the twin goals of promoting bicycling in neighborhoods that are not easily accessible to full-service bicycle shops and organizing communities to support better biking infrastructure. By taking advantage of the existing farmers’ markets, the Union is able to reach hundreds of children and adults who are not enjoying their bicycles due to mechanical problems or have not ridden their bikes in years.

Boston Cyclists Union volunteers and staff run bike safety checks, relay safety information, share bike theft protection advice, and perform simple bicycle repairs. Subsidized, low-cost helmets, lights and locks are sold in an effort to prevent bike theft and increase rider safety. Union volunteers also ask community members how they would like to improve their neighborhood for bicycles. The Union then works with those residents and city and state agencies as well as tenants associations and other organizations to implement positive changes.
Budget  $47,949.00
Category  Health Care, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 
In low-income communities where physical activity and good nutrition have been identified as key areas for improvement, the Boston Cyclists Union will strive to create a high quality connection to participants with a once a week schedule. In other communities the Union will focus on connecting with current and potential cyclists by setting up shop on a monthly basis. The Boston Cyclists Union will also promote the Bike to Market program at a variety of festivals and street events throughout the summer months.

2012 metrics for success:
  • Fix or tune up over 1,200 bikes.
  • Sell or give away 400 subsidized bike helmets to youth and adults for $5 each or less.
  • Offer 200 low-cost or free bike lights to local residents to improve their visibility when riding at night.
  • Distribute 80 subsidized bike locks to youth under the age of 18 and train them in their use.
  • Provide training for volunteers, including basic bike mechanics.
Program Long-Term Success 
Bike to Market is innovative in its approach and unique in the nation for its scale and reach. It has direct impacts on safety and physical activity and is an extremely effective organizing tool for supporting safer bike infrastructure and the built environment, which has been shown to influence physical activity as well. The Union sees the program as a vehicle for self-empowerment, and is gradually developing vocational bike mechanic training and basic urban planning primers for volunteers while providing first-hand experience and encouraging civic engagement. Working with members of the community, the program serves to create a highly visible connection between the themes of nutritious foods and physical activity—underlining the need for both to stay in good health.
Program Success Monitored By 
The Union collects detailed data on the number of repairs made, emails collected, and volunteers engaged. In 2011, we implemented a questionnaire that was given to over 500 participants in the Bike to Market program. It asked a number of questions about frequency of riding a bike before and after repairs, history of theft, age, weight, gender, helmet use, and a variety of other topics. That data is still being analyzed by Union statisticians, and a new survey is being designed for 2012 based on comments given by the Center for Disease Control after a pre-evaluation site visit they performed in July 2011. In the new survey, opportunities for follow up with participants will be included to help measure the health impact after the Bike to Market visit in terms of physical activity and weight control.

The Union is developing new ideas for measuring impact in a more qualitative way using the mentor model. New cyclists and Union volunteers will be matched up in order to follow the trials and tribulations new riders face as they learn the ropes of urban cycling.
Examples of Program Success 
In two years, Bike to Market has repaired 1,630 bicycles, distributed over 250 affordable helmets and 40 subsidized U-locks. Because of its wide reach to 16 neighborhoods, it has brought new individuals into the decision-making processes of the Boston Bikes program, including participants from Mattapan and Roxbury in the Working Advisory Group for the Bike Network Master Plan, and several candidates for participation in the Boston Bikes Advisory Group.

An estimated 10 percent of the bikes repaired at Bike to Market have been laying idle in garages or basements until Union volunteers and staff brought them back to life, meaning as many as 100 new bicycle riders are added directly to the streets each year by the program.

A much higher percentage of participants arrive with brake problems, often brakes don’t work at all. The Union is working with the Boston Police, Emergency Medical Services, Public Health Commission and other agencies and professionals on a task force to improve this data.

Connect the City

Connect the City is an ambitious vision for a network of low-stress cycletracks (physically protected bike lanes) and greenways that will one day truly make bicycling in Boston accessible to all. The program was designed to build upon the foundations set by the Union’s Bike to Market program and create an even stronger citywide collaboration that will educate thousands of residents on the benefits of Boston’s Bike Network Master Plan, which is set to be released in draft form in July 2012. The program will also address a major cycling deterrent in affordable housing developments: a scarcity of indoor or high-security bike parking. 

The Connect the City program will work to educate individuals on how streets can be redesigned to effectively give more people access to cycling for transportation, thereby improving the communities in which they live and creating a healthy environment for all.

Budget  $28,600.00
Category  Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Infrastructure
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 

The Union has identified the following objectives necessary to ensure program success in 2012:

  • Develop citywide enthusiasm for the Bike Network Master Plan.
  • Promote and implement 5-6 large audience (75-150 persons) speaking events/films.
  • Make appearances at 12 street festivals and “Family Fund Days” at large affordable housing developments.
  • Support local cycletrack projects from 3-4 community organizations each in at least six target neighborhoods.
  • Advocate for indoor bike parking improvement plans in place at 3-4 housing developments.
  •  Increase subscriptions to the Union’s e-newsletter, which carries listings of local planning meetings.
  • Encourage high turnout at meetings regarding the Bike Network Master Plan and any neighborhood-specific meetings regarding cycletracks or other bike infrastructure.
Program Long-Term Success 

The Boston Cyclists Union has identified two key issues that must be addressed to make bicycling for transportation more accessible to Bostonians of all ages:

1.    A low-stress cycling network: The Union has developed a plan for a network of low-stress physically separated bike lanes (cycletracks) and greenways that could be installed in the city. Cycletracks have been proven in New York City and other urban settings to reduce crash rates, and in cities around the world they are credited with raising the number of people who bike to work or other destinations.

2.    Securing Bicycle Facilities: Another problem lies at home, particularly for those living in affordable housing in densely packed Boston. Connect the City will be the first effort to look at indoor bike parking possibilities. Through an existing partnership with Dero Bike Rack Company, the Union will be able to professionally assess indoor parking access and suggest improvements.

Program Success Monitored By 

The Union will track the following measures in an effort to evaluate program success:


  • New subscribers to the Union Rider newsletter.
  • Attendance at speaking events/films.
  • Success establishing community support for and implementation of cycletracks in specific neighborhoods. (Number of projects dependent on transportation department prioritization of the street reconstructions required. One project is certain, two to three more opportunities are expected in 2012.
  • Success at generating tenant support for bike parking at 3-4 housing projects, including assessments and cost estimates in 2012. (Locating funding for these projects may extend into subsequent years).
  • Increase in Bike-related jobs in Boston (via the city’s Boston Bikes Program).
  • Increase in Boston’s Bike to Work rate (via the American Community Survey).


Examples of Program Success 

The Union has significantly contributed to the Bike Network Master Plan using feedback gathered over the past two years from hundreds of cyclists in 20 out of 22 neighborhoods in Boston. In comments on Plan (using feedback gathered over the past two years from hundreds of cyclists in 20 out of 22 neighborhoods in Boston) the Union has pressed to connect neighborhoods that heretofore were cut off from the rest of the city with new cycletracks that will make cycling more accessible for all.

The Union has helped draw the city’s attention to the need for bike lanes in several neighborhoods not traditionally thought of as the center of the biking community—areas like Roxbury and Mattapan where cycling is highly prohibitive due the lack of bike infrastructure. This has resulted in dozens of new bike lanes in these areas. The Union has also connected with dozens of affordable housing tenants to discuss possible solutions to the lack of high-security or indoor bike parking at their home.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Mr. Pete Stidman
CEO Term Start Jan 2010
CEO Email
CEO Experience --
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 120
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 1
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Bi-Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Noelle Janka
Board Chair Company Affiliation Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Board Chair Term Aug 2011 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Nick Abreu Student, Harvard Medical School Voting
Ms. Noelle Janka Harvard Kennedy School of Government Voting
Ms. Kiersten Kay KLK Consulting Voting
Ms. Jasmine Laietmark Alternatives for Community and Environment Voting
Mr. Jon McCurdy Massachusetts Department of Public Health Voting
Mr. Jeremy Morrison MaPS Voting
Ms. Stefanie O'Shea Vocational Rehabilitation Voting
Ms. Dana Ostberg Martha Eliot Health Center Voting
Mr. Ray Porfilio Epstein Joslin Architects Voting
Mr. Gerald Robbins Land Use Planning Voting
Mr. Luis Sanchez Retired Civil Engineer Voting
Mr. Pete Stidman Boston Cyclists Union Exofficio
Mr. Alex Sugarman Krakow & Souris Voting
Mr. Phi Tran Student, UMass Boston Voting
Ms. Noël Twigg Nonprofit Consultant Voting
Mr. George Ulrich Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Information Technology Services Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 6
Male: 10
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2012 to Dec 31, 2012
Projected Income $133,412.00
Projected Expense $131,089.00
Form 990s

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

2011 990 covering May-December 2011

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Total Revenue $100,558 $91,484 --
Total Expenses $101,009 $79,040 --

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 --
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $43,782 $25,511 --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $7,908 $17,706 --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues $48,868 $48,267 --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Program Expense $75,262 $79,040 --
Administration Expense $25,747 -- --
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.00 1.16 --
Program Expense/Total Expenses 75% 100% --
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% --

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Total Assets $29,221 $29,672 --
Current Assets $26,180 $24,603 --
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 --
Current Liabilities -- $0 --
Total Net Assets $29,221 $29,672 --

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities inf inf --

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Foundation Comments

This nonprofit organization was established in December 2011. As such, the Form 990 for 2011 only covers the period from May 24, 2011-December 31, 2011. Additional financial data will be posted as it becomes available. Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Expenses are per the Form PC for 2012 and 2013.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available. 


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?