Pursuing Equity in Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning

Source: Federal Highway Administration

Professionals in the transportation field, in particular those working on pedestrian and bicycle issues, are familiar with the concept of the "Es": Education, Enforcement, Engineering (and Policies), Encouragement, Evaluation, and sometimes also Emergency Management. In recent years, another "E", Equity, has emerged as an important consideration for transportation officials working on developing connected multimodal systems that provide meaningful choices in transportation. Equity in transportation seeks fairness in mobility and accessibility to meet the needs of all community members. A central goal of transportation equity is to facilitate social and economic opportunities through equitable levels of access to affordable and reliable transportation options based on the needs of the populations being served, particularly populations that are traditionally underserved. Traditionally underserved groups include individuals in at least one of the following categories: Low Income, Minority, Elderly, Limited English Proficiency, or Persons with Disabilities. It is important to note that transportation equity does not mean allocating transportation resources in equal amounts to all people. An equitable transportation plan considers the unique circumstances impacting various community members' mobility and connectivity needs and uses this information to determine appropriate amount of resources to allocate to different people and places so that the transportation network more effectively serves all members.

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