USDOT extends Mayors’ Challenge and announces Challenge Awards

Mayors Challenge

Due to increased sign-ups and positive feedback, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that it would extend the Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets an additional six months beyond the initial year to September 2016. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx launched the Challenge in January 2015 as an effort to make America’s streets safer for people walking and biking. Since then, more than 240 cities and other local jurisdictions have signed up to the Challenge.

In addition to the extension, DOT announced it would invite Mayors’ Challenge cities to submit nominations for awards related to the Challenge Activities. The awards are meant to stimulate exceptional work under the Challenge and to highlight some of the best work as a model for other cities. With the announcement of the extension, DOT is encouraging new cities and other local jurisdictions to sign up for the challenge by emailing

Among other opportunities, the extension of the Challenge will also allow greater coordination with Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties, a White House initiative to increase physical activity for health, as well as the Surgeon Generals’ Call to Action for Walking and Walkable Communities. Both campaigns have several goals that overlap with the safety focus of the Challenge.

Learn more about the Awards and the wider Challenge at:

New report highlights connected ped/bike networks in the U.S.

FHWA report

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) developed “Case Studies in Delivering Safe, Comfortable, and Connected Pedestrian and Bicycle Networks” to provide an overview of pedestrian and bicycle network principles and highlights project examples from communities across the country.

Connected pedestrian and bicycle networks allow people of all abilities and ages to easily and safely get where they want to go. The report covers 86 pedestrian and bicycle network examples, illustrating how agencies are using a number of different strategies to develop connected networks for nonmotorized travel. The Appendix provides a complete listing of projects highlighted in the report and additional projects that were identified in the study process.

The report evaluates and categorizes key project types into six categories: Planning and prioritization, shared use paths, corridor improvements, bridges, on-road facilities, and intersections and crossing improvements.

Download the report at:

PBIC to host course on creating livable communities at upcoming conference

PBIC, its partner Toole Design Group, and FHWA—in collaboration with America Walks—are offering a “Train-the-Trainer” workshop on Creating Livable Communities through Public Involvement at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in February in Portland, OR.

This free, one-day workshop, taught by Toole Design Group’s Peter Lagerwey, prepares professionals to lead Creating Livable Communities through Public Involvement workshops. Participants learn organizational models and strategies for teaching others how to most effectively work together on pedestrian and bicycle transportation projects and safety programs. The intent is to achieve better outcomes that have community buy-in and support.

As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

This advanced-level course is appropriate for professionals who are well-versed in smart growth principles, have experience leading workshops and other courses, are interested in public involvement, and are in a position to be able to offer this course to others.

To register, please fill out an application at

For details about the course, instructors, success stories, and other materials, visit:

U.S. DOT releases summary report on road safety assessments

The U.S. DOT released the first element of its Safer People, Safer Streets initiative. “Summary Report: DOT Pedestrian and Bicycles Road Safety Assessments” offers an overview of the approaches taken and the outcomes of those assessments. It highlights successes and identifies common barriers, as well as potential solutions, to improving pedestrian and bicycle safety.

DOT launched the Safer People, Safer Streets initiative in Fall 2014 with the goal of improving pedestrian and bicycle safety across the country. The first element of the initiative was a call to convene a walking or biking safety assessment in every State.

View the report at:

New tools available for pedestrian and bicycle planning

FHWA’s Nonmotorized Travel Analysis Toolkit, hosted by PBIC, is a suite of software applications that can be used to support pedestrian and bicycle transportation planning. The Toolkit currently offers five different analysis tools that can be used to model pedestrian or bicycle demand either on roadway segments or at intersections.

Users can upload their own data and use the system to create their own customized analysis and generate maps and data files that can be accessed in a variety of formats. It is expected that additional modeling tools will be added in the future. If you have an idea for an analysis tool that can be added to the Toolkit, please contact Jeremy Raw at:

Visit to learn about each tool and how to apply it using your own data set.

The PBIC will host a webinar on how to use the tool in early 2016. Be sure to stay up to date on the latest PBIC webinars at

FAST Act sets transportation funding plans through 2020

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act reauthorized Federal surface transportation programs for fiscal year (FY) 2016 through 2020. FHWA will post FAST Act information under as it is developed. While there are pedestrians and bicyclists references in many provisions, in summary:

Pedestrian and bicycle sessions at TRB

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting is being held January 10-14, 2016, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Several sessions will cover pedestrian and bicycle research.

Go to to view the list of pedestrian-related sessions.

For bicycle-related sessions, go to

New Resources

The PBIC has recently added the following resources to the PBIC Online Library, a centralized, Web-based collection of pedestrian- and bicycling-related materials. To search the library, please visit

Case Studies in Delivering Safe, Comfortable, and Connected Pedestrian and Bicycle Networks

Understanding Interactions between Drivers and Pedestrian Features at Signalized Intersections

A Global High Shift Cycling Scenario

Towards Effective Design Treatment for Right Turns at Intersections with Bicycle Traffic


More than $834 million spent on pedestrian and bicycle initiatives

In FY 2015, States obligated $834 million in Federal-aid highway program funds for bicycle and pedestrian programs and projects, including all Safe Routes to School and Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program funds. That is an increase from $820 million in FY 2014. Bicycle and pedestrian funding was less than 2 percent of Federal-aid highway funding (~$40 billion).

See for more information.

New tool evaluates the health impact of transportation systems

FHWA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the Transportation and Health Tool to help practitioners determine the health impacts of transportation systems. The tool provides data on transportation and public health indicators for States and cities, and allows users to quickly see how their city or State compares in addressing transportation and health issues. To learn more and access the tool, go to .

Bike League names 43 new bicycle friendly businesses

The League of American Bicyclists now recognizes more than 1,090 Bicycle Friendly Businesses in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Shreveport, LA’s Great Raft Brewing and Oklahoma City, OK’s Allegiance Credit Union are the first businesses in their States to earn the designation. See what other businesses made the list at:

America Walks announces its 2016 webinar series

The organization is offering 10 webinars on a variety of topics, including tools for improving pedestrian safety, the Surgeon General’s call to action, and working with public transportation, among other topics. Register at:

Join Children, Parents, and School Officials Nationwide for Bike to School Day on May 4th

Join students, parents, and many other supporters across the country for National Bike to School Day on May 4th, 2016. Last year, more than 2,600 events registered for the fourth annual National Bike to School Day and participation is expected to grow again this year. Bike to School Day event registration opens in February at

Registration Now Open for the fifth Safe Routes to School National Conference

Registration is now open for the fifth Safe Routes to School National Conference being held April 5-7th, 2016 in Columbus, OH. Join national bike and pedestrian safety experts and health professionals from across the country to discuss issues and ideas around active transportation and health. For more information, visit

America Walks and APHA issue calls for proposals

The America Walks and American Public Health Association (APHA) put out calls for papers for their 2016 conferences.

America Walk’s Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place will be held Sept. 12-15 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The deadline to submit proposals is Jan. 29, 2016. Submit your proposal at:

APHA’s annual meeting will be held from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 in Denver, CO. Abstracts are due Feb. 22-26, 2016. Learn more at:

From our Facebook Page

Here are some of the more popular posts from our Facebook page since October 2015:

Dec. 7: The new federal transportation bill provides $4 billion for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure over the next five years.

Dec. 4: Aarhus, Denmark is testing out new RFID tags that trigger traffic lights to turn green so bicyclists never have to stop.

Nov. 30: A bill being proposed in New York would allow employers to cover the cost of their employees' bike share subscriptions tax free.

Nov. 23: Protected bike lanes in New York City have reduced pedestrian and bicycle crashes and reduced travel times for motor vehicles.

Nov. 18: Here's an intriguing look at flashing vs. constant front headlights on bicycles.

Nov. 4: What happens when Detroit puts down over 150 miles of new bike lanes? Cycling skyrockets.

Nov. 4: Las Vegas police frequently use "decoy" pedestrians to enforce crosswalk laws. Now they are doing the same for bicycles, using a "decoy" bicyclist to enforce bicycle laws.

Oct. 27: Germany is considering letting pedestrians and bicyclists cross against a red light.

Oct. 20: Oslo announced a new plan to remove all cars from the central part of the city within four years.

Oct. 19: The first of AASHTO's recently approved bike routes in the US will connect Atlanta and Chattanooga.

Oct. 1: Where does your city rank on the Alliance for Biking & Walking's new list of top cities for walking to work?

Upcoming Events

2016 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting
January 10-14, 2016
Washington, DC USA

Active Living Research Conference
January 31-February 3, 2016
Clearwater Beach, FL USA

New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
February 3-16, 2016
Portland, OR USA

2016 National Planning Conference
April 2-5, 2016
Phoenix, AZ USA

Lifesavers Conference
April 3-5, 2016
Long Beach, CA USA

Fifth Safe Routes to School National Conference
April 5-7, 2016 (State SRTS and TAP coordinators meet on April 4)
Columbus, OH USA

North American Travel Monitoring Exposition and Conference 2016 (NATMEC)
May 1-4, 2016
Miami, FL USA

Pro Walk / Pro Bike / Pro Place
Sept. 12-15, 2016
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

730 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Campus Box 3430
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3430
Phone: 1.888.823.3977
Fax: 919.962.8710