PBIC announces Livable Communities Webinar Series


The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has launched the Livable Communities Webinar Series to encourage safe walking and bicycling as a viable means of transportation and physical activity. These free, public Webinars will be offered every other month. November’s Webinar will be:

"The Power of 25: Advocacy Strategies for Creating Livable Communities"
presented by Peter Lagerway, Senior Transportation Planner, Toole Design Group
Thursday, November 12, 2009
2PM-3PM E.T.

To register, please visit

Peter Lagerwey, the Seattle Regional Office Director for Toole Design Group and formerly the pedestrian and bicycle program coordinator for the city of Seattle for more than twenty years, will offer his formula for public involvement, demonstrating the effectiveness of 25 organized individuals. The presentation will address the challenges of developing a clear message, creating a work plan, and building and sustaining relationships among diverse community stakeholders.

The following Webinar will be held on Thursday, January 21, 2010 from 2PM to 3PM, E.T. It will be presented by Charlie Zegeer, PBIC Director. Zegeer will speak on “Selection of Crosswalk Markings and Other Treatments at Unsignalized Pedestrian Crossings.” Registration for this Webinar will be available following the November Webinar.

PBIC’s first Webinar was “Fundamentals for Connecting Transit and Pedestrian/Bicycle Facilities,” presented by Dan Nabors, Senior Transportation Engineer, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. and Daniel Rodriguez, Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning, UNC-Chapel Hill. Nabors and Rodriquez reviewed critical research findings on the relationship of pedestrian and bicycle facilities and infrastructure to transit use, and offered practitioner-oriented tips and tools for transit agencies and pedestrian and bicycle professionals.

An archive of each Webinar includes downloadable video of each Webinar, full text transcripts, presentation slides, reference materials, and selected resources from the PBIC database of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Content from the PBIC Livable Communities Webinar series is intended to complement PBIC’s in-person training courses focused on pedestrian safety. The courses provide more in-depth technical assistance, allow hands-on work with the experts, and generate detailed action plans. Detailed information on these training courses can be found on the PBIC training Web site at www.walkinginfo.org/training.

To register for upcoming Webinars and to access archived presentations, please visit www.walkinginfo.org/webinars.

Neighborhoods receive funding to improve pedestrian safety


Communities from across the U.S. have been selected to receive funding from the UNC Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) to improve pedestrian safety and help make their environments more “walkable” with the use of the guide, A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities.

Overall funding for this project is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to work with 10 communities to implement and evaluate the guide. Responding to exceptional demand, PBIC has partnered with the Association of Bicycle and Pedestrian Professionals (APBP) to include an additional 5 communities in the project.

The following community groups will each receive $2,000 in funding to implement their planned activities related to the guide:

Awarded communities will implement their proposed activities while pilot testing the use of the guidebook and providing feedback on additional resources needed by communities to improve pedestrian safety in neighborhoods. Each awarded site will also be provided technical assistance from pedestrian safety experts while planning and implementing their projects.

"We were extremely excited about the interest we received in this funding opportunity for pedestrian safety," said HSRC Research Associate and Principal Investigator Laura Sandt. The Center received 75 applications following a call for proposals issued earlier in the spring.

"The proposals we received certainly speak to both the tremendous need for increased pedestrian safety in communities across the U.S. and the growing interest among residents to make their neighborhoods safer and more livable" said Sandt. "We originally only had funding for 10 communities, so it was a very difficult decision to make. We were very fortunate to be able to partner with the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals in order to find support for additional communities to be part of the project."

The guide is designed to be used by anyone who is looking for ways to improve the pedestrian safety and walkability of their neighborhood, whether they are just beginning to learn about walking safety or are already part of an established community safety group.

To order a free copy of the guide, please visit: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_bike_order.cfm.

FHWA’s Environment & Planning Office issues call for research ideas related to bicycles, pedestrians and health

The Federal Highway Administration’s Environment and Planning areas of research including bicycle/pedestrian and health topics rely on a single funding source called STEP (Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program). The Bicycle and Pedestrian Team at FHWA is seeking input and suggestions for the research topics that should be pursued within this emphasis area.

To submit comments, please visit http://knowledge.fhwa.dot.gov/cops/step.nsf/home/ and click on “Bicycle/ Pedestrian and Health” underneath the “Environment” heading. Please fill out the one-page form with short, succinct comments. The deadline is December 3, 2009.

The goals of the Bicycle /Pedestrian and Health emphasis area are to:

  1. Investigate and institutionalize the collection of bicycle and pedestrian trip/exposure data at national, State, and local levels;
  2. Provide technical knowledge and products needed by state and local officials in developing and implementing bicycle and pedestrian projects;
  3. Determine the health benefits of increased physical activity due to higher rates of bicycling and walking;
  4. Determine how to make the appropriate provision of bicycle and pedestrian projects a routine part of all transportation decisions;
  5. Develop meaningful measures of effectiveness for bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs, such as quantifying environmental benefits due to improved walking and bicycling rates.

FHWA does not seek specific, detailed research proposals and discourages researchers from submitting proposals of that nature. Specific research work statements for suggestions received, if pursued under STEP, would be crafted by FHWA after careful consideration of stakeholder views.

For more information, please contact Gabe Rousseau at Gabriel.rousseau@dot.gov or 202-366-8044.

PBIC developing Web-based Video Library

PBIC is in the process of developing a Web-based Video Library to create a searchable collection of pedestrian and bicycle-related educational videos. The Video Library will be housed on both the walkinginfo.org and bicyclinginfo.org Web sites.

PBIC is currently seeking and compiling videos to be included in this library. If you have publicly available videos that you have developed and would like to be included in the Video Library, please contact Katy Jones at jones@hsrc.unc.edu or 919-843-7007. All videos must be either in digital or DVD format, be educational and non-commercial and be relevant to pedestrian and bicycle safety issues. If you have videos in other formats that you think are highly relevant to the collection or if you have any questions about the library, please contact Ms. Jones at the email above.

Featured Case Study: Sidewalk Planning: A GIS-Based Approach

Austin, Texas


Walking is our most basic form of transportation. Pedestrian travel is involved in every trip and is the basis for all other transportation modes. Pedestrian planning is vital for accessibility, health and well-being, social equity, and economic development. Prioritizing sidewalk projects and funding allocations can be a challenge for cities trying to proactively provide a pedestrian-friendly environment.


The Austin, Texas Public Works Department needed a process to prioritize sidewalk projects for sidewalk construction programs and funding allocation. In the past, Austin's approach to prioritizing project locations was based on input from neighborhood associations, special interest groups and business owners, along with anecdotal information from maintenance crews. The public works staff recognized that the city would be better served by developing a process based on objective data about each location's proximity to pedestrian attractors and risks. Austin also needed a process that took into account both the existing condition of the infrastructure and its compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility standards. The firm Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam (LAN) was selected to work with the city to identify priority pedestrian corridors, conduct field work to assess the condition and accessibility compliance status of sidewalks and curb ramps, develop the selection matrix, and use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to manage and implement the project.


LAN developed a Pedestrian Infrastructure Management System (PIMS) as part of Austin's Pedestrian Master Plan. PIMS is a custom GIS-based toolset which allows city staff to accurately identify potential sidewalk construction and maintenance projects, score and prioritize these projects using weighted comparisons, and provide cost estimates.

For the project, LAN performed a field assessment of the city's existing infrastructure for compliance with the ADA criteria for accessibility, identified maintenance issues, developed a GIS geodatabase to store infrastructure data, developed GIS tools to allow non-GIS users access to the data, designed a scoring matrix for project selection, and developed a map viewer utilizing ArcIMS (a Web map server).

The field assessment of the existing infrastructure used Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment to identify non-compliant locations to sub-meter accuracy. A custom ArcPad application was developed to simplify and streamline data collection in the field.

LAN designed and populated a geodatabase of pedestrian infrastructure features inventoried from orthographic imagery and data collected in the field assessment. This database includes absent and existing sidewalks, driveways, ramps and crosswalks for use in the prioritization of future projects. In addition, LAN developed databases and created datasets for use in the prioritization tool. Additional data were culled from several sources including the City of Austin, the U.S. Census, the Capital Area Council of Governments (CapCOG), and the Austin police department.

LAN developed a prioritization matrix to assist the city in identifying projects for future new construction and maintenance programs. Working with city staff, LAN determined that three criteria provide the best approach for prioritizing locations: proximity analysis to pedestrian attractors and risks, existing maintenance condition, and accessibility compliance of the existing infrastructure. Once a location is assessed on these three criteria, a cumulative score for that location is determined on weighted values assigned to each factor. The matrix was developed with extensive public input. LAN presented to neighborhood associations, city commissions and boards, and local committees with vested interest in pedestrian improvements. This prioritization matrix, along with the GIS-based toolset, results in improved efficiency for city staff when they plan sidewalk projects or respond to citizen requests and inquiries.

Using ArcIMS, LAN developed an interactive mapping application for use by the general public. This viewer allows users to identify their preferred pedestrian route prior to leaving their location. Viewers are able to identify locations of sidewalks versus absent sidewalks. In addition, users have the ability to identify maintenance and ADA issues along their route and make an informed decision about their pedestrian route.


The ultimate goal is to encourage walking as a viable mode of transportation, and improve safety, accessibility and pedestrian mobility in Austin. As a result of this project, LAN and the city have a detailed knowledge of Austin's sidewalk inventory, current condition of sidewalk assets, public perception of sidewalk needs and issues, and city sidewalk priorities. This tool facilitates the city's development of programs for new sidewalks, existing sidewalk maintenance, and accessibility improvements.


The cost of the GIS-based approach to sidewalk prioritization and planning is scalable. Factors affecting the cost include the scope of the project, the availability of existing datasets, the public involvement process, the sophistication of the customized tool, and many other factors influenced by the municipality's preferences.

Web sites

Austin, Texas Pedestrian Master Plan (this page includes links to the city's proposed Sidewalk Prioritization Matrix): http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/bicycle/ped_sum.htm


Julie D. Hastings, PE
Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc.
10801 North MoPac Expressway
Building 1, Suite 120
Austin, TX 78759
P 512.338.4212
F 512.338.4942

New Resources

The following resources have been recently added to the PBIC Online Library, a centralized, Web-based collection of pedestrian and bicycling-related materials and documents compiled by practitioners and researchers from across the United States and abroad. To search the entire library, please visit www.walkinginfo.org/library or www.bicyclinginfo.org/library.

Chicago Pedestrian-Motor Vehicle Collisions 2001-2005
Federal Highway Administration
Forecasting Pedestrian and Bicycle Travel Demands Using Travel Demand Model and
Mode Share/Trip Length Data
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center Case Study
International Scan Summary Report on Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility
Federal Highway Administration, American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, National Cooperative Highway Research Program
Measuring Walking
European Cooperation in Science and Technology, Pedestrian Quality Needs, Walk21
New Directions in Speed Management: A Review of Policy
Department for Transportation (UK)
Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Home Values in U.S. Cities
CEOs for Cities

New FAQs

PBIC attempts to provide answers to common questions on a variety of pedestrian and bicycling issues. Search or browse these frequently asked questions at http://www.walkinginfo.org/faqs/ and http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/faqs/. The following is a list of recently-added FAQs.

  1. How do cell phones affect pedestrian and bicyclist behavior?
  2. Does our city need a bicycle plan and/or a pedestrian plan? What are the advantages or disadvantages of combining the two?
  3. How can I predict sidewalk use?
  4. What is the state of the art in pedestrian countdown signals?
  5. What resources are available for improving transit access for pedestrians?
  6. What communities are integrating bicycling and transit facilities, and how?
  7. What are the benefits of integrating bicycle facilities and transit?
  8. What are the cost considerations and funding opportunities for integrating bicycles and transit?
  9. How can bicycles and bicycling infrastructure be integrated with transit?


Share your Walk21 NYC photos

PBIC collected a lot of great images from Walk21 in New York this October that will be posted to the PBIC Image Library (www.pedbikeimages.org). Share your own photos from Walk21 and the Walkshops held during the conference, or send us photos from other events. Submit them at www.pedbikeimages.org/submit.cfm.

Webcast highlighting DOT-HUD-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities, November 9, 2009

A Webcast providing an overview of the DOT-HUD-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities and highlighting its current efforts will be broadcast November 9, 2009 at Noon at 2:00 pm EST. In June the U.S. Department of Transportation, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new interagency partnership to help families gain better access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs. The agreement establishes six "livability principles" that will coordinate policy for federal transportation, environmental protection, and housing investments.

The Webcast is aimed principally at management and staff of state DOTs and MPOs, and also will be of interest to environmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities, and private-sector organizations. During the live program, participants will be invited to submit questions via email for panelists to discuss following their presentations.

Full details and registration for the webcast can be found at

More information about the DOT-HUD-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities is available from the EPA website at http://www.epa.gov/dced/2009-0616-epahuddot.htm.

U.S. Bicycle Route System receives foundation funding

Plans to create potentially the largest official cycling network in the world received a boost recently when the Adventure Cycling Association announced three new grants in support of the project. A news release from Adventure Cycling in August 2009 says three new grants will enable continued cartographic work and organizational efforts between federal and state agencies and nonprofits contributing to the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS).

The grants were provided by: the SRAM Cycling Fund ($30,000) in Chicago, the Surdna Foundation ($15,000), a grant-making foundation based in New York, and the Lazar Foundation ($10,000), based in Portland, Oregon. Additionally, Bikes Belong, a bicycle industry association of manufacturers and retailers, coordinated the grant from the SRAM Cycling Fund. Adventure Cycling is the largest cycling membership organization in North America, with over 44,000 members.

The USBRS is a collaborative effort led by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). AASHTO convened a task force in 2005 to formulate an inventory of major bicycle routes that would provide the structure of a national bicycle route network. Task force members include officials from state DOTs, the Federal Highway Administration, and nonprofits such as Adventure Cycling Association, East Coast Greenway Alliance, and Mississippi River Trail, Inc.

AASHTO says the purpose of the USBRS is to facilitate bicycle travel on appropriate roads, paths, and highways over routes that are desirable for interstate bicyclists.

A national corridor plan was approved by AASHTO’s executive board in October 2008. The USBRS will incorporate the expanding network of bike routes across the nation, which includes the Adventure Cycling Route Network and other existing and developing national, regional, and local bike routes. This network will be publicized, maintained, and upgraded through a partnership of public agencies and non-profit organizations.

AASHTO is currently accepting route proposals from local, state, and regional agencies and groups for inclusion in the USBRS. It states that a route should form continuity of available roads through two or more states connecting and traversing areas of scenic, cultural, and recreational interest. An application form to designate a route for the USBRS is available at http://cms.transportation.org/?siteid=68&pageid=2809.

New Easter Seals training activity shares benefits of accessible sustainable transportation

Easter Seals Project ACTION is pleased to offer "Getting There Together: Supporting Accessible Sustainable Transportation in Our Community," a simple and effective curriculum useful to a wide range of citizen groups. Communities are invited to use the program to become familiar with the universal benefits of accessible sustainable transportation, including local shared-ride options, accessibility considerations, and how to collaborate with others to strengthen existing transportation options. The link to the curriculum is available at

Safe Routes to School Mini-grants now available

Applications are now being accepted for Safe Routes to School mini-grants to be awarded by the National Center for Safe Routes to School. The goal of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs is to enable and encourage children to safely walk and bicycle to school. SRTS programs are implemented nationwide by parents, schools, community leaders, and local, state, and tribal governments. Applications are due October 30, 2009.

To learn more, visit:

CDC Releases Grant Application for $373 Million Community Prevention initiative

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the new Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant program through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to increase physical activity, improve nutrition, decrease obesity, and decrease smoking in U.S. communities. The CDC will award $373 million in cooperative agreements to communities across the country, emphasizing high-impact, broad-reaching policy, environmental, and systems changes in schools (K-12) and communities.

Communities interested in applying for Communities Putting Prevention to Work grants can find more information at www.grants.gov. The application deadline for the community projects is Dec. 1, 2009. To learn more about the Communities Putting Prevention to Work public health initiative, visit

Bicycle Commuting Trends, 2000-2008

The League of American Bicyclists has produced a report based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey (ACS), released on September 22, 2009. The 2008 ACS finds that 0.55 percent of Americans use a bicycle as the primary means of getting to work. This is up 14 percent since 2007, 36 percent from the first ACS in 2005, and 43 percent since the 2000 Census. For the League’s full analysis of the report, visit http://www.bikeleague.org/blog/2009/10/bicycle-commuting-trends-2000-to-2008/.

Complete Streets surpasses 100 communities

The National Complete Streets Coalition announced that more than 100 jurisdictions across the United States have adopted Complete Streets policies. Policy adoption of Complete Streets grew with 28 new policies adopted so far in 2008, reaching the 100 mark in late August. Eighteen states now have some form of state-level Complete Streets policy, and 35 states are home to at least one policy at the city or regional level. Read the full news release at http://www.completestreets.org/policy/complete-streets-100th-policy-reception/.

Google to add pedestrian and bike trails to Street View, seeks suggestions

Google announced that it will bring its Street View application of Google Maps to new places like pedestrian malls and trails that cannot be reached by car. Google is taking suggestions about which U.S. routes to include in Street View until October 28, 2009. To learn more, visit: https://services.google.com/fb/forms/streetviewussuggestions/

House passes surface transportation extension

According to a September 23rd news release from the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, "A bill to extend federal surface transportation programs for three months beyond their scheduled September 30 expiration won the support of the House of Representatives today. By a vote of 335-85, the House approved and sent to the Senate H.R. 3617, a bill to extend the current surface transportation authorization through December 31." View the complete news release at

New Congressional Livable Communities Task Force

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D Ore.) announced on October 19 the House Democratic Caucus is reinstating the Livable Communities Task Force (LCTF).

The intention of the LCTF is to support federal policies that:

Full information on the LCTF and a current list of members can be found at the Web site www.blumenauer.house.gov/livablecommunities.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Issues in the News

The following is a brief compilation of pedestrian — and bicycle-related news stories from around the world. Web links to the following news stories are time sensitive, so some stories might not be accessible after the initial publication date without required registration.

Biking 'fastest growing' way to get around NYC
Council says OK to making city more walkable
Albert Lea Tribune
City touts 'bike friendliness' of rail
Honolulu Star Bulletin
Students receive free bicycles
State Hornet
Blue Cross announces sponsorship of new bike share program in Minneapolis
Toshiba develops advanced pedestrian detection system for cars
Crunch Gear
Pro: Sidewalks promote safety, healthy habits
Victoria Advocate
Living in the cycle lane
Red Deer Advocate
Oklahoma City MAPS out big plans
News OK
A day for rethinking our four-wheeled fixation
Washington Post
Concepts run wild at Dutch-American Bike Slam
New York Times
Queen Street West goes (mostly) carfree
Reinventing America: A Free-Wheeling City
Parade Magazine
Taking a snapshot of bike, pedestrian traffic
Downtown Journal, Minneapolis
MBTA likes bikes
WBZ Boston
How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road: To boost urban bicycling, figure out what women want
Scientific American
October 2009
Cyclesomatic: 10-day festival to celebrate bicycles in Dallas
Dallas News
ADOT's 'Be a Roll Model' campaign urges bike/pedestrian safety
Bike, pedestrian paths part of future at stations
Your Hub Denver
Portland seeks public input for 2030 bike plan
Oregon Live
Wheels for a revolution
The Temple News
Walking guru suggests ways community can be healthier
Lawrence Journal-World
Barack Obama Campaign Promise No. 486: Will seek more accommodations of bicycles and pedestrians
St. Petersburg Times Politifact.com
Research tells commuters: On your bike to lose weight
New Zealand Herald
Cities offer freedom from cars, green living
Today Show
Hybrid cars may include fake vroom for safety
New York Times
A solution for suburbs: Bypass the roads
On your bike: What the world can learn about cycling from Copenhagen
The Independent UK
Columbia City Council adds pedestrians, wheelchairs to bike law

Upcoming Pedestrian and Bicycle Events

APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition
Philadelphia, PA USA
Greenbuild International Conference and Expo 2009
Phoenix, AZ USA
Transportation Research Board 89th Annual Meeting
Washington, DC
9th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth
Seattle, WA
Active Living Research Annual Conference
San Diego, CA

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

730 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Campus Box 3430
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3430
Phone: 1.877.925.5245
Fax: 919.962.8710