Updated PBIC Image Library launched
In June 2009, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center launched the updated and redesigned pedestrian and bicycle Image Library at www.pedbikeimages.org. Following a successful initial promotion to encourage users to submit photos and be entered into weekly drawings to win PBIC retro-reflective bike pants straps, the Library now contains over 1400 images and continues to grow.
The PBIC Image Library is a searchable collection of free, high-quality images relating to walking and bicycling. Visitors to the site may use the images in any non-commercial projects including web pages, presentations, and reports. There are no per-image costs, royalties, or extra payments for the images, but users must adhere to the Usage Guidelines posted on the site at www.pedbikeimages.org/usage.cfm.
The updated site features hundreds of fresh images of people, transportation facilities, and livable places in the US and in more than 10 other countries. The images can be searched for using keywords, or users can browse by commonly "tagged" images. Users can also search for images from specific states or countries, photos taken by a particular photographer, or for a specific format or print quality.
Neighborhoods receive funding to improve pedestrian safety
Ten 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. The following community groups will each receive $2,000 in funding to implement their planned activities related to the guide:
- Live Healthy Nevada County, Grass Valley, CA: Planned activities include using walkability checklists to identify pedestrian safety issues and implementing safety education and outreach to schools.
- IONA Senior Services, Washington, DC: Planned activities include conducting a pedestrian safety audit coupled with publicity and education focused on senior pedestrians.
- New Visions Community Development Corporation, Fort Lauderdale, FL: Planned activities include hosting community forums, workshops and walkabouts along with educational outreach to community members.
- Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, New Orleans, LA: Planned activities include implementing small-scale engineering improvements, educational outreach to pedestrians, drivers and pedestrians as well as enforcement activities.
- Seward Redesign, Minneapolis, MN: Planned activities include developing engineering solutions, conducting educational activities surrounding safe behaviors, and hosting "Walk-to-Shop" events.
- City of Wabasha / Fit City Wabasha, Wabasha, MN: Planned activities include identifying and assessing walking routes as well as reviewing crash data and identifying pedestrian safety improvements.
- Swannanoa Community Vision Group, Swannanoa, NC: Planned activities include conducting surveys and walking audits to identify pedestrian safety issues, working with local businesses, transit and government representatives as well as developing a pedestrian safety master plan for the rural area.
- Old Towne, Columbus, OH: Planned activities include hosting a series of walking audits and workshops, analyzing crash data to develop priority pedestrian safety zones and the completion of a pedestrian safety plan.
- Collegeville Main Street Program, Collegeville, PA: Planned activities include installing pedestrian signage, coordinating with law enforcement and working with traffic engineers to address lighting and traffic calming.
- South of South Neighborhood Association, Philadelphia, PA: Planned activities include creating a pedestrian safety advisory committee, coordinating with law enforcement and encouraging pedestrian safety surrounding schools.
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 hope that this project will help us to better understand what information and resources community members need to have a positive impact on pedestrian safety in their neighborhoods, and to develop models for other communities to more effectively address their walkability concerns."
Funding for this project is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). HSRC received funding from NHTSA to work with communities to implement and evaluate the guide A Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities. 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 access a copy of the Resident's Guide, please go to: www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4163
To order a free copy of the guide, go to: safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_bike_order.cfm.
PBIC director participates in international scan of pedestrian and bicycle mobility
Roundabout in Lyngby, Denmark.
www.pedbikeimages.org / Ryan Snyder.
In May 2009, AASHTO and FHWA sponsored an international scan to survey ways to improve walking and bicycling safety and mobility. PBIC Director Charlie Zegeer was a member of a team of 12 transportation professionals with expertise in bicycling and walking from the U.S. that visited five countries in Europe.
Some of the countries visited, including Denmark, have experienced an increase in car use since the 1960s and 1970s, and subsequently reoriented their transportation policies to give priority to bicycling and walking. The scan team heard presentations from and had informal discussions with many foreign hosts. During most visits, the scan team also went on guided field visits (by bike as well as by foot) to better understand and experience the design and operation of various walking and bicycling facilities. These field visits were invaluable in documenting the facilities through photos and video, observing traffic behavior, and experiencing firsthand how well a design or operational strategy worked.
The purpose of this scan tour was to identify and assess effective approaches to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility. The specific topics of interest were:
- Improving Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety: Approaches (engineering, education, enforcement, and policy) that have been successful in improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
- Safe Routes to School Programs: Approaches and policies for improving safety for child pedestrians and bicyclists, especially those that support programs like Safe Routes to School.
- Monitoring Usage Levels and Exposure: Quantitative methods of monitoring pedestrian and bicyclist usage levels (for example, counts and surveys) and exposure to crashes.
- Safety Research and Evaluation: Recently completed or ongoing research and collaboration opportunities in pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
The scan team identified numerous possible approaches to improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility in the U.S. The scan team also prepared a list of implementation items for those approaches that should be pursued in the U.S. A summary report has been released. It provides a quick-response overview of the team's findings and recommendations. The report can be found on the PBIC Web site at www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4447.
DOT Secretary LaHood announces six "livability principles" to guide policy
In an announcement to Congress on June 16, 2009, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood listed six "Livability Principles" that will guide policy regarding Federal transportation, environmental protection, and housing investments. Secretary LaHood listed these principles to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs as the cornerstone of a new effort with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson.
Walkable residential area in Las Vegas, NV.
www.pedbikeimages.org / Dan Burden
The three Federal agencies are calling their collaboration the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The DOT-HUD-EPA Partnership aims to improve access to affordable housing, provide more transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment in communities nationwide. The six livability principles will guide the agencies' efforts, while the partnership will coordinate federal housing, transportation, and other infrastructure investments to protect the environment, promote equitable development, and help to address the challenges of climate change.
Speaking to the Senate committee, Secretary LaHood said, "These principles mean that we will all be working off the same playbook to formulate and implement policies and programs." Later that day, the Secretary posted additional comments to his blog at fastlane.dot.gov
The six livability principles are:
- Provide more transportation choices. Develop safe, reliable, and economical transportation choices to decrease household transportation costs, reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote public health.
- Promote equitable, affordable housing. Expand location- and energy-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities to increase mobility and lower the combined cost of housing and transportation.
- Enhance economic competitiveness. Improve economic competitiveness through reliable and timely access to employment centers, educational opportunities, services and other basic needs by workers, as well as expanded business access to markets.
- Support existing communities. Target federal funding toward existing communities—through strategies like transit oriented, mixed-use development, and land recycling—to increase community revitalization and the efficiency of public works investments and safeguard rural landscapes.
- Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment. Align federal policies and funding to remove barriers to collaboration, leverage funding, and increase the accountability and effectiveness of all levels of government to plan for future growth, including making smart energy choices such as locally generated renewable energy.
- Value communities and neighborhoods. Enhance the unique characteristics of all communities by investing in healthy, safe, and walkable neighborhoods—rural, urban, or suburban.
As with this new interagency approach to planning communities, the issues within the pedestrian and bicycle community cannot be seen as separate from the larger discussion of transportation modes and safety, housing choices, and environmental quality.
The PBIC Case Study Compendium is a resource that shows how real communities are solving real problems by involving all the stakeholders. The case studies, or success stories, cover pedestrian and bicycle projects and programs from across the U.S. and abroad, including engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, planning, health promotion, and comprehensive safety initiatives. Access the compendium PDF or search through the case studies by visiting www.walkinginfo.org/case_studies/.
The official news release from U.S. DOT regarding the new livability guidelines can be found at www.dot.gov/affairs/2009/dot8009.htm.
Featured Case Study: Livable Streets Plan, Raleigh, NC
The City of Raleigh needed an achievable action plan for the downtown that would support existing businesses, strengthen links with area neighborhoods, and provide a vision with clear goals.
The Livable Streets downtown plan came to fruition through the broad-based Livable Streets Partnership, comprised of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, the City of Raleigh, the State of North Carolina, Wake County, citizen and business interests, and public and private agencies. There were approximately 400 participants in all.
The group held openly public topic-centered work sessions to formulate goals and an action each month for a year. The City of Raleigh funded a study on streets, parking, way finding, and pedestrian needs that, among other diverse resources, were reviewed by partners and other participants as they explored new concepts for the downtown area.
A final four-day charrette process sorted the plan into a series of approximately 130 Actions and Strategies. Five primary actions were identified to be accomplished in the following five years, one of which was to "improve the pedestrian environment."
The pedestrian-oriented objectives included to:
- Make downtown accessible to everyone
- Recognize the wellbeing of people on foot as a top priority
- Balance the needs of pedestrians against those of the car
- Create an attractive, well-lit, safe environment that links office and residential uses to amenities such as restaurants, museums, and other venues
Numerous recommendations were detailed in a Downtown Raleigh Pedestrian Design Toolkit (Matin/Alexiou/Bryson, PLLC in association with Toole Design). Strategies included converting one-way streets to two-way operation with more space for bike lanes, sidewalks, or medians; installing street furniture; requiring pedestrian-oriented ground level uses with detailed facades; improving lighting; installing curb extensions, refuges and other measures to improve pedestrian comfort at mid-block crossing and intersections; providing a variety of seating areas near common gathering places; and more.
Funding and in-kind contributions came in part through a wide variety of sponsors including local and national financial institutions, real estate associates, energy corporations, and other business and nonprofit organizations. Costs for consultant work totaled $435,000.
The planning process took just over a year before the plan was approved by the City Council in May of 2003. All top five priorities are in the process of being implemented. As of 2006, several streets already underwent redevelopment into two-way streets with significant improvements for pedestrian safety and comfort.
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.
ADA Transition Plans: A Guide to Best Management Practices
The National Academies, National Academy of Sciences, National Cooperative Highway Research Program
Cycling and the Built Environment, A U.S. Perspective
Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Pedestrian-Vehicular Crashes: The Influence of Personal and Environmental Factors
University of Maryland
Transportation-Efficient Land Use Mapping Index (TELUMI)
Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
A Matched Case-Control Study Evaluating the Effectiveness of Speed Humps in Reducing Child Pedestrian Injuries
American Journal of Public Health
Blind Pedestrians at Unfamiliar Signalized Intersections
Transportation Research Board
Input sought for update to AASHTO Pedestrian Guide
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program of TRB has contracted with Toole Design Group to develop an outline of the scope and content of the next edition of the AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities. The Guide was first published in 2004, however much of the content was written several years earlier. In the years since, many advances in pedestrian planning, design and operation have been made.
The new Guide will reflect this progress. As a part of the project, we are asking practitioners to give us their opinions about what should change about the Pedestrian Guide. Even if you are only an occasional user of the Guide, your opinions are valuable and will ensure that the next Guide contains information that is needed. Please participate in the survey by accessing http://tinyurl.com/AASHTO-Ped-Guide.
Transportation Alternatives announces PSA video and photo competition promoting civic cycling
Transportation Alternatives has launched a "Biking Rules" Public Service Announcement and Photo Competition. Its goal is to develop viral media that will carry the message of civic cycling to NYC's 185,000 cyclists and beyond. The competition has two categories: videos and photos that promote cycling in New York City, as well as video and photos that convey one of the tenets of the Biking Rules "Street Code," such as yielding to pedestrians and keeping off the sidewalk. Biking Rules is a multimedia campaign, centered on an interactive Web site (bikingrules.org).
Winning submissions will receive up to a $4,000 cash prize and premiere at the inaugural Biking Rules Film Festival in October. The program is funded by generous grants from the JM Kaplan Fund and the Independence Community Foundation. The deadline for entries is August 31, 2009. Submissions are now being received at http://bikingrules.org/PSA.
Alliance for Biking & Walking grants $125,000 to start-up organizations and innovative campaigns
The Alliance for Biking & Walking is awarding seven grants totaling over $125,000 to grassroots biking and walking advocacy organizations. The Advocacy Advance Grants will be used to jump-start emerging advocacy organizations and to fund innovative campaigns with the potential to dramatically increase biking and walking. These grants are a part of the Advocacy Advance Partnership with the League of American Bicyclists. Full press release and application details are available.
New Resource: How much can I save bicycling to work?
The financial Web site Kiplinger.com has developed an online tool to calculate how much users can save of their personal finances by choosing to ride their bicycles to work. Check it out at www.kiplinger.com/tools/bike/.
IRS Bicycle Commuter Act provides cyclists reimbursement for riding to work
On January 1, 2009, the qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement was added to the list of qualified transportation fringe benefits covered in section 132 (f) of the Internal Revenue Service Code.
Any employer, if they chose to do so, may provide a reimbursement of up to $20 per month for reasonable expenses incurred by the employee in conjunction with their commute to work by bike.
The League of American Bicyclists answers FAQ's about the how to take advantage of the Act, and has prepared reimbursement cards to present to your employer. Information is available at www.bikeleague.org/resources/commuters/reimbursement_cards.php.
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.
- Puyallup looks to improve walkability in city
- Tacoma News Tribune
- Algonquin turns to counties to make road pedestrian-friendly
- Suburban Chicago Daily Herald
- Stimulus money could pilot Boulder bike-share program
- Boulder Daily Camera
- More people walking, biking, riding the bus to Metro stations
- Greater Greater Washington
- Philadelphia named Bicycle Friendly City
- Philadelphia Weekly Press
- Bike Mentors program reaches out to Charlottesville city employees
- Charlottesvill C-Ville
- Officials want bike-friendly status
- Columbus Dispatch
- Benefits of biking to work keep adding up
- Snohomish improves pedestrian safety near schools
- Snohomish Times
- Lemoyne waves flags for pedestrian safety
- Pittsburgh becomes increasingly bike friendly
- Pittsburgh Tribune
- Walkable community helps keep you active
- USA Weekend
- In a reprise, Saturdays with zones free of cars
- New York Times
- Kirkland making walkability a top priority
- Northwest News and Weather
- Boise city leaders plan to form Bicycle Safety Response Team
- Boise 2 News
- Portland weighs bike sharing again, plans 2 demos
- Seattle Times
- Naples seeks bicycle-friendly status
- Naples News
- Bill signed to protect bikers from motor vehicles
- LSU Reveille
- Walkability surveyed
- Ludington Daily News
- Safety: Helmet laws for cyclists are effective
- The New York Times
- North Carolina Beefs Up Policy
- North Carolina Cyclist who led others is killed
- League of American Bicyclists
- With sharrows and bike lanes, Iowa City carves biker-friendly image
- The Daily Iowan
- Push for pole-less meters has cyclists circling
- The Associated Press
Upcoming Pedestrian and Bicycle Events
- 2nd Safe Routes to School National Conference: "Two Steps Ahead"
- Portland, OR
- Promoting Environmental and Policy Change to Support Healthy Aging
- Chapel Hill, NC
- 2009 National Highway Data Workshop and Conference (HiDaC)
- Oakland, CA
- Walk21 Conference 2009
- New York, NY
- 2009 AMPO Annual Conference
- Savannah, GA