Profile: Guide to Promoting Bicycling on Federal Lands

Guide Cover

Federal lands, including units of the National Park Service, National Forests, National Wildlife Refuges, and Bureau of Land Management lands are at a critical juncture. Increasing numbers of automobiles in some areas have led to congestion, poor air quality, damage to natural resources, and degraded visitor experience. At the same time, growth in the number of bicyclists on some of the most scenic roadways has led to motorist-bicyclist conflicts and concern for everyone's safety. Increased fuel costs and climate change have spawned efforts to reduce fuel consumption and minimize the "carbon footprint" of Federal land agencies. Sixty-one percent of adults in the United States are overweight or obese and childhood obesity rates are soaring. Bicycling networks are one part of the solution to these issues.

The Guide to Promoting Bicycling on Federal Lands provides guidance to Federal land managers on how to promote bicycling. Bicycling facilities are important transportation and recreation links to connect gateway communities, visitor centers, campgrounds, trailheads, and other attractions on Federal lands. This report presents benefits of bicycling, successful bicycling programs, policies that support bicycling, issues and challenges faced by land managers, and useful resources available to help meet these challenges. Bicycle transportation networks have significant positive impacts for the environment, health, and visitor experience on Federal lands. Federal land managers have the opportunity to serve as positive national role models by mainstreaming bicycling to create sustainable transportation networks.

Download a PDF of the full report.

PBIC researchers receive award for outstanding transportation research

HSRC Researchers

(Left to Right) Robert E. Skinner, Jr.; TRB, Jane Stutts; HSRC, Richard D. Blomberg; Dunlap and Associates, Inc., Lauren Marchetti; HSRC, Martin Levy; NHTSA, Charles Zegeer; HSRC, Yingling Fan; University of Minnesota, Libby Thomas; HSRC, Austin Brown; HSRC, Laura Sandt; HSRC, David Henderson; Miami-Dade Office of the County Manager, Robert Johns; University of Minnesota CTS.

PBIC researchers have received one of the six awards given by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) for outstanding published research in transportation safety. The Patricia F. Waller Award was presented on January 13, 2009, at the 88th Annual TRB Meeting in Washington, DC. Award winners were selected from approximately 2800 submitted papers from around the world. PBIC Director Charlie Zegeer and PBIC Associate Director Laura Sandt were among the recognized authors.

"Evaluation of the Miami-Dade Pedestrian Safety Demonstration Program" received the 2008 Patricia F. Waller Award for the outstanding paper in the field of safety and system users. The study aimed to implement a comprehensive program to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries in a large urban environment. Results of the program showed that the pedestrian safety program reduced countywide pedestrian crash rates by between 8.5 percent and 13.3 percent, depending on which control group was used.

Study authors include Charles V. Zegeer, Scott Vincent Masten, Lauren Marchetti, Laura S. Sandt, Austin Brown, Jane Stutts, and Libby J. Thomas, of the UNC Highway Safety Research Center; Richard D. Blomberg of Dunlap and Associates, Inc., Connecticut; David Henderson of the Miami-Dade Office of the County Manager; Martin M. Levy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and Yingling Fan of the University of Minnesota.

"Evaluation of the Miami-Dade Pedestrian Safety Demonstration Program" is published in the Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2084. For more information on the NHTSA-funded study Evaluation of the Miami-Dade Pedestrian Safety Demonstration Program, please download the final report (PDF 5.4 MB).

The Patricia F. Waller Award was established in 2004 in memory of Waller, a UNC professor who worked for nearly two decades as a researcher at the UNC Highway Safety Research Center.

PBIC updates case study compendium

The PBIC has updated its Case Study Compendium, a collection of all of the case studies developed by the PBIC and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. The case studies, or success stories, cover pedestrian and bicycle projects and programs from across the US and abroad, including engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, planning, health promotion, and comprehensive safety initiatives.

The PBIC also invites you to share your pedestrian or bicycle program's activities and successes with us. To submit a case study or share an idea, please email Laura Sandt at

Access the compendium PDF or search through the case studies.

Featured Case Study: Sunday Parkways: Helping Minority Communities Connect to Bicycling and Walking


In communities that lack a culture of physical activity, how can walking and bicycling become part of the solution to health issues? Effectively promoting bicycling, walking, and physical activity in Chicago's Latino and African-American communities is challenging unless advocates take the time to understand community issues and form partnerships.


HSRC Researchers

Along Douglas Blvd. in Chicago on October 26, 2008. Image: Katie Tully

Advocates at the Active Transportation Alliance (ATA; formerly Chicagoland Bicycle Federation) believe that a Sunday Parkways program can connect diverse communities to bicycling, walking, and physical activity. Inspired by Bogotá;, Colombia's successful Ciclovía, a Sunday Parkways event that closes a network of streets to cars for a few hours every Sunday, opening them up to everyone else: pedestrians, bicyclists, people in wheelchairs, skaters, etc.

In communities dealing with health, safety, and economic development problems, Sunday Parkways addresses all three. ATA recognizes that both cultural differences and issues specific to the five communities present barriers to successful Sunday Parkways:

Safety: The communities along the proposed route have gang activity, which prevents people from using parks, feeling safe on the street, and walking for recreation.

Language: Three of the five communities are mostly Latino. Language can be a barrier, as well as the way information is distributed. For example, digital media aren't very effective in lower-income neighborhoods. Spanish-language materials are critical.

Resources: There are no more than a handful of bicycle shops in the five combined communities, making it difficult for people to buy or service a bicycle.

Perception: Bicycling seems more like a recreational activity than a way to stay healthy. Making this connection can be a challenge.

Trust: Bicycling is sometimes viewed as a "white" sport or activity. Organizations from outside the community may not be welcome until they have shown themselves to be trustworthy and helpful.


HSRC Researchers

Dance aerobics at the Humboldt Park Activity Station. Image: Katie Tully

Effective work in ethnically diverse communities requires both an appreciation of their differences and insight into their similarities. In Chicago, African American neighborhoods may be affluent, middle class, or low income. Latino communities reflect residents' geographic origins. Humboldt Park, a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood, has a different culture than Little Village, a predominantly Mexican neighborhood. A liaison to Chicago's Latino communities should speak Spanish and know the dynamics of each neighborhood. To approach the African American community about a new project or initiative, ATA contacts churches and church leaders to gain access and support.

Strategies for promoting bicycling and physical activity:

Safety: ATA works with schools and community organizations to bring Safe Routes to School programs to these neighborhoods, guiding them through the process and assisting with funding applications.

Resources: Through funding from SRAM Corporation, ATA can offer mini-grants for community projects. The Chicago Community Bike Project was awarded funds for its Mobile Bike Shop, a self-contained bike shop mounted on a bike trailer. This shop travels to different events within ethnically diverse communities, offering free bicycle maintenance and teaching basic skills such as patching flats.

Another grant recipient is West Town Bikes (WTB), a community bicycle learning workshop that offers bicycle mechanics classes, youth programs and special events. The grant supports WTB's Build-a-Bike Youth Program for low-income, at-risk and minority youth in Chicago. The Active Living Logan Square Partnership also received grant funds to encourage more people to bicycle by creating a public exhibition with photos and stories that celebrate 40 diverse individuals from the Logan Square neighborhood who incorporate bicycling into their lives.

Health: ATA has worked hard to show the connection between walking, bicycling and health. In one program, ATA approached community clinics about disseminating "activity prescriptions" to patients. With the cooperation of physicians and clinicians, ATA dispensed approximately 10,000 activity prescriptions in clinics in Latino and African American communities. The prescriptions recommend free activities such as walking, bicycling and gardening, and list resources such as ATA, the park district and the YMCA.

Language: Program and resource information are printed in both English and Spanish. Finding the best way to distribute these resources is crucial. ATA puts information at the obvious places — libraries, schools and bike shops — but also at aldermen's offices, community centers, local businesses and laundromats.

Building trust: Community liaisons at the Active Transportation Alliance spend a lot of time inside targeted communities. A partnership with an established community organization can open doors to new groups of people and create a platform for talking about walking and bicycling.

ATA will do several evaluations to make the case that Sunday Parkways should be a city-owned and city-run event. One will focus on the amount of city services and staff required for the event. (If these numbers are low, the program will be more affordable.) The second will assess the number of participants and benefits to participants. ATA has approached several universities and presented Sunday Parkways as an opportunity to develop tools for measuring the number of people at a large event. Organizers have also asked for help developing surveys to evaluate participants' reactions.

Web Sites

Active Transportation Alliance,

Sunday Parkways

West Town Bikes

Sreetfilms video of Ciclovía


Adolfo Hernandez
Community Liaison
Active Transportation Alliance
9 W Hubbard, Suite 402
Chicago, IL. 60610

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 or

Countermeasures that Work: A Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for State Highway Safety Offices
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business
The Clean Air Partnership
Making Crosswalks Safer for Pedestrians: Application of a Multidisciplinary Approach to Improve Pedestrian Safety at Crosswalks in St. Petersburg, Florida
Center for Urban Transportation Research
Compilation of Pedestrian Devices in Use at Grade Crossings
Federal Railroad Administration
Pedestrian- and Transit-Friendly Design
Florida Department of Transportation and American Planning Association
Smart Mobility Framework: Phase I Report (Revised) Definition and Principles Workshop Summary
Caltrans and Environmental Protection Agency
Walk Wise, Drive Smart
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The Truth about Lane Widths
PBIC Case Study


Seattle updates bicycle master plan

The City of Seattle has released its new Bicycle Master Plan, a planning document that will be used to guide future improvements to Seattle's bicycle network. The focus for the master plan is on the evaluation of arterial streets for the implementation of bicycle facilities and to encourage more bicycling throughout the City of Seattle. Also included is a plan and schedule for completing the trails network such as the Burke-Gilman Trail.

To access the plan, please visit

Secretary LaHood Says that Livability Will Be a Focus

In January, Ray LaHood was confirmed as the new Secretary for the Department of Transportation. Livability appears is one of four focus areas for the new Secretary. At his Senate confirmation hearing he stated: "In our surface transportation programs, it implies a commitment to the principles that some refer to as livability; that is, investing in a way that recognizes the unique character of each community. The era of one-size-fits-all transportation projects must give way to one where preserving and enhancing unique community characteristics, be they rural or urban, is a primary mission of our work rather than an afterthought." Read the full testimony.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

President Obama has signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) that provides significant new funding for transportation infrastructure. Approximately $800 million within the ARRA is set aside for the Transportation Enhancement Program, which is one of the main sources of funding for walking and bicycling facilities.

For more information, please visit or

Pedestrian Safety — Report to Congress

The Report to Congress on Pedestrian Safety was developed by the Federal Highway Administration in accordance with requirements of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users.

Section 2003(e) requires the Secretary of Transportation to submit to Congress a comprehensive report on pedestrian safety that builds on the current level of knowledge of pedestrian safety countermeasures by identifying the most effective advanced technology and intelligent transportation systems. Section 2003(e) also requires that the report include recommendations on how new technological developments could be incorporated into educational and enforcement efforts and how they could be integrated into national design guidelines.

Access the full text of the report

MOU to Promote Public Health and Recreation

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Interior, Army, and Transportation signed a Memorandum of Understanding to Promote Public Health and Recreation. This MOU establishes a general framework to promote uses and benefits of the Nation's public lands and water resources to enhance the physical and mental health and well being of all Americans, through sound nutrition, physical activity, and recreation in America's great outdoors. According to the MOU, the "Federal Highway Administration will encourage the use of its funding programs to support projects that promote accessibility, walking, bicycling, safe routes to school and other highway safety programs, recreational trails, transportation enhancements, scenic byways, and access to recreation on Federal lands."

Access the MOU

ITE Councils Collaborate to Discuss Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodations at Freeway Ramps

The ITE Pedestrian/Bicycle and Traffic Engineering Councils co-sponsored an interactive workshop at the ITE Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA in August 2008. The workshop focused on accommodating bicycles and pedestrians at interchange on-ramps (specifically uncontrolled right turns). Facilitators selected several on-ramp "cases" and then found local examples of these cases (such as shared/thru, double right, etc.). The workshop resulted in a consensus of design recommendations to accommodate all modes.

Based on the high attendance and significant interest in Anaheim, the workshop format was repeated at the TRB Annual Meeting in Washington, DC in January 2009, this time focusing on off-ramps. Eventually these recommendations will likely become an ITE Webinar and/or informational report. Other ITE councils are considering similar interactive workshops as a way of engaging meeting attendees in discussions of practice consensus (rather than the conventional paper/presentation approach).

For more information or to suggest topics for future workshops, please email Meghan Mitman, Pedestrian/Bicycle Council Secretary, at ITE members are invited to the Council's new wiki page (access via: and then click on the PBC wiki link at the top right).

Annual Congress for New Urbanism set for June 2009

Congress for the New Urbanism Logo

The annual Congress for the New Urbanism is the nation's leading forum dedicated to advancing urbanism and promoting alternatives to sprawl. The conference is being held June 10-13, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. Attendees can expect to be able to:

For more information, please visit

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.

Bicycle-Related News

Chicago promising greenest Olympics in 2016 bid
USA Today
Green Valley recognized for excellence in bicycle safety
Green Valley News and Sun
City to create on-street bicycle parking
West Seattle Herald
Street Smarts: New bicycle light aims to set the night rider aglow
The Mercury News
Bike-sharing program coming to Denver
The Denver Post
Seattle mobility plan
New York City may require bike storage space in residences
More and more, Miami becomes a bike-friendly city
Miami Herald
City discussing sharrows on new transit mall

Pedestrian-Related News

Mayor Plans to Close Parts of Broadway to Traffic
New York Times
Caution: Walking and cell phones don't mix
National Public Radio
A history of "jaywalking"
West North
Cell phones pose danger in the crosswalk
ABC News
Dubai to build cycling and pedestrian tracks
Mapping out a plan for growth
The Washington Post
Streetfilms: Introducing the pedestrian peek-a-boo
OKI develops world's first DSRC inter-vehicle communication attachment for mobile phones to help pedestrian safety

Upcoming Ped/Bike Events

National Bike Summit 2009
3/10/2009 – 3/12/2009
Washington, D.C.
National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Legislative Conference
3/16/2009 – 3/18/2009
Washington, DC
6th Asia Pacific Conference on Transportation & Environment
3/18/2009 – 3/20/2009
Shanghai, OT China
Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) 2009 Technical Conference
3/22/2009 – 3/25/2009
Phoenix, AZ
Green East Expo & Conference 2009
3/26/2009 – 3/28/2009
New York, NY
Lifesavers 2009 Conference
3/29/2009 – 4/1/2009
Nashville, TN

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