Walkability Improvements

Strategies to Make Walking Convenient, Safe and Pleasant


TDM Encyclopedia

Victoria Transport Policy Institute


Updated 15 April 2015

This chapter describes various ways to improve walking conditions and encourage pedestrian transportation.




Walkability reflects overall walking conditions in an area (Evaluating NMT). Walkability takes into account the quality of pedestrian facilities, roadway conditions, land use patterns, community support, security and comfort for walking. Walkability can be evaluated at various scales. At a site scale, walkability is affected by the quality of pathways, building accessways and related facilities. At a street or neighborhood level, it is affected by the existence of sidewalks and crosswalks, and roadway conditions (road widths, traffic volumes and speeds). At the community level it is also affected by land use Accessibility, such as the relative location of common destinations and the quality of connections between them.


The Important Roles Non-Motorized Modes Play In A Modern Transport System

Non-motorized transport (walking, cycling and their variants) plays important and unique roles in an efficient transport system:

·         Walking is a nearly universal human activity that provides mobility, exercise and pleasure.

·         Typically 10-20% of trips are entirely by non-motorized modes, and most motorized trips involve non-motorized links, to access public transit and between parked cars and destinations. Parking lots, transport terminals, airports, and commercial centers are all pedestrian environments. Improving non-motorized is often one of the most effective ways of improving motorized transport.

·         Walking and cycling provide affordable, basic transport. Physically, economically and socially disadvantaged people often rely on walking and cycling, so improving non-motorized transport can help achieve social equity and economic opportunity objectives.

·         Active transport is the most common form of physical exercise. Increasing walking and cycling is often the most practical way to improve public fitness and health.

·         Non-motorized modes can achieve transport planning objectives including reduced traffic and parking congestion, energy consumption and pollution emissions. They can also help achieve land use planning objectives, such as urban redevelopment and more compact “smart growth” development.

·         Pedestrian environments (sidewalks, paths and hallways) are a major portion of the public realm. Many beneficial activities (socializing, waiting, shopping and eating) occur in pedestrian environments, and so are affected by their quality. Shopping districts and resort communities depend on walkable environments to attract customers.

·         Walking and cycling are popular recreational activities. Improving walking and cycling conditions provides enjoyment and health benefits to users, and it can support related industries, including retail, recreation and tourism.



Even affluent people often want to walk and bicycle for transportation and recreation. In many situations the best way to improve urban transport is to improve walking and cycling conditions and restrict automobile travel. Even if travel speeds do not increase, this improves the convenience, comfort and affordability of access to destinations.



There are many specific ways to improve walkability (ITE 2010; UTTIPEC 2009). Major categories include:


·         Improved the quantity, quality and connectivity of sidewalks, crosswalks and paths.


·         Improved Nonmotorized Facility Management and Maintenance, including reducing conflicts between users and maintaining cleanliness.


·         Universal Design (transportation systems that accommodate special needs, including people using wheelchairs, walkers, strollers and hand carts).


·         Provide pedestrian countdown signals, which indicate how many seconds are left in the walk phase.


·         Create Pedways, which are enclosed urban walkway networks that connect buildings and transportation terminals. Provide covered walkways, loading and waiting areas, with shade from hot sun and protection from rain.


·         Improve pedestrian Accessibility by creating Location-Efficient, Clustered, mixed land use patterns, with good road and path Connectivity, and pedestrian-oriented buildings, reflecting New Urbanist design principles.


·         Develop Transportation Access Guides, which provide concise information for accessing a destination by walking, cycling and public transit, and facilities and services for people with special mobility needs.


·         Concentrate more activities into walkable Commercial Centers.


·         Street furniture and pedestrian facilities (e.g., benches, pedestrian-oriented street light, public washrooms, etc.).


·         Design in a pedestrian scale, with shorter blocks, narrower streets, pedestrian-oriented buildings and street furniture.


·         Create more Livable communities and more pedestrian-oriented Streetscapes.


·         Traffic Calming, Speed Reductions, Complete Streets Policies, Streetscape Improvements and Vehicle Restrictions.


·         Road Space Reallocation to increase the portion of public rights-of-way devoted to sidewalks.


·         Active Transportation Encouragement programs.


·         Address Pedestrian Security Concerns.


·         Use Multi-Modal Level-of-Service Indicators to evaluate walkability problems and negative impacts on pedestrian travel that can result from wider roads and increased motor vehicle traffic volumes and speeds.



Wit and Humor

Involvement of pedestrians in traffic is a major consideration in highway planning and design. Pedestrians are a part of every roadway environment, and attention must be paid to their presence in rural as well as urban areas. The urban pedestrian, being far more prevalent, more often influences roadway design features than the rural pedestrian does. Because of the demands of vehicular traffic in congested urban areas, it is often extremely difficult to make adequate provisions for pedestrians. Yet this must be done, because pedestrians are the lifeblood of our urban areas, especially in the downtown and other retail areas. In general, the most successful shopping sections are those that provide the most comfort and pleasure for pedestrians.

Policy On Geometric Design Of Highways And Streets – American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (www.aashto.org), 1994.



These modes provide both recreation (they are an end in themselves) and transportation (they provide access to goods and activities), although users may consider a particular trip to serve both (users choose a nonmotorized mode, although it takes longer, because they enjoy the activity).


Pedestrian facilities (sidewalks and paths) must accommodate many uses and types of users. People walk alone, in groups, walk pets, push strollers and carts, run, skate, stop to gaze and talk, play and eat on sidewalks and paths. Many paths also accommodate scooters and bicycles. Different uses and users require different amounts of space. Although a person walking alone may only need 18-24 inches of width, other users and uses require more space. A couple walking side-by-side, a person in a wheelchair or pushing a cart, a runner or bicyclist all require more space. In addition, sidewalks and paths contain various types of “furniture” such as signposts, parking meters, mail boxes, garbage cans and sometimes café seating. When people pass each other or an object on the path, they require adequate shy distance. Although a sidewalk or path may have a generous nominal width, its functional width may be much smaller due to various types of obstacles within its right-of-way. A sidewalk or path should be designed and Managed to accommodate various uses and users, taking into account actual uses and conditions.


Defining “Walkable Community”

By Dan Burden of Walkable Communities (www.walkable.org).


A “walkable community” is designed for people, to human scale, emphasizing people over cars, promoting safe, secure, balanced, mixed, vibrant, successful, healthful, enjoyable and comfortable walking, bicycling and human association. It is a community that returns rights to people, looks out especially for children, seniors and people with disabilities and takes aggressive action to reduce the negative impacts of sixty-plus years of auto-centric design and uncivil driving practices. It is also a community that emphasizes economic recovery of central neighborhoods, promotes the concepts of recovering and transforming suburban sprawl into meaningful villages, and especially takes ownership and action to protect and preserving open space.


A walkable community, like a livable community, smart growth community, or sustainable community, makes a neighborhood, hamlet, village, town, city or metropolis into a place where many people walk, ride bicycles and use transit, and where anyone who drives a car moderates their behavior in a way where they take nothing from the rights of those who wish to stay healthy and active by taking part in activities outside the car.


A walkable community is one that is old, historic, well worn, restored sensibly and worthy of protection. A walkable community is one that is compact, new, fresh, invigorating and teaming with people enjoying their streets, parks, plazas, buildings and other physical space.



How it is Implemented

Walkability improvements are usually implemented by local governments, sometimes with funding and technical support of regional or state/provincial transportation agencies (EC 2009; ITE 2010; UTTIPEC 2009). It usually begins with Nonmotorized Planning to identify problems and prioritize projects (Nabors, et a., 2007; Leather, et al. 2011). Implementation may require special funds, either shifting funds within existing transportation, a new budget allocation, or grants.


Improving roadway network Walkability often begins with Complete Streets policies which recognize that roadways often serve diverse functions including recreational walking, socializing, vending, and nearby living, which must be considered and balanced in roadway design and management. Some Walkability Improvements involve land use, street design and community livability features that create communities that are more attractive for walking, but are not necessarily considered pedestrian improvements. For example, improved roadway Connectivity benefits motorists and cyclists as well as pedestrians.



Travel Impacts

Walkability improvements can substitute directly for automobile trips. Walking improvements also support Public Transit and Ridesharing. A relatively short nonmotorized trip often substitutes for a longer car trip. For example, a shopper might choose between walking to a small local store, and driving a longer distance to shop at a supermarket. Walkability improvements are critical to Smart Growth, New Urbanism, and Transit Oriented Development, which can result in significant reductions in per-capita motor vehicle trips (Land Use Impacts on Transportation). Frank, et al. (2011) provides a model that can be used to predict how specific pedestrian improvements are likely to affect travel activity.


Sciara, Handy and Boarnet (2011) summarize research on the effects of pedestrian improvements and encouragement programs on travel activity. It indicates that communities that improve nonmotorized travel conditions often experience significant increases in nonmotorized travel and reductions in vehicle travel. One study found that residents in a pedestrian friendly community walked, bicycled, or rode transit for 49% of work trips and 15% of their non-work trips, 18- and 11-percentage points more than residents of a comparable automobile oriented community (Cervero and Radisch 1995). Another study found that walking is three times more common in a community with pedestrian friendly streets than in otherwise comparable communities that are less conducive to foot travel (Moudon, et al. 1996).


Research by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC 2008) compared walking mode split in various Puget Sound (Seattle, Washington area) urban neighborhoods. It found the highest proportion of pedestrian trips (18%) in areas where paths are relatively more direct to nearby retail and recreational destinations on foot than by car. Areas with high levels of both pedestrian and vehicle connectivity have about 14% pedestrian mode share, and those with poor pedestrian connectivity have the lowest proportion (10%) of pedestrian trips. These results suggest that the relative connectivity of pedestrian and vehicular modes is an important predictor of the choice to walk. The study found that, all else being equal, compared with conventional urban streets:

·         A Fused Grid increases home-based walking trips by 11.3%.

·         A Fused Grid is associated with a 25.9% increase in the odds residents will meet the recommended level of physical activity through local walking.

·         A 10% increase in relative pedestrian continuity (network density) associates with a 9.5% increase in odds of walking.

·         A Fused Grid’s 10% increase in relative connectivity for pedestrians is associated with a 23% decrease in vehicles miles of local travel.



International studies find significant differences in non-motorized travel patterns, as illustrated in the table below. High levels of non-motorized travel in such geographically diverse communities, and lower levels in otherwise similar areas, indicate that transport policies and community attitudes are more important than geography or climate in determining nonmotorized travel.


Table 1          Mode Split in Urban Areas (Pucher and Lefevre 1996)



































































The amount of walking and cycling varies significantly from one city to another.



Loukopoulos and Gärling (2005) find that on average people will drive rather than walk for a distance over 1,236 meters, with higher walking thresholds for women, and people who frequently walk, and lower values for more difficult walking conditions and people who frequently drive. The authors conclude that improving walking conditions and marketing campaigns can decrease the frequency of short automobile trips. Many communities have significant latent demand for pedestrian travel, that is, people would walk more frequently if they had suitable facilities and resources (ABW 2010). The table below summarizes a Canadian public survey indicating high levels of interest in cycling and walking.


Table 2          Active Transportation Survey Findings (Environics 1998)




Currently use this mode for leisure and recreation.



Currently use this mode for transportation.



Would like to use this mode more frequently.



Would cycle to work if there “were a dedicated bike lane which would take me to my workplace in less than 30 minutes at a comfortable pace.”





Support for additional government spending on bicycling facilities.



This survey indicates a high level of interest in cycling and walking.



Some TDM studies conclude that walking improvements have little impact on overall vehicle travel (Apogee 1994), because they only consider commute trips that can shift directly to nonmotorized modes, with no changes in destinations or land use, and no recognition that walkability improvements are important for increasing Transit and Rideshare travel. Potential travel impacts are much greater if Pedestrian Improvements are part of Smart Growth development practices that increase Accessibility, for example, by locating schools and shops within residential neighborhoods. Walkability improvements around worksites can increase transit and rideshare use, because without these employees may feel the need to have a car to run errands during breaks.


Travel surveys and traffic counts usually under-record nonmotorized trips, because they ignore or undercount short trips, non-work travel, travel by children, recreational travel, and nonmotorized links (Litman 2010). For example, trips that are classified as “auto” or “transit” trips are often actually “walk-auto-walk,” or “walk-bus-walk” trips, yet the walking component is not usually counted, even if it takes place on a roadway. One study found that the actual number of nonmotorized trips is six times greater than what conventional surveys indicate (Forsyth, Krizek and Agrawal 2010; Pike 2011).


In recent years several evaluation tools have been developed to predict demand for pedestrian travel, evaluate walking conditions and predict the effects of walkability improvements (Evaluating Nonmotorized Transport). Surveys can ask users to rate walking conditions, the barriers they face, and the degree that walking and cycling improvements affect non-motorized travel activity (Leather, et al. 2011; Turner, et al. 2011).


Table 3          Travel Impact Summary




Reduces total traffic.



Reduces peak period traffic.



Shifts peak to off-peak periods.



Shifts automobile travel to alternative modes.



Improves access, reduces the need for travel.


Supports higher-density, mixed land use.

Increased ridesharing.



Increased public transit.


Pedestrian access affects public transit use.

Increased cycling.



Increased walking.



Increased Telework.



Reduced freight traffic.



Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.



Benefits And Costs

Nonmotorized transportation provides a number of benefits and costs (Litman 2013; NZTA 2010).


Mobility Benefits (Evaluating Transportation Choice)

Improved nonmotorized transport conditions increase travel choice and mobility, which particularly benefits non-drivers. Walking tends to be one of the most Affordable transportation modes. People who are transportation disadvantaged often rely heavily on nonmotorized transportation, for trips made entirely by walking, and to access transit. Pedestrian transportation provides Basic Mobility, particularly Universal Design improvements.


TDM Benefits

Shifts from driving to walking can reduce congestion, road and parking facility costs, consumer costs, and pollution emissions (Litman, 1999). It can be particularly effective at reducing many costs because it most often substitutes for short automobile trips in higher density urban areas where the per-mile costs of driving tend to be highest. Nonmotorized transportation supports other alternative modes (public transit and ridesharing), and Smart Growth land use objectives, including higher density, mixed-use development to increase access, and reduce per capita pavement.


Safety and Health Benefits

Although nonmotorized modes have relatively high per mile casualty rate, this is offset by reduced risk to other road users, and by the fact that pedestrians and cyclists tend to travel less overall than motorists. International research suggests that shifts to nonmotorized transport result in overall increases in Road Safety. For example, the Netherlands has a high level of nonmotorized transport. Pedestrian fatalities per billion km walked are less than a tenth as high as in the United States (Pucher and Dijkstra 2000). Walking provides significant aerobic fitness Health and Fitness benefits. According to one major study, “Regular walking and cycling are the only realistic way that the population as a whole can get the daily half hour of moderate exercise which is the minimum level needed to keep reasonably fit.” (Physical Activity Task Force 1995).


Ernst and Shoup (2009) identify specific ways to improve nonmotorized travel safety. There is some debate over the safety benefits of some pedestrian improvement strategies, particularly marked crosswalks (Zegeer, et al, 2004). In response, some communities are taking measures to insure that such facilities are designed to maximize safety (Hefferan and Lagerwey 2004).


The New Zealand Transport Agency Economic Evaluation Manual includes specific procedures for evaluating walking and pedestrian improvements. It applies a benefit factor of $2.70/km to new or safer pedestrian trips, and $1.45/km for new or safer cycling trips (NZTA 2010, Vol. 2, p. 8-11).



Streets that are attractive, safe and suitable for walking are a key factor in community livability. Pedestrian-friendly streets create opportunities for people to meet and interact, helping to create community networks.


Recreation Benefits

Many people enjoy walking and the healthy exercise it provides. Walking is one of the most common forms of physical recreation. Some people argue that transportation funding should not be spent on recreational walking facilities, yet a significant portion of motor vehicle travel is for recreation. It makes no sense to refuse funding for a path, yet fund roadway capacity so motorists can drive to a healthclub where they walk a treadmill or pedal a stationary bike. This suggests that both transportation and recreational funding can be devoted to nonmotorized improvements.


Economic Development

Walkability improvements provide economic savings and benefits, which are reflected in higher property values in more walkable communities. In several case studies, improving walking conditions in a community significantly increased retail sales and property values. Leinberger and Lynch (2014) find that U.S. urban regions with more walkable developments in both city centers and suburbs tend to attract more educated workers and have greater economic productivity than more automobile-dependent cities. Cortright (2009) evaluated the effects of walkability on housing prices using the used Walkscore (www.walkscore.com) and 95,000 real estate transactions, controlling for house (size, number of bedrooms and baths, age) and neighborhood characteristics (proximity to the CBD, income, and accessibility to jobs). He found that walkability had a statistically significant, positive impact on housing values. In a typical metropolitan area, each walkscore point increase was associated with a $700 to $3000 increase in home values, after controlling for other observable factors, so for example, that all else held constant, shifting from a 50th to a 75th percentile walkscore increases a house’s value between $4,000 and about $34,000, depending on the market. The researchers conclude that these results reflect the value consumers attach to walkable neighborhoods, which tend to be denser, mixed use neighborhoods with good accessibility, including transit service.


Similarly, in analysis of Washington DC neighborhoods, Leinberger and Alfonzo (2012) found that as the number of urban design features that facilitate walkability and attract pedestrians increase, so do office, residential, and retail rents, retail revenues, and for-sale residential values. For example, a place with good walkability, on average, commands $302 per month more in residential rents and has for-sale residential property values of $82/sq. ft. more relative to the place with fair walkability, holding household income levels constant.


There is often debate about the economic development impacts of pedestrian improvements such as wider sidewalks, enforcement of restrictions on sidewalk encroachment and activity (such as use of sidewalk space by vendors and cafes), restrictions on automobile travel and parking, and Car-Free planning in commercial areas. Merchants often assume that such policies and programs negatively impact local retail sales. However, various case studies indicate that improving commercial area walkability tends to increase business activity (Tolley 2011).


Pedestrian Malls and Districts

Pedestrianized commercial districts can support urban revitalization and economic development by creating a lively and friendly environment that attracts residents and visitors, although they must be carefully implemented to be effective (Rodriguez 2010; Tolley 2011). Some are closed to motor vehicle traffic altogether, at least during certain time periods such as evenings or weekends, while others allow automobile traffic but use traffic calming design strategies to control traffic speeds and volumes. Success varies depending on specific conditions. Many pedestrian-only commercial streets created in North American towns and cities during the 1970s failed to attract customers, and many were subsequently reopened to automobile travel, but others thrived, particularly in resort communities or as part of overall downtown redevelopment. Below are guidelines for creating successful pedestrianized streets and districts:

·         It is generally better to calm vehicle traffic and improve non-motorized conditions throughout an area, than to let high speed and volume motor vehicle traffic dominate except on a token pedestrian street.

·         Pedestrian areas require a critical mass of users. They should be both a destination and a thoroughfare that connects diverse attractions (housing, shops, offices, etc.). Encourage development that attracts a broad range of customers and clients, including retail, housing, education and employment. Apartments and offices can often be located over shops.

·         Develop a pleasant environment, with greenery, shade and amenities. Building features and street furniture should be pedestrian scale and attractive. Maintain high standards for security, cleanliness and physical maintenance. Minimize blank building walls.

·         Allow motor vehicles as required for access, with appropriate restrictions based on need, time and vehicle type. This may include unrestricted motor vehicle traffic during morning hours, transit vehicles, resident and hotel pickup, service and emergency vehicles, or other appropriate categories.

·         Pedestrian streets should be located in pedestrian-friendly areas with good access to public transit and parking. Slow and restrict vehicle traffic on cross-streets.

·         Develop a variety of artistic, cultural and recreational amenities (statues, fountains, playgrounds) and activities (concerts, fairs, markets). Highlight historical features.


Mark Byrnes (2012), “The Uncertain Legacy of America's Pedestrian Malls,” Atlantic Cities (www.theatlanticcities.com); at www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/05/uncertain-legacy-americas-pedestrian-malls/1929.


Rodney Tolley (2011), Good For Busine$$ - The Benefits Of Making Streets More Walking And Cycling Friendly, Heart Foundation South Australia (www.heartfoundation.org.au); at www.heartfoundation.org.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/GoodforBusinessFINAL_Nov.pdf.




Costs are generally associated with program expenses and facility improvements.


Table 4          Benefit Summary




Congestion Reduction


Reduces automobile use.

Road & Parking Savings


Reduces automobile use.

Consumer Savings


Provides affordable mobility.

Transport Choice


Increases travel choices.

Road Safety


Reduces automobile use. Also provides health benefits.

Environmental Impacts


Reduces automobile use, particularly high-polluting short trips.

Land Use Impacts


Supports higher-density development.

Community Livability


Reduces motor vehicle traffic and increases local access.

Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.



Wit and Humor

Why does your nose run, and your feet smell?



Equity Impacts

Since nearly everybody walks, walkability improvements can benefit nearly everybody, although some people benefit more than others from a particular policy or project. Walkability improvements in general, and Universal Design improvements in particular, are particularly important for providing Basic Access and insuring opportunity to who are transportation disadvantaged. Grayling, et al (2001) show that pedestrian safety improvements are particularly beneficial to economically and socially disadvantaged communities.


Improving walking conditions often requires public resources (money and land devoted to sidewalks and paths), but these costs are usually less than the public costs of an automobile trip. Litman (1998) describes how people who drive less than average overpay their share of local transportation expenditures, since their local taxes fund roadway expenses that are primarily needed for the sake of automobile traffic, so increased funding for nonmotorized transportation is often justified for the sake of horizontal equity. Lower-income and transportation disadvantaged people often rely heavily on nonmotorized transportation, and so benefit significantly by nonmotorized improvements. Pedestrian transportation is often critical for providing Basic Mobility.


Table 5          Equity Summary




Treats everybody equally.


Almost everybody walks.

Individuals bear the costs they impose.


Requires public resources, but usually less than costs for automobile trips.

Progressive with respect to income.


Lower income people often rely on walking.

Benefits transportation disadvantaged.


Transport disadvantaged often rely on walking.

Improves basic mobility.


Walking provides basic mobility.

Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.




Nonmotorized transportation improvements are particularly important in areas with high levels of walking and cycling, higher-density commercial and residential areas, and resort areas. Universal Design improvements are particularly important in areas where people with disabilities frequently travel. Nonmotorized improvements are provided primarily by regional and local governments, sometimes with federal and state/provincial support. Businesses can provide sidewalks and other walkability improvements.


Table 6          Application Summary





Large urban region.


Federal government.


High-density, urban.


State/provincial government.


Medium-density, urban/suburban.


Regional government.




Municipal/local government.


Low-density, rural.


Business Associations/TMA.


Commercial center.


Individual business.


Residential neighborhood.




Resort/recreation area.


Neighborhood association.






Ratings range from 0 (not appropriate) to 3 (very appropriate).




Improves Transport Choice



Relationships With Other TDM Strategies

Nonmotorized Planning and Managing Nonmotorized Facilities are often the first step toward improving walkability. Pedestrian transportation supports most other TDM strategies, particularly Transit and Ridesharing, and Smart Growth. Universal Design means that nonmotorized transportation improvements accommodate a wide range of users, including people with disabilities. It is supported by Commute Trip Reduction programs, Parking Management, Transportation Access Guides, Traffic Calming, New Urbanism, and Transit Oriented Development. Least Cost Planning and Institutional Reforms can help increase public support for non-motorized transport improvements. Address Security Concerns can be an important part of improving walkability.




Pedestrian transportation improvements are usually implemented by local or regional governments, sometimes with state or provincial transportation agency support. Some measures, such as sidewalks and paths, are partly implemented by businesses and developers.



Barriers To Implementation

Walkability improvements are often limited by professional practices and funding that favors motorized modes, and development practices that result in lower-density, single-use land use patterns.


Walkability Performance Indicators

By Dan Burden of Walkable Communities (www.walkable.org)


1.  What portion of children walk to school on a pleasant day?

This is easily performed by surveying students in school. The survey is repeated each year on a similar day with similar weather conditions. This indicator shows whether favored modes of home-to-school travel is increasing or decreasing.


2. What is the furthest distance pedestrians must walk to cross a major commercial street, school zone, and any other streets worthy of monitoring at a designated crossing? 

This is easily performed, conducted with aerial maps and field surveys. This can also often be done with volunteer support, perhaps with a staff person providing materials and guidance.


3. What percentage of pedestrians make legal crossings of key intersections, particularly on major commercial streets and school access routes?

This can be performed with field surveys conducted during prime walking hours, in which observers evaluate and record pedestrian crossing behavior.


4. What percentage of motorists drive appropriate speeds on key streets, particularly on major commercial streets and school access routes.

 This should focus on whether traffic speeds are appropriate for adjacent land use and ambient conditions, not simply whether they reflect posted speed limits. As a general guide, commercial districts, schools and parks should be located on streets with 25 mph maximum speeds.


5. What number and percentage of unescorted children, older people, and people with disabilities are seen on commercial streets?

This qualitative measure indicates how comfortable, friendly, safe, secure and welcoming streets feels to vulnerable people. Such surveys can be conducted at various times and with various weather conditions.


6. What number of people walk or ride bikes across key bridges, or other choke points into downtown during a 2 hour period?

This is a helpful indicator of how walking and bicycling are increasing or decreasing in mode share. This survey should be performed during both peak and off-peak periods. Counts should indicate the portion of unescorted children, older people, and people with disabilities using the.


7. What number and diversity of people walk or ride bikes through an important trail junction during a two hour period?

This is a helpful indicator of the usefulness and quality of nonmotorized facilities. This survey should be performed during both peak and off-peak periods. Counts should indicate the portion of unescorted children, older people, and people with disabilities using the.



Best Practices

A number of guides and resources including Zeeger, et al (2002) and EC (2009) provide information on best practices for improving walkability and encouraging walking (Nonmotorized Planning). These include:

·         Integrate nonmotorized planning into all transport and land use planning activities.

·         Educate all transportation professionals in nonmotorized transportation planning principles.

·         Fund nonmotorized planning at a comparable rate as other travel modes.

·         Insure that all roadways are suitable for walking unless it is specifically prohibited and suitable alternatives are available.

·         Use current planning practices and design standards, including Universal Design.

·         Include nonmotorized travel in transportation surveys and models.

·         Create pedestrian-oriented centers and neighborhoods.

·         Perform user surveys to identify problems and barriers to pedestrian travel.

·         Use Traffic Calming and other traffic control measures to make street environments safer and more pleasant for walking.


Wayfinding Is Not Signage: Signage Plays An Important Part Of Wayfinding – But There's More

By John Muhlhausen, Signs of the Times magazine


Even though signage plays an important role in wayfinding, the process doesn't rely exclusively on signs.


The term "wayfinding" was first used in 1960 by architect Kevin Lynch in The Image of the City, where he referred to maps, street numbers, directional signs and other elements as "way-finding" devices. This narrow description may explain the current misunderstanding that wayfinding is essentially the same as "signage."


The two terms are not synonymous. Signmakers deal with designing, fabricating and installing signs. However, wayfinding used to navigate unfamiliar environments, doesn't rely exclusively on signs.


This distinction gained acceptance in the early '70s when researchers discovered that, to understand how people find their way, they first need to understand the underlying process. Architect and environmental psychologist Romedi Passini articulated spatial problem-solving in his books, Wayfinding in Architecture and Wayfinding, People, Signs and Architecture, which he co-authored with wayfinding planner Paul Arthur.

Passini and Arthur described wayfinding as a two-stage process during which people must solve a wide variety of problems in architectural and urban spaces that involve both "decision making" (formulating an action plan) and "decision executing" (implementing the plan).


People who find themselves in unfamiliar environments need to know where they actually are in the complex, the layout of the complex, and the location of their destination in order to formulate their action plans. En route to their chosen destinations, people are helped or hindered prior to their visit, the building's architecture and signage. The physical environment, including positive effect in how users perceive the wayfinding system--if it seems easy to use or not.


Faulty sign design can cause navigation problems in unfamiliar environments. Some signs lack "conspicuity," or visibility, because lettering lacks legibility when viewed from a distance. Others contain inaccurate, ambiguous or unfamiliar messages; many are obscured by obstructions or contain reflective surfaces, which hinder comprehension. Consequently, many people don't read signs--often it's easier to ask for directions.


Because wayfinding problems aren't confined to signs alone, they typically can't be solved by adding more signs. Instead, such problems can be unraveled by designing an environment that identifies logical traffic patterns that enable people to move easily from one spot to another without confusion. Signs cannot be a panacea for poor architecture and illogical space planning.


Four Elements

Wayfinding needs are best resolved during initial planning stages through a collaborative effort by all design professionals--architects, designers and signmakers--to address a project's total environmental communication. The primary generator of environmental communication, architecture delineates spatial organization, destination zones and information sequencing--factors that spell wayfinding's success or failure. Effective architectural wayfinding clues, provided by roads, building layouts, corridors and lighting, furnish cognitive maps that allow people to quickly grasp the environment. To furnish architectural clues:

·         Clearly identify arrival points.

·         Provide convenient parking and accessible walkways located adjacent to each public entry.

·         Locate information desks within each public entry visible from the front door.

·         Place elevator lobbies so they can be seen upon entering the building.

·         Use consistent lighting, floor coverings and architectural finishes in primary public corridor systems.

·         Situate memorable landmarks along corridors and at key decision points.

·         Design public waiting areas that are visually open to corridors.

·         Distinguish public from non-public corridors by using varied finishes, colors and lighting

·         Harmonize floor numbers between connecting buildings.


Graphic Communication

Graphics, such as signs, color coding, maps, banners, brochures and Websites, provide orientation, direction, identification and regulatory information. To achieve effective graphic communication:

·         Standardize names for all buildings, services and destinations, and display them consistently on all graphics applications.

·         Use easily understood "plain" language.

·         Size messages and signs appropriately for viewing distances.

·         Select letterforms and color combinations that comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines (see New Face to ADA).

·         Furnish generous spacing between letters, words and message lines.

·         Provide standardized "you are here" maps of the project that include an overall map of the complex and more detailed maps of specific areas.

·         Train attendants to mark individualized paths on hand-held maps for lost or disoriented visitors.

·         Place maps at all parking exits, building entrances and major interior decision points.

·         Orient maps with building layouts, such as denoting on maps that "up is ahead."

·         Establish consistency in sign placements and graphics layouts.

·         Code areas by using color and memorable graphics.

·         Use established pictographs with words to facilitate comprehension of written messages.

·         Establish a floor numbering system that relates to a building's main entry and indicate on directories which floors are above and below grade.


Audible Communication

Audible communication, as interpreted through verbal instructions, PA systems, elevator chimes and water fountains, plays an important role in wayfinding. Recognizing that 50% of the American population is functionally illiterate (according to a recent study published by the U.S. Department of Education) and that another 15% possess other perceptual or cognitive impairments, audible communication fills an important role in any wayfinding solution. To establish effective audible communication:

·         Install audible sounds at signaled intersections to indicate safe times to cross the street.

·         At all public entries and information desks, provide attendants trained as professional greeters who are thoroughly familiar with the facility.

·         Furnish self-help telephones at all information desks.

·         Provide patient-transport personnel whose purpose is to guide visitors to their destinations.

·         Standardize names for all buildings, services and destinations, and use them consistently in verbal communication.

·         Equip elevators with audible chimes.

·         Position audible landmarks, such as water fountains, at waiting areas.

·         Employ audible signs to help locate information desks, elevators, rest rooms and other key destinations.


Tactile Communication

Tactile communication, achieved by raised letters, Braille, knurled door knobs and textured floor coverings assists all visitors, not only the disabled. To incorporate tactual devices into a wayfinding system:

·         Establish "shorelines" and "trails" between major destinations and information areas using materials having differing resiliency's, such as concrete and carpet.

·         Install "rumble strips" at the landings of stairs and escalators.

·         Furnish knurled door knobs at all non-public doors.

·         Provide a raised star symbol on elevator control panels to indicated the ground floor.

·         Supply raised letters and Grade 2 Braille at elevators and on signs identifying permanent destinations.

·         Install interactive audio-tactile maps at public entrance lobbies.


Consistent Clues

Architects, designers and signmakers must work together from the beginning of a project to create a total environmental statement that provides consistent clues. So, the next time a client asks for wayfinding signage. tell them that wayfinding is not signage – it's more.



Examples and Case Studies

For more information see CATSIP (www.catsip.berkeley.edu), a comprehensive online resource for improving walking and cycling conditions.


Toronto Pedestrian Charter (www.city.toronto.on.ca/pedestrian)

The City of Toronto adopted a Pedestrian Charter in October 2002. It reflects the concept that walkability is one of the most important measures of the quality of a city’s public realm, its health and vitality. The Charter serves as a guide to decision-makers, both in the City and in the community at large, that walking should be valued as the most sustainable of all forms of travel, and that it has enormous social, environmental and economic benefits. It outlines what pedestrians have a right to expect from the City in terms of meeting their travel needs; to establish principles to guide the development of policies and practices that affect pedestrians; and  to identify the features of an urban environment and infrastructure that encourage and support walking.


Six Principles








Evaluating and Improving Walkability (Nabors, et al., 2007)

The Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists describes various methods that can be used to evaluate walkability as part of a road safety audit (RSA) performed by transportation engineers and planners. This process can identify potential barriers and problems to walking, and opportunities to improve walking conditions.



Improving Urban Walkability in India (CSE 2009)

The report Footfalls: Obstacle Course To Livable Cities (CSE 2009) evaluates walking conditions in Indian cities. Although walking represents 16% to 57% of urban trips, walking conditions are poor, with little investment, insufficient road space, and inadequate design and maintenance standards. The study argues that inadequate support for nonmotorized travel is inefficient and inequitable.


Table 7             Indian Cities Mode Share, 2007 (Wilbur Smith 2008)








Public Transport


Auto Rickshaw


<500,000, plain terrain








<500,000, hilly terrain















































This table indicates the mode share in Indian cities. Walking is the dominant mode but receives little consideration in transport planning and investment.



Walk For Your Live (Demers 2006)

Marie Demers’s book Walk For Your Life! Restoring Neighborhood Walkways To Enhance Community Life, Improve Street Safety and Reduce Obesity, provides an excellent introduction to issues related to why and how to increase nonmotorized transportation. It can help planners and policy makers understand the importance of increased walking and cycling, help health professionals understand how this can be done, and encourage individuals to take more steps each day. The writing is interesting and personal, with numerous quotes and facts (did you know that obesity is spreading to pets: she claims that the portion of pets that are overweight increased from 15% a decade ago to 40%, resulting in diabetes, hypertension and cardiac problems), and includes detailed references and an extensive list of information resources.

The book discusses various reasons that individuals and communities should improve walking conditions and encourage walking activity, and describes various ways of doing this. It emphasizes public health (particularly reduced obesity and increased physical fitness), community livability (including community cohesion) and personal enjoyment benefits, as well environmental and equity benefits. It describes various policy and planning reforms to help create more walkable communities, particularly new urbanism. It is not as technically detailed as some recent academic books, such as Howard Frumkin, Lawrence Frank and Richard Jackson, Urban Sprawl and Public Health: Designing, Planning, and Building For Healthier Communities (2004), but it is more accessible to a general audience.


How Can I Find and Help Build a Walkable Community?


 Dan Burden created the following list of walkability design features:


1.       Intact town centers. This center includes a quiet, pleasant main street with a hearty, healthy set of stores. These stores are open for business a minimum of 8 hours a day. The stores include things like barbers/beauticians, hardware, druggist, small grocery/deli, sets of good restaurants, clothing, variety store, ice cream shop, stores that attract children, many youth and senior services, places to conduct civic and personal business, library, all within a 1/4 mile walk (5 minutes) of the absolute center. If this is a county seat, the county buildings are downtown. If this is an incorporated town the town hall is in the town center. The library is open for business at least 10 hours a day 6-7 days a week. There is still a post office downtown.


2.       Residential densities, mixed income, mixed use. Near the town center, and in a large town at appropriate transit locations there will be true neighborhoods. Higher densities are toward the town center and in appropriate concentrations further out. Housing includes mixed income and mixed use. A truly walkable community does not force lots of people to drive to where they work. Aspen, for example, is a great place to shop and play...but fails to provide housing for anyone who works there. Granny flats, design studios and other affordable housing are part of the mix in even the wealthiest neighborhoods.


3.       Public Space. There are many places for people to assemble, play and associate with others within their neighborhood. The best neighborhoods have welcoming public space within 1/8th mile (700 feet) of all homes. These spaces are easily accessed by all people.


4.       Universal Design. The community has a healthy respect for people of all abilities, and has appropriate ramps, medians, refuges, crossings of driveways, sidewalks on all streets where needed, benches, shade and other basic amenities to make walking feasible and enjoyable for everyone.


5.       Key Streets Are Speed Controlled. Traffic moves on main street and in neighborhoods at safe, pleasant, courteous speeds. Most streets are designed to keep speeds low. Many of these streets are tree lined, have on-street parking and use other methods that are affordable means to keep traffic speeds under control. There is an absence of one-way couplets designed to flush downtown of its traffic in a rush or flight to the suburbs. In most parts of the nation the streets are also green, or have other pleasant landscaping schemes in dry climates.


6.       Streets, Trails are Well Linked. The town has good block form, often in a grid or other highly connected pattern. Although hilly terrain calls for slightly different patterns, the linkages are still frequent. Some of the newer neighborhoods that were built to cul-de-sac or other fractured patterns are now being repaired for walking by putting in trail connectors in many places. These links are well designed so that there are many eyes on these places. Code for new streets no longer permits long streets that are disconnected.


7.       Design is Properly Scaled to 1/8th, 1/4 and 1/2 mile radius segments. From most homes it is possible to get to most services in ¼ mile (actual walked distance). Neighborhood elementary schools are within a ¼ mile walking radius of most homes, while high schools are accessible to most children (1 mile radius). Most important features (parks) are within 1/8th mile, and a good, well designed place to wait for a high frequency (10-20 minutes) bus is within ¼ to ½ mile. Note that most of these details can be seen on a good local planning map, and even many can be downloaded from the web.


8.       Town is Designed for People. Look for clues that decisions are being made for people first, cars second. Does the town have a lot of open parking lots downtown? Are a lot of streets plagued with multiple commercial driveways, limited on-street parking, fast turning radii on corners. Towns designed for people have many investments being made in plazas, parks, walkways ... rarely are they investing in decongesting intersections on the far reaches of town. Towns designed for people are tearing down old, non-historic dwellings, shopping plazas and such and converting them to compact, mixed use, mixed income properties. Ask to review the past year of building permits by category. Much is told about what percentage of construction that is infill and independent small builder stock versus big builder single price range housing or retail stock.


9.       Town is Thinking Small. The most walkable towns are boldly stepping forward requiring maximum parking allowed, versus minimum required. Groceries and other important stores are not permitted to build above a reasonable square footage, must place the foot print of the structure to the street, etc. Palo Alto, for instance, caps their groceries at 20,000 square feet. This assures that groceries, drug stores and other important items are competitive at a size that is neighborhood friendly. Neighborhood schools are community centers. Older buildings are rebuilt in place, or converted to modern needs. Most parking is on-street.


10.   In Walkable Communities There Are Many People Walking. This sounds like a silly statement at first ... but think again. Often there are places that look walkable, but no one walks. Why? There is always a reason. Is it crime? Is it that there is no place to walk to, even though the streets and walkways are pleasant? Are the downtown stores not open convenient hours? You should be able to see a great diversity of those walking and bicycling. Some will be very young, some very old. People with disabilities will be common. Another clue, where people walk in great abundance virtually all motorists are courteous to pedestrians. It is true.


11.   The Town and Neighborhoods have a Vision. Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas are just three examples where neighborhood master plans have been developed. Honolulu sets aside about $1M per year of funds to be spent by each neighborhood. Visionary, master plans provide direction, build ownership of citizens, engage diverse people, and create opportunities for implementation, to get past sticky issues, and deal with the most basic, fundamental, necessary decisions and commitment. There are budgets set aside for neighborhoods, for sidewalks, trails, links, parks. The community no longer talks about where they will get the money, but how they will change their priorities.


12.   Decision Makers Are Visionary, Communicative, and Forward Thinking. The town has a strong majority of leaders who "get it". Leaders know that they are not to do all the work ... but to listen and respond to the most engaged, involved, broad minded citizens. They rarely are swayed by the anti-group, they seek the opinions and involvement big brush citizens and retailers. They are purposefully changing and building policies, practices, codes and decisions to make their towns pleasant places for people ... reinvesting in the town center, disinfesting in sprawl. These people know the difference between a green field, brown field and grey field. They know what Active Living by Design is all about. The regional government understands and supports the building of a town center, and is not attempting to take funds from the people at the center to induce or support sprawl. Often there is a charismatic leader on the town board, chamber of commerce, planning board, there is an architectural review team, a historic preservation effort, and overall good public process. Check out the web site of the town ... if they focus on their golf courses, tax breaks, great medical services, scenic majestic mountains, or proximity to the sea ... fail to emphasize their neighborhood schools, world class library, lively downtown, focus on citizen participation ... they are lost, bewitched and bewildered in their own lust and lure of Walt Disney's Pleasure Island.



Recommended Walking Speeds (Gates, Noyce, and Bill 2006)

A study of people crossing urban intersections found that pedestrians over the age of 65,   children hand-assisted by adults, people with physical disabilities, and groups of two or more pedestrians cross slower on average than the 4.0 feet-per-second (ft/s) walking speed standard commonly used for crosswalks and other pedestrian facilities. Based on this study the researchers recommend the following:



Indian City Walkability Survey (http://cleanairinitiative.org/portal/India-walkability)

The report, Walkability in Indian Cities, produced by the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) benchmarks the pedestrian infrastructure of six Indian cities based on the availability of sidewalks and footpaths, accessibility to crossings, accommodation of people with disabilities, amenities, and road safety, including motorists’ behaviour towards pedestrians. The result can help decision makers prioritize planning and investments to improve non-motorized mobility.



Delhi Pedestrian Design Guidelines (www.uttipec.nic.in/PedestrianGuidelines-30Nov09-UTTPEC-DDA.pdf)

In 2009, the City of Delhi, India published Pedestrian Design Guidelines, a detailed guidebook that describes the role of non-motorized modes in an efficient and equitable transport system; defines minimum requirements for the design, size and maintenance of sidewalks, crosswalks and other pedestrian facilities; and describes international best practices for enhancing the pedestrian environment. It includes:



Pedestrian Charter (www.esquimalt.ca/Main/documents/Esquimalt%20Pedestrian%20Charter.pdf)

The Esquimalt, British Columbia (www.esquimalt.ca) pedestrian charter, “recognizes the benefits of walking as a key indicator of a healthy, efficient, socially inclusive and sustainable community and acknowledges the universal rights of people to be able to walk safely and to enjoy high quality public spaces at anytime.” It includes detailed guidelines for:

  1. Increased inclusive mobility
  2. Well designed and managed spaces and places for people
  3. Improved integration of networks
  4. Supportive landuse and spatial planning
  5. Reduced road danger
  6. Less crime and fear of crime
  7. More supportive authorities
  8. A culture of walking



Perugia Policy Favors Pedestrians (www3.iclei.org/egpis/egpc-038.html)

Perugia, Italy is a city with a well-known cultural wealth and history. It has a mountainous location, which forms a barrier between the upper, older part of the city and the lower, more modern part of the city. The growth of car traffic experienced in Perugia led to environmental problems and posed a risk to the city's historical heritage. A travel plan for Perugia was conceived in 1971 by Fabio Ciuffini, then Deputy Mayor. This involves the development of a pedestrian network, the establishment of a parking guidance system, and the establishment of a transport assessment system to consider the externalities of different transport modes.


The main objective of Perugia's travel policy is the enhancement of the city's historic heritage by reducing the space occupied by vehicles and eliminating vibrations caused by vehicles. This has been accomplished by developing a pedestrian network, and encouraging use of public transit and other alternative transport modes. The pedestrian network has been developed through the establishment of a pedestrian zone in the historic centre; the establishment of controlled traffic zones authorizing access to residents only; and the creation of mechanized pedestrian ways, including elevators, escalators, and pedestrian walks of special design. Perugia was the first city in Italy to pedestrianize its historic centre and could be viewed as the prototype of the 'car-free city' in Italy. The pedestrian network has been successfully implemented, and there is already demand for its extension.


Actions aimed at inducing alternative use of conventional transport modes have included the introduction of the 'Buxi' mini-bus operating as a privately-run collective taxi for central neighbourhoods; the introduction of the 'Telebus' serving an urban corridor to peripheral zones of the conurbation; and the introduction of a computer-based traffic and safety management system.


The pedestrian network has proven popular. Most trips to the city centre are made on foot. The escalators, which provide comfortable and continuous route ways, are the most popular. The elevators, which serve discontinuous route ways, are also generally accepted. Studies have shown that 50% of the local population in Perugia consider 600 meters or more to be an acceptable walking distance. A considerable proportion of the local population prefers to combine public transport with other modes of transport. Peripheral car parks, which in the past were little used and which were originally designed to serve modal split points through a shuttle service, are increasingly being used in combination with the pedestrian network.



City of Portland

Portland, Oregon has adopted a two-part plan: Part One outlines the policies and plans for improving conditions for walking and Part Two is a detailed design manual for pedestrian facilities. The Portland Pedestrian Design Guide and Pedestrian Master Plan (www.trans.ci.portland.or.us) are outstanding pedestrian planning resources. It developed an excellent process for prioritizing pedestrian improvements, taking into account demand and current conditions.



Walkability Health Benefits

Ray Tomalty and Murtaza Haider (2009) evaluated how community design factors (land use density and mix, street connectivity, sidewalk supply, street widths, block lengths, etc.) and a subjective walkability index rating (based on residents' evaluation of various factors) affect walking and biking activity, and health outcomes (hypertension and diabetes) in 16 diverse British Columbia neighborhoods. The analysis reveals a statistically significant association between improved walkability and more walking and cycling activity, lower body mass index (BMI), and lower hypertension. Regression analysis indicates that people living in more walkable neighbourhoods are more likely to walk for at least 10 daily minutes and are less likely to be obese than those living in less walkable areas, regardless of age, income or gender. The study also includes case studies which identified policy changes likely to improve health in specific communities.


The study project, Neighbourhood Design, Travel, and Health (Frank, et al. 2010), describes various factors that affect walkability, methods for measuring those factors to create a walkability index, and the impacts of neighborhood walkability on per capita automobile travel, physical activity and fitness in the Vancouver, BC metropolitan region. The results indicate that:

·         Adults living in the top 25% most walkable neighbourhoods walk, bike and take transit 2-3 times more, and drive ap­proximately 58% less than those in more auto-oriented (less walkable) areas.

·         Residents living in the most walkable areas, with good street connectivity and land use mix, were half as likely to be overweight than those in the least walkable neighborhoods.

·         Living in a neighbourhood with at least one grocery store was associ­ated with a nearly 1.5 times likeli­hood of getting sufficient physical activity, as compared to living in an area with no grocery store, and each additional grocery store within a 1-kilometer distance from an individual’s residence was associated with an 11% reduction in the likelihood of being overweight.

·         The most walkable neighbourhoods have the least ozone pollution, but the most pollution from nitric oxide. Neighbourhoods with relatively high walkability and low pollution levels exist across the region.



Frank, et al. (2011) used detailed data on various urban form factors to assess their impacts on vehicle travel and carbon emissions. Their analysis indicates that increasing sidewalk coverage from a ratio of 0.57 (the equivalent of sidewalk coverage on both sides of 30% of all streets) to 1.4 (coverage on both sides of 70% of all streets) could reduce vehicle travel 3.4% and carbon emissions 4.9%. Based on the study results the team developed and tested a spreadsheet tool that can be used to evaluate the impacts of urban form, sidewalk coverage, and transit service quality and other policy and planning changes suitable for neighborhood and regional scenario analysis.



City of Kamloops (www.city.kamloops.bc.ca)

The City of Kamloops’ Pedestrian Master Plan provides a comprehensive approach toward identifying pedestrian needs and deficiencies, examining optional improvements and prioritizing implementation strategies. It uses Pedestrian Level of Service ratings to evaluate the existing quality of service and identify and prioritize improvements. It includes policy changes (such as requiring sidewalks in all new developments) and specific projects to improve walking conditions in targeted areas, such as around schools and commercial districts.


City of Madison, WI (www.ci.madison.wi.us/reports/execsum2.pdf)

Adopted in September 1997, Madison's visionary plan for walking incorporates planning, design, maintenance, and long-term goals and objectives. Madison was one of the first communities to adopt a separate plan for walking.



Arlington County, VA (www.co.arlington.va.us/dpw/planning/ped/ped.htm)

Arlington County is one of the nation's densest urban areas and has developed a pedestrian plan that builds on the accessibility of two major transit corridors in the County. An extensive sidewalk building program is complemented by a neighborhood traffic calming program, all directed by citizen task forces.



Washington State DOT (www.wsdot.wa.gov/hlrd/sub-defaults/pedestrian-default.htm)

Washington State Department of Transportation adopted a Pedestrian Policy Plan in 1993 that focused on local and regional planning for pedestrians, necessary pedestrian facility types and locations, and who should pay for them.



Designing More Walkable Urban Arterial (ITE 2010)

The report, Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context-Sensitive Approach, An ITE Recommended Practice, provides detailed guidance for applying Context Sensitive Design principles to create more walkable urban roadways. Includes discussion of context oriented design, walkability and multi-modalism, and specific information on pedestrian and bicycle facility design, optimal lane width and geometry, bicycle lanes, accommodating transit, stormwater management, traffic calming, crosswalks,



Active Access (www.active-access.eu)

Active Access aims to increase the use of walking and cycling for short everyday trips in local areas in order to benefit people’s health, and the health of the local economy. It aims to:

·         Raise awareness of non motorised modes and their use in solving urban transport problems and cost savings in health amongst policy makers, professional groups and academics

·         Reduce the use of fossil energy, reducing negative impacts on the environment and health.

·         Reduce conflicts/barriers between walking and cycling, building alliances between the two areas.

·         Raise awareness of importance of walking and cycling customers with shop owners.

·         Permanent implementation and acceptance of access restrictions / closing of areas for motorised traffic in selected areas after a test phase within Active Access

·         Change attitudes to a car reduced lifestyle, giving walking a more positive image and increase awareness of health benefits with the active travel message being passed from doctors to patients.

·         Strengthen local economies, thus ensuring that services remain close to where people live - an important consideration with ageing populations have much in common and everything to gain from each other.



Ten Steps Toward Walkability

In his book, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step At A Time, Jeff Speck (2012) identified the following ten steps toward walkable urban communities:

  1. Put cars in their place.
  2. Mix the uses.
  3. Get the parking right.
  4. Let transit work. 
  5. Protect the pedestrian. 
  6. Welcome bikes. 
  7. Shape the spaces.
  8. Plant trees.
  9. Make friendly and unique [building] faces.
  10. Pick your winners.


Of course, the book contains detailed information on what these principles mean and how they can be applied in specific situations.



European Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety (Pucher and Dijkstra 2000)

In the United States, pedestrian fatalities are 36 times higher, and bicycling fatalities are 11 times higher, than car occupant fatalities per km traveled. Walking and bicycling can be made quite safe, however, as shown by much lower fatality rates in The Netherlands and Germany. Pedestrian fatalities per billion km walked are less than a tenth as high, and bicyclist fatalities are only a quarter as high, as in the United States. The Netherlands and Germany have long recognized the importance of pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Over the past two decades these countries have undertaken a wide range of measures to improve safety: better facilities for walking and bicycling; urban design sensitive to the needs of non-motorists; traffic calming of residential neighborhoods; restrictions on motor vehicle use in cities; rigorous traffic education of both motorists and non-motorists; and strict enforcement of traffic regulations protecting pedestrians and bicyclists. The United States could adopt many of the same measures to improve pedestrian and bicycling safety here. The necessary technology and methods are already available, with decades of successful experience in Europe.



Sidewalk Impacts on Travel Activity

Frank, et al. (2011) used detailed data on various urban form factors to assess their impacts on vehicle travel and carbon emissions. Their analysis indicates that increasing sidewalk coverage from a ratio of 0.57 (the equivalent of sidewalk coverage on both sides of 30% of all streets) to 1.4 (coverage on both sides of 70% of all streets) could reduce vehicle travel 3.4% and carbon emissions 4.9%. Land use mix and parking pricing also had significant impacts. Increasing parking fees from approximately $0.28 to $1.19 per hour (50th to 75th percentile) reduced VMT 11.5% and emissions 9.9%. Based on the study results the team developed and tested a spreadsheet tool that can be used to evaluate the impacts of urban form, sidewalk coverage, and transit service quality and other policy and planning changes suitable for neighborhood and regional scenario analysis.



Towards a Walkable Australia (www.bushwalkingaustralia.org)

The following is the summary of a national policy for walking. The full document includes specific objectives and actions to insure that walking achieves its full potential social benefits.


Walkable Australia is a program to identify and overcome barriers that discourage or prevent Australians from walking, and therefore experiencing, living and enjoying the country in a sustainable way. Walkable Australia draws on the history and traditions of Australia extending beyond European settlement, and capturing the freedoms and ideals that we cherish.


Walkable Australia includes both urban and rural Australia. Walkable Australia draws together and supports many existing initiatives and programs in health, environment, planning, recreation, tourism, transport, education and local government.


A Walkable Australia is consistent with sound economic as well as social and environmental policy. Walkable communities spend less of their economic output on transport, and waste less time on unproductive travel. Urban infrastructure costs are reduced, and less land is paved over. A greater variety and depth of natural and cultural experience is found within a given area. With a healthier and more active community, health costs are lower. The elderly and incapacitated are within closer reach of the facilities they need, and more able to reach them through better public and emergency transport.


Is My Area Walkable? Some Questions To Help You Assess The Walkability Of A Locality And How It Can Be Improved.

Anne Matan, Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, Australia.

Published in Salter, Dhar and Newman (2011)



1. What is the volume of pedestrian traffic on this street? (pedestrian counts)

2. Who are the people using this street? Do they have special walking needs given their age or disability?

3. What is the pedestrian density of particular footpaths (numbers of pedestrians per metre width of footpath per minute)?

4. What are the main pedestrian routes in the area (day time and night time)?

5. What types of pedestrian facilities are in the area (dirt paths, paved footpaths/sidewalks, shared streets, pedestrian only streets, plazas, squares)?

6. What is the length and area of these pedestrian facilities?

7. What are the main arrival and exit points to the area? Are they connected via walkways?

8. How easy is it to walk through the area? (Do test walks to establish this.)

9. How adequate are footpaths/sidewalks in the area?(Some possible problems: no sidewalks, discontinuous, too narrow)

10. What proportion of streets have footpaths/sidewalks?

11. Are the footpaths/sidewalks complete on both sides of streets?

12. Is the footpath/sidewalk provision satisfactory in both major and smaller streets?

13. Are footpaths wide enough to cater for the number of people who walk on them?

14. What are the footpaths/sidewalks made from? (asphalt, concrete, paving bricks, flagstones, dirt, gravel, etc)

15. Are the sidewalks well maintained? (free from cracks, holes, rubbish, etc)

16. Are the block lengths short? (If they are long there may need to be walkways through the block.)

17. Does the pedestrian network connect major areas/destinations in the city?

18. Does the pedestrian network connect to primary destinations such as schools, hospitals, transit stations?

19. Is the pedestrian network itself well connected (with, for example, few pedestrian cul-de-sacs)?



1. Is the area accessible to those with disabilities? Are there ramps instead of steps where possible?

2. Are there obstacles on the footpaths (for example, street trade, shanty dwellings, piles of rubbish, parked cars, animals, road or building construction materials, or a large number of poles and signs)?

3. Are there buffers between the road and the footpath, such as fences, bollards, trees, hedges, parked cars and landscaping? (Buffers have advantages and disadvantages, but they can screen walkways from traffic and prevent parking on the walkways.)

4. Are there many small interruptions to the pedestrian networks (e.g., minor road crossings, parking lot crossings, driveway crossings)?

5. Are there other major barriers to walking in the area (major roads, train tracks, rivers, hills, gated land uses, etc)?

6. Does the slope of the area make it hard to walk?



1. How convenient is it to cross the street? Where are the pedestrian crossings?

2. What type of traffic intersections are used?

3. Are pedestrians given priority at intersections?

4. What are the crossing aides used at traffic intersections (pavement markings, different road surface or paving, signs, traffic lights, median traffic islands, curb bulbouts, underpasses, overpasses, etc.)?

5. Is crossing made easier either by curb cuts or road raising?

6. How safe is it to cross the street (at designated pedestrian crossings)?

7. Do drivers obey road laws and traffic signals?

8. Are pedestrian crossings clearly marked?

9. Do traffic signals indicate how long you need to wait before crossing, and how much remaining time you have to complete the crossing?

10. Do you need to press a button for a pedestrian signal to permit you to cross?

11. Are there any mid-block crossings? Are these adequate?


Public Transport Connection

1. Is the area connected to public transport? Where are the public transport nodes?

2. Are the public transport waiting areas of high quality (weather protection, information, signage, seating, waste receptacles. etc)?


Land use

1. What are the primary land uses of the area? (This will suggest the numbers of pedestrians at different times of the day.)

2. What are the primary destinations (industrial, commercial, governmental, recreational, community) in the area?

3. What is the population of residents and workers in the area?



1. What are the main public areas (square, parks, plazas, etc)? Are they public (open to everyone) or private (limited access, controlled use)?

2. What is the quality of the public spaces (comfort, appearance, maintenance, possibilities for use)?

3. How many people are using these spaces? How are they using this space? (can be assessed through stationary activity counts or behavioural mapping)

4. Are there any spaces for children/elderly/youth within the city?

5. Does the area allow for physical activity, play, interaction and/or entertainment?

6. Are there any identifying features in the area (monuments, land marks, neighbourhood character)?

7. Is there any indication that one is entering a special district or area? (It’s good to have the neighbourhood character indicated in some way along the walkway.)

8. Are the walking areas interesting?

9. Are there interesting views?

10. Are there temporary activities in the area (markets, festivals, buskers, street performers, etc)?

11. Does the area allow for resting, for meeting others, for social interaction?

12. Is there adequate greening in the area (plants, trees, etc)?

13. Is the area of a high visual quality (pavements, facades, art, etc)?



1. Where buildings meet the street, is it clear what is private and what is public space?

2. Are the dimensions of the buildings lining the footpaths at human scale?

3. Are the facades of the buildings lining the street transparent/active (i.e., do the buildings having many doors and windows opening onto the street, ‘soft edges’, with many niches, detailed facades)?



1. What is the amount of seating available?

2. Is the seating in the right place (with regard to views, comfort and protection from climatic conditions, located at the edge of spaces)? Does the seating maximise the natural advantages of the area?

3. Are the seating arrangements appropriate (can you talk to friends)?

4. What is the quality of the seating?

5. Are there places to stand? To lean against? Attractive edges?229

6. Are waiting areas adequate, providing comfort and protection to pedestrians waiting for transit or to cross the street?

7. Are there enough rubbish bins?

8. Is there any public art?

9. Are there water fountains?

10. Are there wayfinding devices?

11. Are there public toilets?



1. Is there adequate protection from the sun, rain and wind?

2. Is there adequate protection from negative aspects of vehicle traffic (pollution, noise etc)?

3. Are the ambient noise levels low and comfortable?

4. Do the sitelines allow you to see where you are going?

5. Is the area well maintained (footpaths, buildings lining the sidewalks, etc)?

6. Is the area clean (free from rubbish, broken glass, inappropriate graffiti)?



1. Is the area lively and active?

2. Is there street life?

3. Is there passive surveillance of the area? In other words, are there people around to watch out for each other? (This is especially important when it comes to night-time usage.)

4. Is the area safe? (both perceived and real)

5. Is the lighting from street lights and buildings adequate at night time?

6. Are there signs of other people at night time?

7. Are there night time uses of the area?

8. Is there a mix of land uses in the area?

9. Are there many small land uses?

10. Are the facades of buildings ‘closed’ at night?

11. Is there adequate visibility between modes of transport?

12. Is there protection from vehicle traffic?


Vehicle traffic

1. What is the traffic volume of the street? Does it make it hard/unpleasant for walking?

2. Is there street parking (on/off street)

3. What is the speed limit of the street? Does this make it hard/unpleasant for walking?

4. Are there any traffic calming or traffic control devices in the area?

5. How many lanes of traffic are there?

6. What are the traffic control devices used (traffic lights, stop signs, roundabouts, speed bumps, etc)?


Perception of the area

1. Is the area perceived as safe?

2. Is the area perceived as pleasant?



References And Resources For More Information


AARP (2009), Planning Complete Streets for an Aging America, American Association for Retired Persons Public Policy Institute (www.aarp.org/ppi); at www.aarp.org/research/housing-mobility/transportation/2009_02_streets.html.


AASHTO (2004), Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (www.aashto.org); at www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=2067.


ADIT (2013), Walking, Riding And Access To Public Transport: Supporting Active Travel In Australian Communities: Ministerial Statement; Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport (www.infrastructure.gov.au); at www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/mcu/urbanpolicy/active_travel/index.aspx.


ADUPC (2009), Abu Dhabi Urban Street Design Manual, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (www.upc.gov.ae/en/Home.aspx); at www.upc.gov.ae/guidelines/urban-street-design-manual.aspx?lang=en-US.


ADUPC (2013), Abu Dhabi Public Realm Design Manual, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (www.upc.gov.ae/en/Home.aspx); at www.upc.gov.ae/prdm/index.asp.


Alliance for Biking & Walking (www.peoplepoweredmovement.org) is a coalition of local and state bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations that provides information and support for advocacy and planning.


Alta Planning + Design (2005), Caltrans Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Technical Reference Guide: A Technical Reference and Technology Transfer Synthesis for Caltrans Planners and Engineers, California Department of Transportation (www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/survey/pedestrian/TR_MAY0405.pdf).


America Walks (www.americawalks.org) is a non-profit organization that supports walking improvements.


Anne-Sophie, Catriona O'Dolan and Susan Tully (2011), Walking Audits, Active Access (www.active-access.eu); at www.active-access.eu/docs/D4_1_Walking_audit_report.pdf.


Apogee (1994), Costs and Cost Effectiveness of Transportation Control Measures; A Review and Analysis of the Literature, National Association of Regional Councils (www.narc.org).


Beneficial Designs, Inc. et al. (1999), Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access; Part 1, Review of Existing Guidelines and Practices, Publication No. FHWA-HEP-99-006; Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access; Part 2, Best Practice Design Guide, Publication No. FHWA-EP-01-027, Federal Highway Administration, USDOT (www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped).


Dan Burden (2008), Building Livable, Walkable Communities: Commonwealth Club, Video Presentation (http://fora.tv/2008/07/14/Dan_Burden_Building_Livable_Walkable_Communities).


CAI-Asia (2011), Walkability In Indian Cities, the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (www.cleanairinitiative.org); at http://cleanairinitiative.org/portal/sites/default/files/Walkability-India_SEP.pdf.


Sally Cairns, et al (2004), Smarter Choices - Changing the Way We Travel, UK Department for Transport (www.dft.gov.uk); at http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/archive/00001224/01/1224.pdf. This comprehensive study provides detailed evaluation of the potential travel impacts and costs of various mobility management strategies. Includes numerous case studies.


CATSIP (California Active Transportation Safety Information Pages) (www.catsip.berkeley.edu) is a comprehensive online resource for improving pedestrian and bicycle safety.


CMHC (2008), Giving Pedestrians an Edge—Using Street Layout to Influence Transportation Choice, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca); at www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/66086.pdf.


Joe Cortright (2009), Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Home Values in U.S. Cities, CEOs for Cities (www.ceosforcities.org); at www.ceosforcities.org/files/WalkingTheWalk_CEOsforCities1.pdf.


Robert Cervero and Carolyn Radisch (1995), Travel Choices in Pedestrian Versus Automobile Oriented Neighborhoods, UC Transportation Center, UCTC 281 (www.uctc.net).


Complete Streets (www.completestreets.org) is a campaign to promote roadway designs that effectively accommodate multiple modes and support local planning objectives.


CSE (2009), Footfalls: Obstacle Course To Livable Cities, Right To Clean Air Campaign, Centre For Science And Environment (www.cseindia.org); at www.cseindia.org/campaign/apc/pdf/Walkability.pdf.


CTR (2001), Recreational Trails Program: Report On State Trail Projects, Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) and Federal Highway Administration (www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/sttrail.htm). Includes a database with statistics on public trails throughout the U.S.


Marie Demers (2006), Walk For Your Life! Restoring Neighborhood Walkways To Enhance Community Life, Improve Street Safety and Reduce Obesity, Vital Health Publishing (www.vitalhealthbooks.com/book/2414947630.html).


Linda Dixon (1996), “Bicycle and Pedestrian Level-of-Service Performance Measures and Standards for Congestion Management Systems,” Transportation Research Record 1538, TRB (www.trb.org), pp. 1-9.


EC (2009), Reclaiming City Streets For People: Chaos Or Quality Of Life?, European Commission Directorate-General For The Environment (www.ec.europa.eu/index_en.htm); at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/pubs/pdf/streets_people.pdf.


Debra Efroymson (2012), Moving Dangerously, Moving Pleasurably: Improving Walkability in Dhaka: Using a BRT Walkability Strategy to Make Dhaka’s Transportation Infrastructure Pedestrian-Friendly, Asian Development Bank (www.adb.org); at www.adb.org/sites/default/files/projdocs/2012/39335-012-reg-tacr-01.pdf.


Environics (1998), National Survey on Active Transportation, Go for Green, (www.goforgreen.ca).


Michelle Ernst and Lilly Shoup (2009), Dangerous by Design: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrian Deaths (and Making Great Neighborhoods), Transport for America (http://t4america.org); at http://t4america.org/docs/dangerousbydesign/dangerous_by_design.pdf.


Reid Ewing, Otto Clemente, Susan Handy, Emily Winston and Ross C. Brownson (2005), Urban Design Qualities Related to Walkability: Measurement Instrument for Urban Design Qualities Related to Walkability, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Active Living Research Program (http://activelivingresearch.org/index.php/357).


FHWA (2008), A Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities, Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety; FHWA-SA-07-016 (http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov); at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped/ped_walkguide.


FHWA, Pedestrian Safety Roadshow (www.ota.fhwa.dot.gov/walk) provides information on pedestrian safety.


Ann Forsyth, Kevin J. Krizek and Asha Weinstein Agrawal (2010), Measuring Walking and Cycling Using the PABS (Pedestrian and Bicycling Survey) Approach: A Low-Cost Survey Method for Local Communities, Mineta Transportation Institute, San Jose State University (www.transweb.sjsu.edu); at www.transweb.sjsu.edu/project/2907.html.


Lawrence Frank, Andrew Devlin, Shana Johnstone and Josh van Loon (2010), Neighbourhood Design, Travel, and Health in Metro Vancouver: Using a Walkability Index, Active Transportation Collaboratory, UBC (www.act-trans.ubc.ca); at www.act-trans.ubc.ca/documents/WalkReport_ExecSum_Oct2010_HighRes.pdf.


Lawrence D. Frank, et al. (2011), An Assessment of Urban Form and Pedestrian and Transit Improvements as an Integrated GHG Reduction Strategy, Washington State Department of Transportation (www.wsdot.wa.gov); at www.wsdot.wa.gov/research/reports/fullreports/765.1.pdf.


Gallup (2008), National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (www.nhtsa.dot.gov) at www.nhtsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/DOT/NHTSA/Traffic%20Injury%20Control/Articles/Associated%20Files/810971.pdf.


Tim J. Gates, David A. Noyce and Andrea R. Bill (2006), Are We Getting Slower? Updated Recommended Walking Speeds for Pedestrian Signal Timing, ITE Annual Meeting (www.ite.org); summary at http://trid.trb.org/view.aspx?id=793534.


Steven Gehrke (2012), A Review of Walkability Measures and the Proposal of a Standardized Classification Scheme, Paper 12-0361, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting (www.trb.org); at http://assets.conferencespot.org/fileserver/file/25093/filename/1s99tb.pdf.


Thomas Gotschi and Kevin Mills (2008), Active Transportation For America: The Case for Increased Federal Investment in Bicycling and Walking, Rails To Trails Conservancy (www.railstotrails.org); at  www.railstotrails.org/resources/documents/whatwedo/atfa/ATFA_20081020_sm.pdf.


Thomas Gotschi (2011), “Costs and Benefits of Bicycling Investments in Portland, Oregon,” Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Vol. 8, Supplement 1, pp. S49-S58; at http://journals.humankinetics.com/jpah-supplements-special-issues/jpah-volume-8-supplement-january/costs-and-benefits-of-bicycling-investments-in-portland-oregon.


Tony Grayling, Karl Hallam, Daniel Graham, Richard Anderson & Stephen Glaister (2002), Streets Ahead: Safe and Livable Streets for Children, Institute for Public Policy Research, (www.ippr.org); at www.worldcat.org/title/streets-ahead-safe-and-liveable-streets-for-children/oclc/54877502.


Jennifer R. Hefferan and Peter Lagerwey (2004), “City of Seattle, WA, USA, Crosswalk Inventory and Improvement Plan,” ITE Journal, Vol. 74, No. 1, January 2004, pp. 34-41.


ITDP (2011), Better Street, Better Cities: A Guide To Street Design In Urban India, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (www.itdp.org); at www.itdp.org/betterstreets.


ITE (2001), Alternative Treatments for At-Grade Pedestrian Crossings, Institute of Transportation Engineers (www.ite.org). This 220-page report describes more than 70 alternative treatments for pedestrian crossings that are used throughout the world.


ITE (2010), Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach, Recommended Practice, Institute of Transportation Engineers (www.ite.org); at www.ite.org/emodules/scriptcontent/Orders/ProductDetail.cfm?pc=RP-036A-E. Also see www.ite.org/css.


ITF (2012), Pedestrian Safety, Urban Space and Health, International Transport Forum for the OECD (www.oecdbookshop.org); at http://www.oecd.org/bookshop?9789282103654.


James Leather, Herbert Fabian, Sudhir Gota and Alvin Mejia (2011), Walkability and Pedestrian Facilities in Asian Cities: State and Issues, Sustainable Development Working Paper, Asian Development Bank (www.adb.org); at http://cleanairinitiative.org/portal/sites/default/files/documents/ADB-WP17-Walkability-Pedestrian-Facilities-Asian-Cities.pdf.


Christopher B. Leinberger and Mariela Alfonzo (2012), Walk this Way: The Economic Promise of Walkable Places in Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Brookings Institute (www.brookings.edu); at www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2012/05/~/media/Research/Files/Papers/2012/5/25%20walkable%20places%20leinberger/25%20walkable%20places%20leinberger.pdf.


Christopher B. Leinberger and Patrick Lynch (2014), Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros, The George Washington University School of Business, Smart Growth America (www.smartgrowthamerica.org); at www.smartgrowthamerica.org/documents/foot-traffic-ahead.pdf.


Todd Litman (2003), “Economic Value of Walkability,” Transportation Research Record 1828, Transportation Research Board (www.trb.org), pp. 3-11; at www.vtpi.org/walkability.pdf.


Todd Litman (2005), Whose Roads? Evaluating Bicyclists’ and Pedestrians’ Right to Use Public Roadways, VTPI (www.vtpi.org); at www.vtpi.org/whoserd.pdf.


Todd Litman (2006), “Managing Diverse Modes and Activities on Nonmotorized Facilities: Guidance for Practitioners,” ITE Journal, Vol. 76, No. 6 (www.ite.org), June 2006, pp. 20-27; based on Todd Litman and Robin Blair (2005), Managing Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) On Nonmotorized Facilities, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org); at www.vtpi.org/man_nmt_fac.pdf.


Todd Litman (2010), Short and Sweet: Analysis of Shorter Trips Using National Personal Travel Survey Data, VTPI (www.vtpi.org); at www.vtpi.org/short_sweet.pdf.


Todd Litman (2013), Evaluating Active Transport Benefits and Costs: Guide to Valuing Walking and Cycling Improvements and Encouragement Programs, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org); at www.vtpi.org/nmt-tdm.pdf; originally published as “Bicycling and Transportation Demand Management,” Transportation Research Record 1441, 1994, pp. 134-140.


Living Streets (2011), Making The Case For Investment In The Walking Environment, Living Streets Program (www.livingstreets.org.uk), University of the West of England and Cavill Associates; at www.livingstreets.org.uk/index.php/tools/required/files/download?fID=1668.


Living Streets (www.livingstreets.org.uk), formerly called the Pedestrians Association, works in the UK to improve the quality of streets and public spaces that people on foot can use and enjoy. It provides a variety of information on ways of making streets and urban neighborhoods more livable.


Local Government Commission (www.lgc.org) has a variety of useful resources for neighborhood planning and pedestrian improvements, including “Designing Safe Streets and Neighborhoods”, “The Economic Benefits of Walkable Communities" and “Why People Don't Walk and What City Planners Can Do About It” fact sheets.


Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris And Renia Ehrefeucht (2010), “Vibrant Sidewalks in the United States: Re-integrating Walking and a Quintessential Social Realm,” Access 36 (www.uctc.net/access); Spring 2010, pp. 22-29; at www.uctc.net/access/36/access-36vibrantsidewalks.pdf.


Peter Loukopoulos and Tommy Gärling (2005), “Are Car Users too Lazy to Walk? The Relation of Distance Thresholds for Driving to the Perceived Effort of Walking,” Transportation Research Record 1926, Transportation Research Board (www.trb.org), pp. 206-211; abstract at http://pubsindex.trb.org/view.aspx?id=777894.


Praveen K. Maghelal (2011), “Walking and Transit: Influence of the Built Environment at Varying Distance,” ITE Journal (www.ite.org), Vol. 81, No. 2, February, pp. 38-43.


Measuring Walking (www.measuring-walking.org), describes internationally standardised monitoring methods of walking and public space.


Anne Vernez Moudon, et al (1996), Effects of Site Design on Pedestrian Travel in Mixed Use, Medium-Density Environments, Document WA-RD 432.1, Washington State Transportation Center (www.wsdot.wa.gov); at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Research/Reports/400/432.1.htm.


Anne Vernez Moudon, et al. (2003), Strategies and Tools to Implement Transportation-Efficient Development: A Reference Manual, Document WA-RD 574.1, Washington State Transportation Center (www.wsdot.wa.gov); at http://depts.washington.edu/trac/bulkdisk/pdf/574.1.pdf.


John Muhlhausen (2005), Wayfinding Is Not Signage: Signage Plays An Important Part Of Wayfinding – But There's More, (www.signweb.com/ada/cont/wayfinding0800.html).


Dan Nabors, et al. (2007), Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists, Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (www.pedbikeinfo.org), Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety; at http://drusilla.hsrc.unc.edu/cms/downloads/PedRSA%20-%20FINAL%20-%20high-quality.pdf.


NACTO (2012), The Urban Street Design Guide, National Association of City Transportation Officials (www.nacto.org); at http://nacto.org/urbanstreetdesignguide-overview.


NAR (2013), Walkability: A Key Metro Metric, National Association of Realtors (www.realtor.org); at http://blog.commercialsource.com/walkability-a-key-metro-metric.


Nelson\Nygaard (2009), Abu Dhabi Urban Street Design Manual, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (www.upc.gov.ae/en/Home.aspx); at



NSW (2004), Planning Guidelines for Walking and Cycling, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources (www.planning.nsw.gov.au); at www.planning.nsw.gov.au/plansforaction/pdf/guide_pages.pdf.


NYDOT (2009), New York City Street Design Manual, New York City Department of Transportation  (www.nyc.gov/html/dot) at www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/about/streetdesignmanual.shtml.


NZTA (2010), Economic Evaluation Manual, Volumes 1 and 2, New Zealand Transport Agency (www.nzta.govt.nz); at www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/economic-evaluation-manual/volume-1/index.html and www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/economic-evaluation-manual/volume-2/docs/eem2-july-2010.pdf.


L.K. Panigrahi (2011), “Bus do Kadam,” GEF-SUTP Quarterly Newsletter, Sustainable Urban Transportation Project India (www.undp.org.in), Vol. 1/4, pp. 6-7,; at www.undp.org.in/sites/default/files/reports_publication/SUTP-Oct2011.pdf.


PBIC, Image Library (www.pedbikeimages.org), by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (www.walkinginfo.org) provides an extensive collection of photographs related to walking and cycling.


Pedestrian Information Center (www.walkinginfo.org) provides communities information and resources to create safe places for walking and to promote healthy lifestyles and neighborhoods through increased walking.                      


Lee Pike (2011), Generation Of Walking, Cycling And Public Transport Trips: Pilot Study, New Zealand Transport Agency (www.nzta.govt.nz); at www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/research/reports/439/docs/439.pdf.


Portland Office of Transportation (1998), Portland Pedestrian Design Guide, and Pedestrian Master Plan, Pedestrian Transportation Program, City of Portland (www.trans.ci.portland.or.us).


Project for Public Spaces (www.pps.org) works to create and sustain public places that build communities. It provides a variety of resources for developing more livable communities.


John Pucher and Christian Lefevre (1996), The Urban Transportation Crisis in Europe and North America, MacMillan Press (London).


John Pucher and Lewis Dijkstra (2000), “Making Walking and Cycling Safer: Lessons from Europe,” Transportation Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 3, Summer 2000; at www.vtpi.org/puchertq.pdf.


John Pucher and Ralph Buehler (2007), “At the Frontiers of Cycling: Policy Innovations in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany,” World Transport Policy & Practice, Vol. 13, No. 3; at www.eco-logica.co.uk/pdf/wtpp13.3.pdf.


Quotations about Walking (www.quotegarden.com/walking.html), Quote Garden.


Stacy Rendall, Shannon Page, Fernke Reitsma, Elijah Van Houten and Susan Krumdieck (2011), “Quantifying Transport Energy Resilience: Active Mode Accessibility,” Transportation Research Record 2242, Transportation Research Board (www.trb.org), pp. 72-80; at http://amonline.trb.org/12l3tc/1.


Piet Rietveld (2000), “Nonmotorized Modes in Transport Systems: A Multimodal Chain Perspective for The Netherlands,” Transportation Research D, Vol. 5, No. 1, January 2000, pp. 31-36.


Luis Rodriguez (2011), Pedestrian-Only Shopping Streets Make Communities More Livable, Planetizen (www.planetizen.com); at www.planetizen.com/node/47517.


Robert Salter, Subash Dhar and Peter Newman (2011), Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation: Transport Sector, Risø Centre on Energy, Climate and Sustainable Development, United Nations Environmental Program (www.uneprisoe.org); at http://tech-action.org/Guidebooks/TNAhandbook_Transport.pdf.


Paula Santos (2015), The Eight Principles Of The Sidewalk: Building More Active Cities, The City Fix (http://thecityfix.com); at http://thecityfix.com/blog/the-eight-principles-of-the-sidewalk-building-more-active-cities-paula-santos.


Gian-Claudia Sciara, Susan Handy and Marlon G. Boarnet (2011), Draft Policy Brief on the Impacts of Pedestrian Strategies Based on a Review of the Empirical Literature, for Research on Impacts of Transportation and Land Use-Related Policies, California Air Resources Board (http://arb.ca.gov/cc/sb375/policies/policies.htm).


SACOG (2011), Complete Streets Resource Toolkit, Sacramento Area Council of Governments (www.sacog.org); at www.sacog.org/complete-streets/toolkit/START.html.


Donald Shoup (1996), “Regulation At The Point Of Sale,” Journal of the American Planning Association (www.planning.org), Vol. 62, No. 3, Summer, pp. 354-372; at http://shoup.bol.ucla.edu/Regulation_at_Sale.pdf.


Donald Shoup (2010), “Fixing Broken Sidewalks,” Access 36 (www.uctc.net/access); Spring 2010, pp. 30-36; at www.uctc.net/access/36/access-36brokensidewalks.pdf.


Jeff Speck (2012), Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step At A Time, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, www.amazon.ca/Walkable-City-Downtown-Save-America/dp/0374285810


Sam Swartz (2012), Steps to a Walkable Community: A Guide for Citizens, Planners, and Engineers, America Walks (www.americawalks.org/walksteps).


Rodney Tolley (2011), Good For Busine$$ - The Benefits Of Making Streets More Walking And Cycling Friendly, Heart Foundation South Australia (www.heartfoundation.org.au); at www.heartfoundation.org.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/GoodforBusinessFINAL_Nov.pdf.


Ray Tomalty and Murtaza Haider (2009), Walkability and Health; BC Sprawl Report 2009, Smart Growth BC (www.smartgrowth.bc.ca); at www.smartgrowth.bc.ca/Portals/0/Downloads/sgbc-sprawlreport-2009.pdf.


S. Turner, R. Singh, P. Quinn and T. Allatt (2011), Benefits Of New And Improved Pedestrian Facilities – Before And After Studies, Research Report 436, NZ Transport Agency (www.nzta.govt.nz); at www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/research/reports/436/docs/436.pdf.


UTTIPEC (2009), Pedestrian Design Guidelines: Don’t Drive…Walk, Delhi Development Authority, New Delhi (www.uttipec.nic.in); at www.uttipec.nic.in/PedestrianGuidelines-30Nov09-UTTPEC-DDA.pdf.


C. Vallyon and S. Turner (2011), Reducing Pedestrian Delay At Traffic Signals, Research Report 440, NZ Transport Agency (www.nzta.govt.nz); at www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/research/reports/440/docs/440.pdf.


Walk Friendly Communities (www.walkfriendly.org) is a national program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation to encourage towns and cities to establish a high priority for supporting safer walking environments. The Resources section provides useful information for bicycle and pedestrian planning and analysis.


Walkable and Livable Communities Institute (www.walklive.org) provides training in building healthy communities and a range of topics related to integrating urban design and transportation planning to create more livable places.


Walkable Places Project (www.walkableplaces.org) provides resources to help non-experts evaluate barriers and opportunities for walking.


Walkability Portal (http://indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/search/apachesolr_search/walkability) provides information on walking issues.


Walkability Asia (http://walkabilityasia.org) supports walkability improvements in Asian countries.


Walkability Tools Research Webpage (www.levelofservice.com) is a Land Transport New Zealand website concerned with methods for measuring walkability.


WalkScore (www.walkscore.com) calculates the walkability of a location based on proximity to public services such as stores, schools and parks.


Jay Walljasper (2013), Walking As A Way Of Life Movement For Health & Happiness, Everybody Walks ( (www.everybodywalk.org); at www.everybodywalk.org/media_assets/WalkingAsAWayOfLife1_Final.pdf.


Ryan Walsh (2012), Local Policies And Practices That Support Safe Pedestrian Environments; A Synthesis Of Highway Practice, NCHRP Synthesis 436, Transportation Research Board (www.trb.org); at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_syn_436.pdf.


WSDOT (2011), Washington’s Complete Streets and Main Street Highways: Case Study Resource, Community Planning and Development, Washington State Department of Transportation (www.wsdot.wa.gov/LocalPrograms/Planning) at www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/A49BBBE7-16BC-4ACE-AF2B-3C14066674C9/0/CompleteStreets_110811.pdf.


WFC (2010), Walk Friendly Community Assessment Tool, Walk Friendly Communities (www.walkfriendly.org).


Wilbur Smith (2008), Traffic & Transportation Policies and Strategies in Urban Areas in India, Ministry of Urban Development (www.urbanindia.nic.in); at http://urbanindia.nic.in/moud/programme/ut/Traffic_transportation.pdf.


Zeeger, et al (2002), Pedestrian Facilities User Guide: Providing Safety and Mobility, Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (www.walkinginfo.org), Highway Safety Research Center, Federal Highway Administration, Publication FHWA-RD-01-102.


Zegeer, et al. (2004), “Safety Effects of Marked Versus Unmarked Crosswalks in 30 Cities,” ITE Journal, Vol. 74, No. 1, January 2004, pp. 34-41; also at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (www.walkinginfo.org/rd/devices.htm).


Charles V. Zegeer, et al (2006), How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, Federal Highway Administration, Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (www.walkinginfo.org).

This Encyclopedia is produced by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute to help improve understanding of Transportation Demand Management. It is an ongoing project. Please send us your comments and suggestions for improvement.




Encyclopedia Homepage

Send Comments


Victoria Transport Policy Institute

www.vtpi.org       info@vtpi.org

1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC,  V8V 3R7,  CANADA

Phone & Fax 250-360-1560

“Efficiency - Equity - Clarity”