“And we’re challenging you to ask what you can do to help communities measure and visualize how well a project increases connectivity for all residents and be a thought leader for solutions that connect Point A to Point B, without forgetting the points and people in between.”
– Secretary Anthony Foxx, US Department of Transportation (DOT)
Remember how the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) announced new performance measures last month for biking and walking? Read our coverage here. The standards aim to hold state and local governments more accountable for the US’ increasingly poor track record on bicyclist and pedestrian safety.
Well – there is a guidebook hot off the press that outlines the FHWA’s vision for these performance measures.
Key metrics outlined in the guidebook include national safety goals, infrastructure conditions, traffic congestion, reliability of local and regional transportation systems, economic impact and environmental sustainability among others.
The FHWA’s bike/ped policy push aligns with the United States DOT’s current policy statement on bicycle and pedestrian accommodation regulations and recommendations.
It states “every transportation agency, including DOT, has the responsibility to improve conditions and opportunities for walking and bicycling into their transportation systems. Because of the numerous individual and community benefits that walking and bicycling provide – including health, safety, environmental, transportation, and quality of life – transportation agencies are encouraged to go beyond minimum standards to provide safe and convenient facilities for these modes.”
Both FHWA and the DOT want to see local governments, regional MPOs (Metropolitan Planning Organizations) and state DOTs not just meeting the standards but ideally exceeding them. The guidebook includes a toolbox packed with terminology, data sources and potential bike/ped best practices to help them get the ball rolling.