This fact sheet describes key steps to ensure your program is well positioned for funding, provides ideas for where to look for funding, and highlights the breadth of funding sources that programs from around the country are currently accessing.
This user-friendly guide addresses the common challenges local advocates face when working to improve streets. Are you looking to create better streets in your neighborhood or community? Have you gotten discouraged by bureaucratic red tape or simple lack of communication? Or, are you passionate about great streets but struggling to get neighbors or city officials to share your enthusiasm or vision for people-centered public spaces?
“One of the biggest factors in deciding which transportation mode you’ll use is the built environment. The infrastructure that surrounds us determines which modes get used the most and which the least.
Think about it like this: do you want to bike on a three-lane highway, or on a protected bike lane? If you chose the protected bike lane – or driving on the three-lane highway – the built environment influenced your decision.
These are some of the ways the built environment influences travel behavior. Many of them are interrelated. I”
“At Mobility Lab, we spend a lot of time researching people’s transportation behavior and why they make the choices they do. What made you bike to work yesterday, but drive alone today?
Creating a sustainable, efficient, and equitable transportation network requires more than just building a new streetcar line. We need to consider what people consider when they make a mode choice, or else they won’t use the transportation options we invest in.”
Walkability is a crucial first step in creating sustainable transportation in an urban environment. Effectively understanding and measuring the complex ecology of walkability has proven challenging for many organizations and governments, given the various levels of policy-making and implementation involved. In the past, Western and Eurocentric standards have permeated measurement attempts and have included data collection practices that are too complicated to have utility in many parts of the world or at a level beyond that of the neighborhood. In order to expand the measurement of walkability to more places and to promote a better understanding of walkability, ITDP has developed Pedestrians First. This tool will facilitate the understanding and the measurement of the features that promote walkability in urban environments around the world at multiple levels. With a better global understanding of walkability, and more consistent and frequent measurement of the walkability of urban environments, decision-makers will be empowered to enact policies that create more walkable urban areas.
A new infobrief, Keep Calm and Carry On to School: Improving Arrival and Dismissal for Walking and Biking, provides information on how schools, districts, cities, counties, and community partners can address arrival and dismissal in school travel plans as well as other planning, policy, and programming efforts.
A new infobrief provides information for Safe Routes to School staff, volunteers, or program leaders on how to plan and develop a program that considers and meets the needs of students with disabilities.
This infobrief describes the benefits of Safe Routes to School for students with disabilities, strategies for including students with disabilities within the six E’s of Safe Routes to School, important components of inclusive Safe Routes to School programming, considerations for students with different kinds of disabilities, and ways to partner and build your resources.”
To test out creative approaches to safer street design, the National Complete Streets Coalition launched the Safe Streets Academy. We worked with three cities around the country to build skills in safer street design, creative placemaking, and community engagement, then helped the cities put these skills into practice. Through demonstration projects, the City of Orlando, FL, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, KY, and the City of South Bend, IN transformed their streets, intersections, and neighborhoods into slower, safer places for people. Communities around the country can learn from the stories of these demonstration projects to test out low-cost ways to create safer streets.
These case studies highlight lessons learned from these demonstration projects, including how the projects helped these cities build trust with the community and with other jurisdictions, test out new approaches for safer street design and make quick adjustments as needed, and change the conversation about the importance of slower, safer streets.
“The Center for Active Design is thrilled to announce the release of the Assembly: Civic Design Guidelines, a groundbreaking playbook for creating well-designed and well-maintained public spaces as a force for building trust and healing divisions in local communities.
The Assembly Guidelines capture the culmination of four years of research and collaboration—with input from 200+ studies, 50+ cities, and dozens of expert advisors—to provide evidence-based design and maintenance strategies for creating cities where people trust each other, have confidence in local institutions, and actively work together to address local priorities.
Funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, this is a pivotal and timely resource for anyone who designs, builds, manages, studies, or advocates for public space. Practitioners can use the Assembly Guidelines in a variety of ways: apply the checklist to a public space project; initiate dialogue about local civic challenges; test tactical, low-cost design interventions; and shape decision-making around capital investments.
CfAD is delighted to share the Assembly Guidelines as an inspiring, practical tool that serves as a call to action for designing and maintaining great public spaces for all.”
This handout covers frequently asked questions for starting a bike train program. This resource is great for school staff and principals!
With a bike train, a group of students bike to school together, accompanied by adults who make sure students stay safe and have fun. A bike train is a fun and easy way for kids to
safely get physical activity on the way to or from school and a great way for students who live too far to conveniently walk to participate in Safe Routes to School.
As more and more people are bicycling in the United States, a bike train can be a strong part of a larger Safe Routes to School program, initiatives that thousands of communities across the nation are establishing.
The purpose of this guide is to provide a simple description of how to plan and organize a bike train. This guide outlines how to put together and run a bike train program at your school, including initial planning considerations, logistics, promotion, training, and evaluation. The guide has tried-and-true methods, resources, and templates to get you off to a quick start. Whether you are familiar with Safe Routes to School or it is brand new to you, this guide will get you on your way, pedaling toward a successful bike train program.
Arts, Culture and Transportation: A Creative Placemaking Field Scan is a rigorous national examination of creative placemaking in the transportation planning process. Released in partnership with ArtPlace America, this new resource identifies ways that transportation professionals can integrate artists to deliver transportation projects more smoothly, improve safety, and build community support.
This 2 pages observational tool is designed to assess key street-level features of a neighborhood environment that are thought to be related to physical activity behavior. Data collected can be used to generate data to create community awareness or to focus and advocate for environmental improvements.
This resource was developed by one of the CHSC grantees and is universally useful even though it was developed with small upstate communities in mind. It contains several 1-2 page checklist style street and sidewalk assessments as well as action planning tools.
The Built Environment Assessment Tool (BE Tool) measures the core features and qualities of the built environment that affect health, especially walking, biking, and other types of physical activity.
The core features assessed in the BE Tool include:
Built environment infrastructure—such as road types, curb cuts and ramps, intersections and crosswalks, traffic control, and public transportation.
Walkability—for example, access to safe, attractive sidewalks and paths with inviting features.
Bikeability—such as the presence of bike lane or bike path features.
Recreational sites and structures.
Food environment—such as access to grocery stores, convenience stores, and farmers markets. The tool itself is Appendix D . See the links at the bottom of the page.
A new assessment tool for assessing the rural built environment (iCHART) looks at community design, transportation infrastructure, safety, aesthetics, and recreational facilities. The tool was tested in 5 rural communities, including 2 in New York.
As Complete Streets Policies are becoming increasingly popular researchers seek to understand how these provisions lead to equitable implementation and higher physical activity levels. These two latest reports from the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago examine both the association between complete streets policies and public transit use and equity prioritization in policies.
A new interactive website provides a review of relevant research to help advocates make their case for walking and biking, and lets users explore data at the state and city level and compare by location.
Read this report for ideas on low-cost projects that community organizations, municipal agencies, or private businesses can implement quickly and independently. Strategies address place-making, aesthetic improvements, and community-building activities, as well as roadway design strategies.
Building Healthier Communities: Integrating Public Health into Planning is a free online learning course for planning and health professionals. Designed to complement the American Planning Association’s Planners4Health curriculum, the course outlines what planners and public health professionals need to know and how they can connect their work.
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership recently published a fact sheet, Fighting for Equitable Transportation: Why it Matters, that explores why safe and convenient walking and biking matter for low-income communities and communities of color. This fact sheet is a companion resource to At the Intersection of Active Transportation and Equity: Joining Forces to Make Communities Healthier and Fairer.
Voices for Healthy Kids and The Safe Routes to School National Partnership have released a series of case studies on successful campaigns to increase physical activity. These new resources share stories of state- and local-level campaigns that have implemented Safe Routes to School, Complete Streets, shared use agreements, environmental justice policies, and more. They provide excellent examples of how communities and organizations can advance policies and programs that institutionalize support for walking, biking, physical activity, and healthy communities. You can access the new case studies in the “Resource” section of the following Voices for Healthy Kids toolkits.
CDC developed a new framework to encourage 25 million Americans to “level up” the amount of physical activity they get—either moving from a sedentary lifestyle to a moderately active one, or from a moderately active one to a lifestyle that meets suggested physical activity thresholds. This framework includes rallying public health practitioners to deliver programs that work; creating messaging around active lifestyles; mobilizing partners and training leaders for action; and developing technologies, tools, and data to support physical activity.
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently released a resource for transportation practitioners in small towns and rural communities titled “Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks.” It applies existing national design guidelines to rural settings and highlights small town and rural case studies. Challenges specific to rural communities are addressed and focus on opportunities to make incremental improvements despite these geographic, fiscal, and other challenges.
Researchers at the University of Illinois, Chicago, published a report about how Complete Streets support equity. This report, “Prioritizing Transportation Equity through Complete Streets,” examines results from eight communities that chose to prioritize equity in their Complete Streets policies. The report presents lessons and strategies that the eight communities learned; prioritizing equity was found difficult to put into practice.
The U.S. Department of Transportation released a new toolkit that provides resources and guidance to better understand transportation planning, including accessibility and safe spaces for walking and biking. The toolkit, geared towards members of the public who wish to learn how to engage in the transportation decision-making process at the local, regional, state, and federal levels, defines key transportation acronyms and jargon using both text and graphics. The toolkit also highlights engagement opportunities. The Toolkit can be found here and the Quick Guide here.
In the Road Signs Pedcast (a “walking podcast”), you’ll hear from people on the ground who are building safe and active streets. Each episode discusses one transportation tool that promotes community health. In this first episode, learn about an approach to making existing streets safer—a road diet—with a story from Oakland, California.
This database of the National Conference of State Legislatures is a valuable tool for anyone interested in state-level legislation related to active living and healthy eating. Users can search by state, topic area(s), year, bill type, bill status, and/or bill number. The website also has a text search feature. This database can be used to develop local policy language and check that local policies are in line with state policies.
This website provides a toolkit for implementing Healthiest Practice Open Streets. ‘Open Streets’ are community-based programs that temporarily open selected streets to people, by closing them to cars. By doing this the streets become places where people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds can come out and improve their health.
This report provides a detailed picture of the status of biking and walking in the United States. There is a significant amount of national and state-level data, case studies of communities which have been able to increase access to walking and biking, and tips for implementation in diverse communities.
This guidebook provides municipal governments with tools for economic revitalization that incorporates walkability into downtown areas of business. It includes sections on walkability, public parks, and affordable housing.
The National Complete Streets Coalition examines and scores Complete Streets policies each year, comparing adopted policy language to the ideal. Ideal policies refine a community’s vision for transportation, provide for many types of users, complement community needs, and establish a flexible project delivery approach necessary for an effective Complete Streets process and outcome. Different types of policy statements are included in this examination, including legislation, resolutions, executive orders, departmental policies, and policies adopted by an elected board.
This guide provides four overarching points to make in answering cost questions. The effectiveness of each depends upon the listener—some will resonate more with one audience than another. We give general guidance to the most appropriate audiences for each point, as well as general tips when discussing these topics in your community. We encourage you to use these examples as a starting point. Each point made below is illustrated in a companion PowerPoint slide. A thumbnail image of the slide and its corresponding slide number appear next to the text examples. You should not use the whole PowerPoint presentation to make your case locally. Instead, select the slides that are appropriate to your audience and situation and augment those slides with local facts and stories.
This workbook provides explanations of the various forms a Complete Streets (CS) policy may take and the elements of an ideal CS policy. This workbook is intended to be used during the development of a city or county CS policy.
This website offers depth of expertise, a national support network, and know-how to help make communities and schools safer, healthier, and more active. Includes factsheets, guides, publications, webinars and more related to SRTS, shared use, healthy communities and active transportation
This guide is intended to help planners, engineers, and decision-makers understand the Complete Streets roadway design process, and how it can be applied in smaller communities. It is intended as a companion to Complete Streets, Complete Networks, A Manual for the Design of Active Transportation.