Print Page and Return to Getting Started
"Getting started" can be daunting the needs are overwhelming,
resources are scarce, and staff time is limited. Every community is faced with
the questions of "Where do I start?" and "How do I get going?"
While it is not the intent of this guide to provide an exhaustive discussion of
implementation strategies, some direction is useful.
Priorities: Since all pedestrian needs will not be able to be addressed
immediately, project priorities need to be established. To create priorities requires
several program objectives:
Safety One objective should be to reduce the number and severity
of crashes involving pedestrians. To accomplish this will require: (1) a good
understanding of the types of crashes that are occurring in your community,
and (2) application of appropriate countermeasures to address these crashes.
The information provided in this guide is intended to help select the countermeasures
that will be most effective in addressing selected types of crash problems.
One Step at a Time: To create a safe, walkable community, take one step
at a time. Sidewalks, curb bulbs, and other pedestrian improvements are installed
intersection by intersection, block by block. Individually, they do not create
a safe, livable community. Collectively, they create the infrastructure needed
for a great place to work, play, and do business. In other words, the whole
pedestrian system is greater than the sum of its parts.
Access A second objective should be to create an accessible community
where all pedestrians, including those with disabilities, can reach their desired
destinations. Typically, this begins with being able to walk safely along streets
(i.e., sidewalks) and across streets at intersections and other appropriate
Aesthetics It is not enough to simply have a safe, accessible
community it should also be an aesthetically pleasing place to live and
work. Landscaping, lighting, and other pedestrian amenities help create a "livable
community" and should be considered when making pedestrian improvements.
Community Concerns: Be very sensitive to community concerns. Public participation
will build community pride and ownership that is essential to long-term success.
Some of the problems identified in this guide will not be an issue in your community
and some of the tools may be perceived as too expensive (at least initially).
There probably will be measures that your community puts on hold for a few years
until a community consensus is reached. Conversely, there probably will be measures
that your community would like to pursue that are not even mentioned in this
Deliverables: It is very important to produce immediate deliverables
that people can see. For example, a new section of sidewalk or a freshly painted
crosswalk is visible, while a transportation plan is a paper document that may
never be seen or appreciated by the public. To keep its momentum, a program
needs some quick wins. They create the sense that something is happening
and that government is responsive.