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Issue 5 (12-17-01)
Dollars and Sense for Peds and Bikes —
Planning and the Economics of Nonmotorized Transportation

news articles
policy documents and reports

News Articles:

"Project Offers Walking a Leg Up" by Annemarie Mannion. Special to the Chicago Tribune, Published November 11, 2001.

Ideas for increasing walkability emerged when officials from Lemont and Orland Park communities participated in workshops on the topic. Among them are new coats of paint to make crosswalks more visible to children on their way to school, and a shopping mall where raised sidewalks are being considered to help pedestrians more easily navigate its parking lot. Transportation experts, representatives of local governmental agencies and local businesses took part in walkabouts of the areas that planners in these communities identified as needing improvement.

Planners for the Chicago Area Transportation Study, which conducted the workshops, wanted communities to get excited about making their communities walkable and to give them tools for making their communities pedestrian-friendly. The group selected 10 communities and neighborhoods from across the Chicago area. They asked communities to describe specific problems. Lemont was selected because it wants to improve pedestrian access to its historic downtown, which is difficult to get to by foot. The downtown is bordered on the north by the Illinois & Michigan Canal. The Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal and the Des Plaines River lie beyond.

In Orland Park, the parking lot of a '70s-era mall was not pedestrian-friendly. During a walkabout, workshop attendees walked the parking lot and reviewed the shopping center's entrance areas. Shopping center management is now considering installing three or four raised sidewalks with curbs and landscaping that would cross the parking lot. One sidewalk would extend from sidewalks on a focal street to a mall entrance. There would be crosswalks at the center's inner and outer ring roads. These sidewalks would not be accessible to vehicular traffic, and would be a safety zone for pedestrians Installing sidewalks across the parking lot also might increase commerce by encouraging more people eating at nearby restaurants to walk to the mall. The sidewalks might also increase foot traffic from residential subdivisions that lie east, west and north of the mall.

Lemont village planners are looking at long-term goals, such as expanding biking and walking paths and connecting them with nearby towns. Improving accessibility across the canal, including the addition of pedestrian bridges, are long-term goals that will require careful planning and funds. Shorter-term (and less expensive) goals include increasing the visibility of crosswalks, starting an inventory of sidewalks where gaps could be filled, and amending the village's zoning ordinance to require new businesses to have bike racks.

Related Internet Site: The Chicago Area Transportation Study (CATS) or more on CATS, including ideas on community planning for pedestrian and bicycle facilities and getting funds for improvements, visit the CATS Pedestrian and Bicycle Issues web site at: http://www.catsmpo.com/bikeped/index.htm

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"It Takes a City to Raise a Village of Shops, Cafes." By Patricia Ward Biederman, Los Angeles Times. Published November 12, 2001.

This article focuses on financial considerations and the planning process for development of Agoura Village, a proposed pedestrian-friendly development of cafes, shops, entertainment venues and restaurants in the city of Agoura Hills, CA. Agoura Village was conceived more than five years ago. The City Council and citizens of Agoura Hills want development to enhance their community, whose natural beauty comes from the Santa Monica Mountains.

Although groundbreaking is at least two years off, planning began in 1997. At that time, city officials and residents sat down with consultants for what planners call a charette, which is a collaborative problem-solving session. In the charette, the best ideas of local residents there were captured in a series of "concept drawings" and a wish list for their ideal village. Citizens want Agoura Village to reflect the natural surroundings, the city's unique character and quality of life. Features would include parking behind shops and theaters, a central plaza, extensive landscaping, distinctive street furniture and public art. Other proposals would incorporate an existing equestrian center and a mall known for its antique stores. Carriage, bus or shuttle service would move people around the complex. The plan allows for housing above shops and other commercial operations, and invite the city's residents, young and old, to remain. A main traffic artery must remain open, but traffic calming techniques may be applied. A San Luis Obispo design group will draft the project plan, at a cost of about $250,000 over two years.


Policy Documents and Reports:

The Environmental Guidebook - Bicycle & Pedestrian Issues. Washington, D.C. : Federal Highway Administration. Full text at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/guidebook/index.htm

This is the web site for the Federal Highway Administration's Environmental Guidebook that was first published in November, 1999. The web site is the place to find new or revised environmental guidance and policy information; corrections and revisions to the Guidebook will also be posted here. The majority of the reference documents are provided in Portable Document Format (PDF) file format. The Guidebook home page contains links to the Subject Area index pages and from the index pages, the individual documents can be accessed. Contents include: Transmittal of Bicycle and Pedestrian Provisions of the Federal-aid Program; Interim Guidance on Applying Section 4(f) on Transportation Enhancement Projects and National Recreational Trails Projects; Policy on Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects and Transmittal of National Bicycling and Walking Study Final Report; Simplified Procedures for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects; and Proposed Seaway Trail and Bikeway Application.

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Mean Streets 2000 - Pedestrian Safety, Health, and Federal Transportation Spending. Washington, D.C. : Surface Transportation Policy Project, 2001. Full text at: http://www.tea21.org/Reports/ms2000/default.htm

In this frequently cited annual report, the top ten U.S. cities where pedestrians are most at risk are spotlighted. Per mile traveled, pedestrians in the U.S. are 36 times more likely to die in a collision than drivers. In this report of the Surface Transportation Policy Project, the pedestrian safety problem in the United States is examined through analysis of federal safety, and health statistics. Additionally, statistics on federal spending to promote a safer environment for pedestrians are described. Communities where automobiles dominate, and where there are few safe and convenient places to walk are identified as the most dangerous. The report also highlights the growing problem of poor health conditions and diseases that result from a sedentary lifestyle, and how more adults are being encouraged to walk for exercise, but few places to walk. The final chapter outlines solutions that can make walking not only safe, but attractive and convenient.

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"Transportation Pricing Strategies That Work." Testimony of Michael Replogle. Transportation Director, Environmental Defense Fund to the Highway and Transit Subcommittee, U.S. House of Representatives May 23, 2001.

Full text at: http://www.environmentaldefense.org/programs/Transportation/PricingStrat5_23.html

The price of transportation sends powerful signals to consumers, affecting their travel choices and environmental quality. Smart pricing incentives can expand travel choices, improve equity of access and increase mobility for all citizens. In California and Minnesota, modest -$2 to $3 a day- employer incentives in lieu of free parking have persuaded one out of eight employees who used to drive to find other ways to get to work. Such benefits help employers attract and retain employees and especially help low and moderate wage workers who spend a large share of their incomes commuting and often ride transit, carpool, bike, or walk to work.

This testimony to the Highway and Transit Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives outlines some proposed legislation, including H.R. 1265, that would allow employees who ride bicycles to work the same financial incentives as transit users.



The Urban Parks Institute of the Project for Public Spaces maintains a web site that lists funding sources for greenway projects, and gives guidance on the development of strategies for securing startup funds as well as ongoing funds to sustain facilities. Public funding, corporate sponsorships, and foundation grants are explored, land acquisition strategies. Link to: http://urbanparks.pps.org/topics/funding/ This institute also maintains a web site that focuses on planning and design of public spaces, including pedestrian and bicycle facilities. http://urbanparks.pps.org/topics/design/

The International Bicycle Fund is a non-governmental, nonprofit, advocacy organization, promoting sustainable transport. Major areas of activity are non-motorized urban planning, economic development, bike safety education, responsible travel and cycle tourism, and cross-cultural, educational programs. Users will find extensive links on the economics of bicycle commuter incentive programs, financial considerations for planning of bicycle facilities, and many links to all types of bicycle advocacy information. Although the this site is rich in content related to bicycle facilities and user incentive programs in the U.S. and industrialized nations, it also features information on programs to support infrastructure for nonmotorized transportation in developing nations. Link to: http://www.ibike.org/index.htm

The Trust for Public Land Link to: http://www.tpl.org/ Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit whose mission is to conserve land for recreation and to improve the health and quality of life of American communities. The trust's legal and real estate specialists work with landowners, government agencies, and community groups to create urban parks, gardens, greenways, and riverways, build livable communities by setting aside open space in the path of growth, conserve land for watershed protection, scenic beauty, and close-to-home recreation, and safeguard the character of communities by preserving historic landmarks and landscapes. TPL pioneers new ways to finance parks and open space; helps generate federal, state, and local conservation funding; and promotes the importance of public lands.

The American Planning Association, http://www.planning.org/ is a nonprofit public interest and research organization involved with urban and rural planning issues. Many of APA's members are employed by state and local government agencies whose work is to formulate planning policies and prepare land use regulations. APA's objective is to encourage planning that will contribute to public well-being by developing communities and environments that meet the needs of people and The APA educates policy makers on land use planning issues and advocates policy changes to incorporate planning principles at all levels of government. Among their current national legislative priorities is reauthorization of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) a major source of federal funding for pedestrian and bicycle programs. The APA Public Information Office educates media and the public about the importance of planning and the role of planners in shaping U.S. communities. Additionally, APA conducts extensive research on planning topics, including those sponsored by agencies and other associations. A current project, Growing SmartSM, includes a legislative guidebook to help decision-makers update state land use laws to fit modern uses.

Cyburbia http://www.cyburbia.org/ and PLANetizen http://www.planetizen.com/ are two web sites that exist for current awareness and information exchange related to urban planning and development. Cyburbia provides a comprehensive directory of Internet resources relevant to planning, architecture, and the built environment. PLANetizen is a public-interest information exchange for the urban planning and development community. It provides a daily source for urban planning news, job opportunities, commentary and events. Check both resources for news related to budgetary and financial considerations involving planning and incentives for nonmotorized transportation.



Content for PBIC Currents is selected, edited and compiled by Mary Ellen Tucker, M.L.S., Librarian at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, and reviewed by Charles Zegeer, P.E., Director of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC). Copy editing responsibilities and web site design are managed by Katherine Hanburger.

Selection and Contents Notes: We do not list commercial, for-profit sites. Content is selected and evaluated according to the following criteria: relevance to subject area, technical accuracy of content and accompanying graphical material, and ease of use to a wide variety of readers.

What is PBIC Currents? PBIC Currents is a current awareness service of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. Each month's issue focuses on a specially chosen topic, and presents the newest and most useful material from around the world.

Who is it for? PBIC Currents is for all members of the bicycling and walking community - users, advocates, educators, technical specialists, health care providers, planners, and anyone else who has an interest in promoting a safe and healthy environment for bicyclists and pedestrians. Enjoy!

Let us hear from you! Send comments to us at: pbic@pedbikeinfo.org