Established Organizations

Case Studies

Washington, DC: Temporary Urbanism Program

The Washington, DC, Office of Planning (OP) launched its Temporary Urbanism initiative in 2010 to help transform vacant spaces into dynamic destinations. The initiative emerged out of a 2009 OP forum that brainstormed ways to “catalyze collaborative action across the creative, green, technology, nonprofit, education, and technology sectors.” The OP’s current Temporary Urbanism program is … Continue reading Washington, DC: Temporary Urbanism Program

San Francisco: Parklet Program

The cities of New York and San Francisco have taken the concept of Park(ing) Day and created official programs to repurpose curbside parking into public space on a longer-term basis. The San Francisco Parklet program seeks applications from business improvement districts, retail stores, and restaurants for the opportunity to design, construct, and maintain the spaces … Continue reading San Francisco: Parklet Program

Seattle: Sidewalk Network Analysis

Seattle used a GIS-based approach to prioritize potential sidewalk projects. The city first analyzed sidewalk needs based on the presence and characteristics of existing sidewalks, such as physical buffers, traffic speeds and volumes, and block length. The city then analyzed sidewalks based on three demand analyses—potential pedestrian demand, socioeconomic / health equity, and corridor function—and … Continue reading Seattle: Sidewalk Network Analysis

New York: Slow Zones

In November 2011, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) launched its first Neighborhood Slow Zone pilot program in the Claremont neighborhood of the Bronx. The area was selected for its relatively high frequency of serious traffic crashes and for its definable boundaries that could be easily marked for a zone. The goal of … Continue reading New York: Slow Zones

Toronto: Arterial Street Redesigns

Kingston Road, a six-lane highway in Toronto, Ontario, became the subject of several “revisioning” sessions. The first of these visions emerged from a two-week design charette sponsored by Canadian Architect magazine and the City of Toronto in 2006, which recommended an incremental design strategy. The vision include pocket parks connecting crosswalks and medians, and temporary … Continue reading Toronto: Arterial Street Redesigns

New York: Pedestrian Plazas

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) removed two of four vehicular lanes along Broadway between Columbus Circle and Union Square in Midtown Manhattan (a distance of 2 miles) and built a buffered bicycle lane and pedestrian plazas using temporary materials like textured paint and roadway markings in the newly freed roadway space. This … Continue reading New York: Pedestrian Plazas

San Francisco: Data Collection

In addition to conducting manual pedestrian counts and installing automatic counters at select locations, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) recently created a pedestrian-volume model to extrapolate walking activity across a larger swath of the city. SFMTA first conducted manual and automated pedestrian counts at 50 study intersections with a variety of characteristics, from … Continue reading San Francisco: Data Collection

UK: Pedestrian-Detecting Signals

The United Kingdom had two main types of pedestrian signal treatments: Puffin signals and Pelican signals. A Pelican signal treatment consisted of a nearside push button to trigger the walk phase, a standard timed walk phase based on the street length and average walking pace, and a farside pedestrian signal that beamed a green light … Continue reading UK: Pedestrian-Detecting Signals

Oregon: Strengthen Crossing Ordinances

Ray Thomas, an Oregon bicycle and pedestrian lawyer, and the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition had been trying for years to induce drivers to yield more consistently to pedestrians in crosswalks. Oregon’s existing statute specified that a driver shall stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian when he or she is crossing the road in a crosswalk. … Continue reading Oregon: Strengthen Crossing Ordinances

Wisconsin: Train Officers

In 2007, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation updated its bicycle-training program for law-enforcement officers, which had been created in 1995 through a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) grant, to include pedestrian statutes and crash-prevention techniques. The course is designed to give law- enforcement officers the basic knowledge, tools, and resources to create safe walking … Continue reading Wisconsin: Train Officers


Use Apps to Encourage Walking

Using open-source data, geographic information systems, and mobile technology, software developers can create phone and online applications to tell people when the next train, taxi, or bus is coming, that there’s a fun landmark or park around the corner, or how to use a myriad of transportation systems effectively to get from point A to … Continue reading Use Apps to Encourage Walking

Start Up Jane’s Walks

Jane Jacobs Walk is a series of neighborhood walking tours (and/or bike rides, transit rides, or wheelchair rides) that helps community members learn and respond to the complexities of their city through personal and shared observation. All tours are given and taken for free and coordinated through the Center for the Living City, a nonprofit … Continue reading Start Up Jane’s Walks

Promote Park(ing) Day

Popularized by the San Francisco–based design group, Rebar, Park(ing) Day is an annual event on the third Friday of September during which activists and community groups legally take over a curbside parking spot and reinvent the space for pedestrian purposes. Groups have created public parks, public reading rooms, curbside cafes, bocci courts, and mini beaches … Continue reading Promote Park(ing) Day

Activate Streetscapes through Temporary Uses of Vacant Buildings and Sites

Organizing temporary uses of vacant buildings or land for socially beneficial purposes, which helps create safe dynamic streetscapes and walking destinations. Guidance Collaborate with local organizations to determine the temporary use The following elements are suggested for a community garden or urban farm: Water source Covered area Seating Bathroom Compost or worm bins Art installations … Continue reading Activate Streetscapes through Temporary Uses of Vacant Buildings and Sites

Create Play Streets

Play Streets programs temporarily close a section of a street off to cars, typically for a morning or a day on a regular, but seasonal, basis, for use as a public playground. Activities are often organized and supervised by volunteers or city workers. Guidance Plan ahead: Contact potential partners and brainstorm activities in winter or … Continue reading Create Play Streets

Create Open Streets

Temporarily closing streets to automobiles and organizing public activities to encourage healthier transportation and living habits. Guidance Build political, financial, and community support early on. Chicago’s Active Transportation Alliance used foundation funding to take local officials to cities with Open Streets initiatives. Once they experienced the event firsthand, Chicago officials started championing a car-free event … Continue reading Create Open Streets

Demonstrate Street Improvements

Spearheaded by the Better Block Project, this strategy is a collaborative effort to design and install a one-day demonstration of pedestrian-oriented streetscape improvements along an urban block. Typical demonstrations set up temporary pedestrian plazas, pop-up businesses in vacant storefronts, street trees and greenery in planters, bike lanes, additional street lighting, and (rented) sidewalk benches, tables, … Continue reading Demonstrate Street Improvements

Create a Pedestrian Wayfinding System

Pedestrian wayfinding systems are navigational systems that help pedestrians determine where they are and where they need to go to reach a destination. Traditionally consisting of signs, wayfinding systems can now also involve GPS systems, web connectivity, and mobile technology. Wayfinding systems can be designed and implemented formally by municipalities and business improvement districts, or … Continue reading Create a Pedestrian Wayfinding System

Seek Recognition

Applying for a Walk Friendly Communities (WFC) designation, managed by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, provides national recognition for your city’s efforts to encourage and improve walking. Guidance Create an application committee with members from multiple agencies and backgrounds, including planners, engineers, law-enforcement officials, and advocates To find information requested by the application, reach … Continue reading Seek Recognition

Create a SmartTrips Program

A SmartTrips program is a direct, individualized marketing program that encourages neighborhood residents to switch from car-based transportation to transit, biking, and walking. Programs use various approaches, such as direct mailings, email and website outreach, text messages, blogs, social media, bike delivery of materials, and free events to educate and encourage residents to change their … Continue reading Create a SmartTrips Program


New Webinar: Friends and Allies of the Walking Movement (July 14th)

Register Here Please note, this webinar also serves as the Module #3 webinar for our 2016 Walking College. Date and Time: July 14, 2016 at 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific Webinar Title: “Friends and Allies of the Walking Movement” About the Webinar At the 2015 National Walking Summit, keynote speaker Ron Sims reminded us that though we may … Continue reading New Webinar: Friends and Allies of the Walking Movement (July 14th)

New Webinar and Training- Local Ballot Initiatives

Register for the Informational Webinar Here America Walks and the Center for Transportation Excellence are excited to announce a new online webinar and training series. The series will arm advocates with the knowledge, training and tools to successfully initiate Local Ballot Initiatives to support projects and infrastructure related to improving transit to develop walkable communities. … Continue reading New Webinar and Training- Local Ballot Initiatives

Paths to Walkable Communities Webinar

The release of the Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking & Walkable Communities in September 2015 was a watershed moment for the walking movement. Its release provided leadership and motivation for governments, businesses and organizations to address the numerous barriers to safe, active mobility and promoted the multiple health benefits of walking. This webinar … Continue reading Paths to Walkable Communities Webinar

Partnering for Strong Economies- Regional Councils & Walkable Communities Webinar

America Walks and the National Association of Regional Councils hosted webinar which examines how federal transportation funding is allocated through Regional Councils and how to access it for projects that promote walkable communities including complete streets, safety efforts and place-making. The webinar explores two unique perspectives as we hear from both a planner from a … Continue reading Partnering for Strong Economies- Regional Councils & Walkable Communities Webinar

New Webinar: Call to Action: Paths to Walkable Communities

Register Here Date and Time: May 12, 2016 at 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific Webinar Title: “Call to Action: Paths to Walkable Communities” Register Here About the Webinar The release of the Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking & Walkable Communities in September 2015 was a watershed moment for the walking movement. Its release provided … Continue reading New Webinar: Call to Action: Paths to Walkable Communities

Walking as a Practice April 14th Webinar

In this webinar, we will take a take a closer look at the “Walking as a Practice” report that was released in January 2016 and can be downloaded here. This report outlines four categories that identify how individuals and organizations are engaging in the practice of walking. Participants hear from the author of the report, Jonathon … Continue reading Walking as a Practice April 14th Webinar

Fundraising on the Move: Crowdfunding for Walkable Communities Webinar

Looking to increase resident engagement in your work? Need cash quickly for an urgent project? Trying to build an individual donor base to take your nonprofit to the next level? Curious about crowdfunding? This webinar with the crowdfunding nonprofit ioby will help you learn more about how crowdfunding can be both an effective fundraising and community-engagement tool … Continue reading Fundraising on the Move: Crowdfunding for Walkable Communities Webinar

Call to Action – What Does it Mean? Webinar

America Walks is excited to announce that the Surgeon General released his Call to Action on Walking and Walkable Communities titled “Step it Up!” on September 9th with an event in Washington, DC. This is a shining moment for the walking and walkability efforts underway across the country and we want you to be part … Continue reading Call to Action – What Does it Mean? Webinar

Walkability: The Health and Wellness Equation

Walking is more than basic transportation and recreation; it is the key to health, longevity and affordable living. If we want more equitable communities–accessible–then walking must become a natural activity again. We are all change agents. In this session, Dan Burden, one of the earliest pioneers in North America’s walkability movement, who is credited with … Continue reading Walkability: The Health and Wellness Equation

Building Your Fundraising Leadership Towards Walkable Communities

America Walks’ second series of “Walking College” webinars launched July 27th. Designed for the Walking College Fellowship program, and open to a general audience, this webinar focuses on fundraising – one of the biggest challenges for local community change agents. First, Brighid O’Keane, Walking College Mentor and Interim Director with the Alliance for Biking & … Continue reading Building Your Fundraising Leadership Towards Walkable Communities