Business/Commerce

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 out to and coordinate among municipal, county, and school district agencies and departments including the police, planning, public works, and engineering departments, and local transit. Other information may come from local nonprofits, advocacy groups, or elected officials
  • Mention any state or national programs that have had a positive impact in your community, or any programs from local departments, private organizations, or advocacy groups that have improved the walking environment—also include any specific efforts to create a culture of walking
Benefits
  • Provides suggestions and resources to improve pedestrian safety
  • Helps identify areas of needed improvements
  • Helps create a framework for future pedestrian improvements
  • Allows cities to share successful tactics and programs
  • Provides competition and inspiration for walking improvements
  • Gives cities a marketing advantage over other tourist destinations
  • Potentially supports further municipal and private investment in walking improvements
Considerations
  • Investing time and staff in the 20- to 60-hour application process
Where to Use It
  • Individual cities and towns, or counties where the county and city government are the same entity, as per WFC application requirements
Professional Consensus
  • The Walk Friendly Communities program is sponsored by FedEx and the Federal Highway Administration. It is maintained by the UNC Highway Safety Research Center’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center with support from national partners, including: Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, League of American Bicyclists, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Bicycling & Walking, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, America Walk, The Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Accessible Design for the Blind, National Center for Safe Routes to School, Access Board, and AARP
Examples

More than 38 cities and towns have received Walk Friendly Communities designations, including:

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.