Advocacy

Discussion Forums

Connecting the Dots- Region IV Town Hall

America Walks was excited to host a regional town hall meeting designed to connect local organizations with regional offices of federal agencies.  Attendees heard presentations from a variety of regional offices, participated in breakout groups to identify possible synergies and ways to grow regional work and came together to commit to a series of goals for the region.   Goals and Next … Continue reading Connecting the Dots- Region IV Town Hall

Tactics

Every Body Walk! Collaborative Resource- Getting The Community On Board

Some members of your community will immediately embrace the idea of creating a more walkable environment. But others may have never given it a thought, and won’t even know what it really means, let alone why it’s a good thing or how to get there.  Here are four things a community can do to build … Continue reading Every Body Walk! Collaborative Resource- Getting The Community On Board

Every Body Walk! Getting Started Guide

Many communities aspire to make themselves more walkable and livable, embracing the idea that it can improve health, the environment, even the economy.  This brief describes a number of pilot or gateway projects that are ideal “starter” activities. Download the Guide Here Getting Started Guide

Every Body Walk! Getting Started Practice Briefs

The Every Body Walk! Collaborative and expert Mark Fenton are pleased to be able to offer this series of Getting Started Practice Briefs designed to provide local organizations and advocates with resources, knowledge and insider tips on how to make their communities more walkable. The data found in these guides came from key informant interviews with … Continue reading Every Body Walk! Getting Started Practice Briefs

Assess Pedestrian Projects, Plans or Policies with Health Impact Assessment

Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a process that analyzes the potential health impacts of a proposed plan, project, or policy that is typically outside the public health realm, such as transportation or land use decisions. An HIA provides evidence to help health be considered in that decision-making process. An HIA usually suggests ways of mitigating, … Continue reading Assess Pedestrian Projects, Plans or Policies with Health Impact Assessment

Adopt a Complete Streets Policy

While traditional traffic engineering designs streets primarily for vehicles, a Complete Streets policy directs transportation planners and engineers to design and operate rights-of-way for safe access for everyone on the street, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. Guidance Build a Complete Streets coalition with transportation planners and engineers, public health professionals, public officials, … Continue reading Adopt a Complete Streets Policy

Incorporate PROWAG into Pedestrian Policies

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires ADA transition plans for jurisdictions. The Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right Of Way (proposed PROWAG) provide technical specifications required to make walking infrastructure accessible to people of all abilities. Once the Access Board issues its final rule, the Department of Justice and the Department … Continue reading Incorporate PROWAG into Pedestrian Policies

Use Measurable Performance Indicators in Pedestrian Policies

Measurable performance indicators are crucial elements of evaluating the effectiveness of a policy. Policies should specify goals and objectives for each initiative and create a set of indicators, or performance measures, that can be tracked to assess the effectiveness of that initiative. A monitoring program should also set a regular schedule for data collection and … Continue reading Use Measurable Performance Indicators in Pedestrian Policies

Develop a Pedestrian Master Plan

A pedestrian master plan provides an overview of the walking transportation network and identifies improvements that will enhance and encourage walking throughout the community. Guidance Create a public-outreach process to solicit and incorporate the perspectives of multiple stakeholders: walking and mobility-advocacy groups, residents, business owners and developers, elected officials, and media Create a technical outreach … Continue reading Develop a Pedestrian Master Plan

Prioritize Pedestrians in Street User Hierarchy

A street user hierarchy provides the framework for transportation policies, directing which mode should be considered first from a design perspective. A street hierarchy that prioritizes pedestrians would rank street users in the following order: pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, freight transporters, taxi drivers, and private-vehicle drivers. This policy framework also charges each street user to … Continue reading Prioritize Pedestrians in Street User Hierarchy

Establish an Advisory Council or Safety Task Force- Or Both

A pedestrian advisory council is typically a volunteer committee of informed residents who provide guidance on a city’s pedestrian policies, programs, and plans, and make recommendations for pedestrian improvements. A task force, often created through an executive directive, is convened to develop the framework for short- and long-term actions to create safe, pedestrian-oriented public space. … Continue reading Establish an Advisory Council or Safety Task Force- Or Both

Toolkits

Right of Way in the Crosswalk

Walking across the street is one of the most basic functions of life in a big city or small town, but can also be the most dangerous activity done each day. In order to arm advocates, America Walks and the law firm Swanson, Thomas, Coon, and Netwon have developed: Article that describes successful legal reforms  … Continue reading Right of Way in the Crosswalk

Every Body Walk! Collaborative Resource- Getting The Community On Board

Some members of your community will immediately embrace the idea of creating a more walkable environment. But others may have never given it a thought, and won’t even know what it really means, let alone why it’s a good thing or how to get there.  Here are four things a community can do to build … Continue reading Every Body Walk! Collaborative Resource- Getting The Community On Board

Every Body Walk! Getting Started Guide

Many communities aspire to make themselves more walkable and livable, embracing the idea that it can improve health, the environment, even the economy.  This brief describes a number of pilot or gateway projects that are ideal “starter” activities. Download the Guide Here Getting Started Guide

Every Body Walk! Getting Started Practice Briefs

The Every Body Walk! Collaborative and expert Mark Fenton are pleased to be able to offer this series of Getting Started Practice Briefs designed to provide local organizations and advocates with resources, knowledge and insider tips on how to make their communities more walkable. The data found in these guides came from key informant interviews with … Continue reading Every Body Walk! Getting Started Practice Briefs

Blog

It takes a Village! Creating and Installing our Community-Engaged University of Massachusetts Boston Harborwalk Grace Trail

This is a guest blog written by Sarah Camhi and Linda Chiofar, with the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Boston. They were the recipients of our 2020 Community Change Grant Program. Our University and Local Community Needs University students have high levels of stress and anxiety. Our most recent … Continue reading It takes a Village! Creating and Installing our Community-Engaged University of Massachusetts Boston Harborwalk Grace Trail

The Walkability Movement and a New, Biden Administration

The following blog was written by America Walks’ Executive Director Mike McGinn. A change in administrations can be a time of great possibility and hope – that the right people and policies can finally generate real change on the ground.  But we all know it won’t be easy. I rode those hopes as a newly … Continue reading The Walkability Movement and a New, Biden Administration

How to Conduct a Walk Audit in Your Community – Quick Video Guide for Assessing Your Neighborhood Walkability

A walk audit is an assessment of the pedestrian safety, accessibility, and comfort of a particular area. In addition to documenting specific issues and engaging the community in advocating for improvements, walk audits can be most effective when public officials and community members of varying backgrounds, ages and abilities are intentionally invited and welcomed along … Continue reading How to Conduct a Walk Audit in Your Community – Quick Video Guide for Assessing Your Neighborhood Walkability

The Pandemic Ate My Homework: The “Stupid” Project

This is a guest blog written by America Walks’ Walking College Fellow Scot Key. Learn more about the Walking College by clicking here. Yesterday, I was riding the wrong way uphill on the shoulder of Dennis Chaves Blvd. (NM-500), trying to stay with the orange barrels, seen above, between me and the many drivers zooming … Continue reading The Pandemic Ate My Homework: The “Stupid” Project

The Federal Government Can Spur Dramatic Transformation for Pedestrian Safety (if it so chooses)

The following blog is a set of people-first policy recommendations that America Walks’ Executive Director Mike McGinn recently sent to the US Department of Transportation.  Dear USDOT, Thank you for requesting input on pedestrian safety. Pedestrian deaths reached a 30-year high in 2019. They have increased 60% in the last ten years. Traffic crashes are … Continue reading The Federal Government Can Spur Dramatic Transformation for Pedestrian Safety (if it so chooses)

Libraries: The New Engine of Community Engagement and Walkable Neighborhood Advocacy

This is a guest blog by Noah Lenstra, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Noah has been keeping an eye on how public libraries support walking since 2016 as part of his Let’s Move in Libraries initiative. Contact: lenstra@uncg.edu / @NoahLenstra Ask for a phrase using … Continue reading Libraries: The New Engine of Community Engagement and Walkable Neighborhood Advocacy

Balancing the “Fierce Urgency of Now” and Humanizing Every Victim of Traffic Violence

This guest blog is a foreword written by Charles T. Brown, MPA, CPD, Senior Researcher and Adjunct Professor at Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University. Register here for our September 8th webinar for a conversation with Angie Schmitt, author of “Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America”.  Follow … Continue reading Balancing the “Fierce Urgency of Now” and Humanizing Every Victim of Traffic Violence

Austin Reclaims its Public Space With “Healthy Streets”

This is a guest blog post by Gabe Colombo, an urban design intern at Black + Vernooy Architecture and Urban Design in Austin and a master’s student in architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. People love taking back their streets. The city of Bogotá, Colombia, has been closing its streets to automobile traffic … Continue reading Austin Reclaims its Public Space With “Healthy Streets”

Making Meaning and Finding Solutions for a Better Future and 5 Tips for Sparking Walkable Community Change

This blog was written by Kate Kraft, America Walks’ Executive Director. Kate provides seamless leadership and years of experience within the walking and active living movements to build prestigious partnerships, develop programs, and expand the walking movement. Kate is an expert in environmental and policy approaches to promote healthy lifestyles/built environments and is a spokesperson … Continue reading Making Meaning and Finding Solutions for a Better Future and 5 Tips for Sparking Walkable Community Change

Walking, Moving and Jogging Should Never Cost a Life – America Walks Statement on Ahmaud Arbery

The Ahmaud Arbery killing is a tragic reminder that for many it’s not just automobiles that make streets unsafe. As walkable community leaders and advocates we must acknowledge the traumatic ways that black, indigenous, and/or people of color are experiencing the public right of way and make sure our voices and recommendations acknowledge the structural racism that … Continue reading Walking, Moving and Jogging Should Never Cost a Life – America Walks Statement on Ahmaud Arbery