Case Studies

Chicago: Pedestrian Advisory Council

Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley created the Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Council (MPAC) in 2006 after learning that the city of Chicago had the third-highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the country. (Until then, regular safety-data analyses performed by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning did not include pedestrian safety.)

MPAC is co-chaired by the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation and includes representatives from community groups, local advocacy organizations, and city, state, and federal transportation groups, including Access Living, Active Transportation Alliance, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago Metropolitan Agency For Planning (CMAP), Chicago Park District, Chicago Police Department (CPD), Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) – Planning, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Department of Environment (DOE), Department of Family and Support Services, Department of Housing and Economic Development, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) – Illinois Division, Illinois Department of Transportation, Institute of Traffic Engineers/MUTCD, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)/Chicago, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), Metropolitan Planning Council, Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center, National Highway Traffic Safety Admin (NHTSA) – Great Lakes, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago. (The council’s other co-chair position is currently held by Dr. Kyran Quinlan, MD, MPH, University of Chicago Children’s Hospital.)

MPAC meets quarterly to highlight pedestrian concerns and safety measures within city and state planning initiatives. The interagency council meetings help break down departmental silos, coordinate pedestrian initiatives in different agency programs, and bring pedestrian issues to the forefront of planning initiatives. As an example, MPAC created the vision statement as well as the goals and objectives for Chicago’s first-ever pedestrian plan, to be released in 2012.

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