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.

  • 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 process to solicit and incorporate input from the fields of engineering, planning, landscape architecture, law enforcement, transit, education, and public health
  • A pedestrian master plan should:
    • Present a vision, goals, and objectives
    • Examine existing pedestrian conditions and their use
    • Identify and prioritize locations that need improvement
    • Create pedestrian design guidelines
    • Identify potential capital investment projects to address those needs
    • Prioritize and identify funding sources, create a timeline for project completion

    Review, revise, and recommend transportation and land use policies.

    • Provide guidance to integrate accessibility and other modes of transportation into the pedestrian network
    • Include multidisciplinary approaches to improving the pedestrian environment through changes in enforcement, education, encouragement policies, and, if appropriate, legislation
  • Encourages walking
  • Increases pedestrian safety
  • Provides mobility and access for all
  • Offers alternatives to driving
  • Reduces pollution
  • Connects to transit
  • Fosters economic growth
  • Increases social interaction on streets
  • Builds strong communities and livable neighborhoods
  • Helps address obesity and health concerns
  • Potential communication and funding hurdles among multiple agencies
  • Competing objectives of participating agencies or community organizations
Where to Use It
  • Counties, cities, and towns; any jurisdiction with control of pedestrian infrastructure
Professional Consensus
  • In the absence of official endorsements from national associations or governments, cities are turning to best practices employed by other municipalities

Many U.S. cities have created and adopted pedestrian master plans, including:

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