Safe Routes Scoop

How to Save the World,
One Sidewalk at a Time

the Health and Wellness Partnership -- consistently support pedestrian/bicycle improvements, said Craft. PTA meetings can also generate support for needed infrastructure projects. Most importantly, children happy and willing to walk or cycle provide the foundation for any pedestrian/bicycle safety improvement.


Addressing Policy

Finally, it is important to become familiar with local policies to ensure projects are not vulnerable to conflicting procedures and ordinances. In this respect, existing municipal policies may either help or hinder the addition of future pedestrian/bicycle infrastructure. Craft cited examples where communities dispute the value of bicycle lanes, while Meth noted instances in which sidewalks were rejected because of the additional responsibilities they may bring to adjacent property owners. Such cases serve to reinforce the need for a vigilant proponent to demonstrate the rationale behind needed improvements.


Complete Streets policies are the most comprehensive example of such a commitment. Whether broad and vague, or narrow and detailed, Complete Streets policies demonstrate a municipal commitment to accommodate all roadway users. School policies can determine whether walking or cycling is even an option for students. Bans on walking or biking to school, the availability of

courtesy or hazard busing, and accommodations for bicycles and walkers are examples of school policies that can complicate projects as simple as repairing four feet of sidewalk. On the other hand, school policies can encourage walking and cycling improvements by making distinct spaces available for such modes, and promoting their use. Armed with knowledge and a will to succeed, advocates can heal the incomplete fabric of our pedestrian and bicycle networks, defend the integrity of human-powered transport, and protect the pedestrian right of way!


For more information, please see the VTC Complete Streets page at

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