This report provides an overview of pedestrian and bicycle network principles and highlights examples from communities across the country.
A pedestrian and bicycle transportation network consists of a series of interconnected facilities that allow nonmotorized road users of all ages and abilities to safely and conveniently get where they need to go. A connected network is not established by a standalone bike lane project, new sidewalk, or curb ramp upgrade. Rather, a network will use these types of projects to deliver a transportation system that prioritizes the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists to safely and conveniently access the destinations they need to reach. By providing connected networks, communities are helping to facilitate all of the following types of bicycling and walking trips:
A well-connected pedestrian and bicyclist network recognizes that trips vary in purpose and nature. In the same way, a connected network will facilitate travel for a number of different types of users. A bicycle commuter who needs access to a place of employment may not want to travel along the same shared use path that is used by dog walkers and other recreational users. A system of low volume, low speed streets that provide a comfortable bicycling environment may not provide a direct walking route between a person’s house and the nearest grocery store.
Understanding that different users have different needs, pedestrian and bicycle networks should be designed to provide options for continuous, safe, seamless, and convenient travel between all possible destinations.
Published December 01, 2015
American Trails contributor Josh Adams recently interviewed Lawrence Simonson, who serves as the Chief Strategy Officer of the PedNet Coalition, to talk pedestrian safety, projects and obstacles, and making a difference in Missouri.
The 2016-2021 Strategic Agenda for Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation builds on 25 years of progress toward increasing walking and biking safety and activity throughout the United States. The 1994 National Bicycling and Walking Study: Transportation Choices for Changing America set the stage for advancing safe, accessible, comfortable, and well-used pedestrian and bicycle transportation networks, with a focus on increasing trips and reducing injuries and fatalities.
This resource highlights ways that different communities have mapped their existing and proposed bicycle networks. It shows examples of maps at different scales, while also demonstrating a range of mapping strategies, techniques, and approaches. Facility types represented on the respective maps and legends are each different because they represent a community’s unique context and needs.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) recently began studying the ways in which bicycling, for transportation and in combination with transit, can reduce automobile use and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The first of these focused studies concentrated on the Metro Orange Line and parallel bicycle path. This Bicycle Rail Trip Analysis and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Study looks more broadly at bicycle trips to and from Metro Rail. The purpose of this study is to establish the benefits of providing an integrated transportation system where bicyclists are accommodated at train stations and on trains.