Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks

The Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks report is a resource and idea book intended to help small towns and rural communities support safe, accessible, comfortable, and active travel for people of all ages and abilities.

by Federal Highway Administration

The Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks guide is a design resource and idea book to help small towns and rural communities support safe, accessible, comfortable, and active travel for people of all ages and abilities.

In many small towns and rural communities, active transportation is even more common than it is in urban areas. However, infrastructure to support active transportation is often limited or absent. Many small and rural communities are located on State and county roadways that were built to design standards that favor high-speed motorized traffic, resulting in a system that makes walking and bicycling less safe and uncomfortable. These roadways can be retrofitted and redesigned over time to provide a transportation network that better serves the safety, health, and economic interests of the community.

This guide is a resource for practitioners developing and promoting multimodal networks in small and rural communities. The opportunities for road design highlighted in this document build on a broad range of existing national design guidelines and references. This guide translates existing street design guidance and best practices for bicycle and pedestrian safety and comfort to the rural context, and provides examples of how to interpret and apply these design practices to create safe, accessible, and comfortable multimodal networks.

Attached document published December 2016

About the Author


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), part of the US Department of Transportation, provides expertise, resources, and information to improve the nation's highway system and its intermodal connections. The Federal-Aid Highway Program provides financial assistance to the States to construct and improve the National Highway System, other roads, bridges, and trails.

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