Legislation and Guidelines

Many laws, reports and guidelines encourage pedestrian and bicycle safety in your communities. Check out the legislation enacted, existing reports and guidelines. Learn more about what your State is doing to ensure your safety. For guidance on pedestrian facility accessibility, see Accessibility.


  • 23 CFR Part 652

  • §217: 23 U.S.C. - Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways - [HTML, PDF 31 KB]

  • TEA-21 Fact Sheet - Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways - [HTML, PDF 36 KB] - The Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways provisions of Section 217 of Title 23, as amended by TEA-21, describe how Federal-aid funds may be used for bicycle and pedestrian projects. These projects are broadly eligible for all of the major funding programs where they compete with other transportation projects for available funding at the State and MPO levels.

  • Bicycle & Pedestrian Technical Summary - [HTML, PDF 52 KB] - TEA-21 continues the integration of bicycling and walking into the transportation mainstream. More importantly, it enhances the ability of communities to invest in projects that can improve the safety and practicality of bicycling and walking for everyday travel.

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  • Secretary Ray LaHood recently announced an important new US DOT Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations.  The Policy Statement highlights sections from the US Code and Code of Federal Regulations that pertain to walking and bicycling. It also provides some recommended actions that transportation agencies may consider to make walking and bicycling safer and more convenient.   The Policy Statement is an expression of DOT leadership’s commitment to walking and bicycling.

  • Detectable Warnings: Rule Making - The Access Board

  • Transmittal of Guidance Memo on Bicycle and Pedestrian Provisions of the Federal-aid Program - Ken Wykle - [HTML, PDF 34 KB]

  • FHWA Guidance (1999) - [HTML, PDF 266 KB] - The new legislation updates Titles 23 and 49 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) and builds on the significant changes made to Federal transportation policy and programs by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). The legislation has numerous provisions that relate to improving conditions for bicycling and walking and increasing the safety of the two modes.

  • Design Guidance - [HTML, PDF 99 KB] - incorporates three key principles: a) a policy statement that bicycling and walking facilities will be incorporated into all transportation projects unless exceptional circumstances exist; b) an approach to achieving this policy that has already worked in State and local agencies; and c) a series of action items that a public agency, professional association, or advocacy group can take to achieve the overriding goal of improving conditions for bicycling and walking.

  • Supplementary Design Guide for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects

  • Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices 2003

  • FHWA/FTA Interim Technical Guidance for Bike/Ped Planning at the State and MPO Levels - [HTML, PDF 35 KB] - covers planning for bicycle transportation facilities and pedestrian walkways regardless of facility type ranging from on-road treatments to separate off-road facilities.

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Other Resources

  • National Strategies for Advancing Child Pedestrian Safety - NHTSA - National Strategies for Advancing Child Pedestrian Safety offers ideas for encouraging children to explore their environments by walking while reducing their risk of pedestrian injury.

  • National Strategies for Advancing Bicycle Safety - NHTSA - The National Strategies for Advancing Bicycle Safety is a national safety agenda designed to make bicycling safer for everyone. The agenda is the work of more than 75 participants who shaped the goals and strategies during a conference held in Washington, D.C. in July 2000. The National Strategies for Advancing Bicycle Safety defines goals, strategies, and initial actions that can be taken to reduce bicycle related deaths and injuries nationwide.

  • Report to Congress
    This Report to Congress on Pedestrian Safety was developed in accordance with requirements of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users.

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Program Contact

Tamara Redmon


Gabriel Rousseau


What's New

The FHWA Safety Office is continually developing new materials to assist states, localities and citizens in improving pedestrian and bicycle safety. The materials listed on this page were completed recently.

New Pedestrian Forum – Fall 2014

New Understanding Pedestrian Crashes in Louisville, KY 2006-2010

New Bicycle Safer Journey (Revised 2014)

New Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon Guide

new A Guide for Maintaining Pedestrian Facilities for Enhanced Safety

new Guide for Maintaining Pedestrian Facilities for Enhanced Safety Research Report

REVISED Pedsafe 2013: Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System

New Pedestrian Safer Journey 2013 (Revised)  

Proven Countermeasures for Pedestrian Safety

Spotlight on Pedestrian Safety

Promoting the Implementation of Proven Pedestrian Countermeasures

State Best Practice Policy for Medians

State Best Practice Policy for Shoulders and Walkways

Pedestrian Countermeasure Policy Best Practice Report

The State of Florida is developing a statewide Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. They have set up a project website that includes information about the project, workshop presentations and resources relating to pedestrian safety.

Evaluating Pedestrian Safety Countermeasures

Safety Benefits of Raised Medians and Pedestrian Refuge Areas: Brochure, Booklet

Safety Benefits of Walkways, Sidewalks, and Paved Shoulders: Brochure, Booklet

Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan