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FHWA Home / Safety / Pedestrian & Bicycle / Pedestrian Safety in Communities

About this Guide

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Walkable communities are safe and accessible for everyone.

People need walkable communities where sidewalks, trails, and street crossings are safe, accessible, and comfortable for people of all ability levels. Pedestrian-friendly communities have many benefits, including:

It takes the commitment and involvement of many people to build and maintain places that are safe and friendly for walking. This guide is designed to be used by anyone looking for ways to improve the walkability of their neighborhood, whether they are just beginning to learn about pedestrian safety or are already part of an established community safety group. Residents can make a difference by raising awareness of pedestrian safety issues and pushing for change.

This guide provides examples from other communities working to improve pedestrian safety. It includes information, ideas, and resources to help residents learn about issues that affect walking conditions; find ways to address or prevent these problems; and promote pedestrian safety. The Resource Sheets at the end of the guide contain fact sheets, worksheets, and sample materials—these materials can be adapted to meet the needs of your community, or distributed to others working to improve pedestrian safety. The guide provides a thorough introduction to pedestrian safety and includes many references to other resources and materials for those interested in more in-depth information.

Keep in mind that pedestrian safety improvements often happen in stages. Even minor changes take time and may require effort from various individuals or agencies. This guide is a starting point and will help you be more efficient and effective, but patience and follow-through are crucial to your success.

The guide is organized into five key sections to lead you through your efforts to improve pedestrian safety in your community. Depending on the needs of your community, you can start with any of the sections below.

How can I identify problems with walking conditions in my neighborhood?
This section will help you figure out where there are walkability issues in your community.

Who can help me make my neighborhood a safer place to walk?
This section discusses the different groups and individuals that can help you improve walkability in your neighborhood.

How can the safety of my neighborhood be improved?
This section describes different fixes for improving walking in your community.

I need more information!
This section includes a glossary of commonly used terms, frequently asked questions, and references for other sources of information.

Resource Materials
This section includes detailed fact sheets, ways to take action, and sample materials that can be used to generate ideas and improve the walkability of your community.


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Page last modified on January 31, 2013.
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