Smart Growth World Blog


Communities Helping Communities: Bike-Ped case studies from FHWA

By Gregory Nadeau via Fast Lane, the Blog of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation

case-studies-in-delivering-safe-bike-ped-networksIn 2014, DOT unveiled Safer People, Safer Streets, a significant effort to address bike and pedestrian safety issues nationwide and help communities create safer, better-connected non-motorized networks.  The Federal Highway Administration has been a strong contributor to this initiative, working with safety advocates, planners, and state and local DOTs to conduct safety assessments and develop strategies to improve travel for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Last week, we launched our latest step in this initiative, Case Studies in Delivering Safe, Comfortable, and Connected Pedestrian and Bicycle Networks

For Case Studies, FHWA Division Offices gathered examples of bike-ped network improvement projects initiated by State DOTs, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), counties, cities, and other entities to get a better sense of what communities are achieving. Those 86 examples –21 regional, 6 statewide, and 59 local– were categorized into several key project types, including planning and prioritization, shared use paths, corridor improvements, bridges, on-road facilities, intersections, and crossing improvements.

Separated bicyle and pedestrians paths

Here are a few examples:

  • The City of Springfield, Missouri, created a comprehensive network connecting greenways, bike routes, and sidewalks through a series of improvements.  Project leaders used an interactive tool to identify priority sidewalk corridors and complete gaps in the network. A system called “The Link” was established as an on-street bicycle and pedestrian connection between the city’s predominantly east-to-west trails, and public feedback revealed that new and improved sidewalks, bike paths, and roadway designs were among the top priorities for residents.  Today, The Link is a six-mile network that connects Cox South Hospital to Doling Park, as well as the east-west greenway trails in between, for those traveling by foot and bike.
  • In Connecticut, the Farmington Valley Trails Council used shared-use paths and trails to preserve the historic Farmington Canal, a water transportation route built in 1835. The Council developed a multimodal network connecting five towns in the region including a paved shared-use path that allows travelers to avoid a State highway.
  • In New Orleans, project leaders used streetscaping, resurfacing, and road diets to transform Esplanade Avenue. The corridor improvements have been credited with increasing bicycling by 226 percent and walking by 132 percent along the 1.6 mile corridor.
  • In 2013, the Michigan DOT overlaid a bridge deck on the Lake Lansing Road Bridge, a partial cloverleaf interchange in East Lansing originally built in 1970 with no pedestrian accommodations.  MDOT successfully coordinated with the City of East Lansing, Lansing Township, and the Ingham County Department of Roads to add accommodations to the bridge and its interchanges that have provided bicycle and pedestrian access to grocery stores and retail shopping on both sides.
  • The Town of Shakopee, a small community near Minneapolis, Minnesota, decided intersection and crossing improvements were the most useful and cost-effective tool for improving bike-ped safety and mobility at the intersection of County Road 79 and Vierling Drive.  The project –the first of its kind in the state– features an improved intersection abutting Shakopee West Middle School and an alternative intersection design known as a mini-roundabout that reduces conflict points between vehicles and travelers moving on foot and bike. It also closes a crucial gap in the sidewalk network between several residential neighborhoods, the downtown area, and a park along the Minnesota River waterfront.

Our hope in offering Case Studies in Delivering Safe, Comfortable, and Connected Pedestrian and Bicycle Networks is to help our partners and stakeholders as they work to create pedestrian and bicycle networks in communities throughout the U.S. that allow people of all ages and abilities to safely and conveniently get where they want to go.

You can read, download, and share Case Studies, free of charge, at

Also, be on the lookout for our upcoming Workbook for Building On-Road Bicycle Networks through Resurfacing Projects, under development and anticipated to be available to communities by March 2016.

Additional bike-ped resources available at:


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