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AASHTO Journal

D.C. Earns Status and Praise as a "Walk Friendly Community"

Washington, D.C. has earned a big gold star for its pedestrian friendliness, according to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT).

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, part of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, designated D.C. as a "Gold Walk Friendly Community," which essentially names the city as one of those most friendly in the nation.

PBIC commended various aspects of the city's pedestrian accommodation, including the District's Pedestrian Master Plan, sidewalk design standards and Public Realm Design Manual, traffic signals that show high awareness for all road users, DDOT's inclusion of a full-time pedestrian coordinator, and DDOT's commitment to public input. Also singled out by PBIC was the success of the Great Streets Initiative, Livability Studies, and the 11th Street Bridge Project.

"The combined efforts of our pedestrian and bicycle programs are paying off," said DDOT Director Terry Bellamy in a statement. "We've seen a remarkable drop in the number of fatal crashes involving pedestrians over the past two years, and we will continue to make improvements so that our streets are even safer for walkers and all users."

Thirty-three communities in 20 states (and now D.C.) have been named as Walk Friendly Communities, each falling into the categories of "Platinum," "Gold," "Silver," and "Bronze." Several other communities have earned recognition as an honorable mention.

More information on DDOT's bicycle and pedestrian programs is available at bit.ly/DDOTwalkbike. Additional information on the Walk Friendly Communities program is available at walkfriendly.org.

9/14/2012
Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.