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E-news for August 27, 2014
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APBP TIPs – Training and Information for People Who Want Walkable, Bicycle-Friendly Communities

August 27, 2014
In this issue:

Steps You Can Take Now to Create a More Walkable Community
Gearing Up for a More Bicycle-Friendly Community
Education and Training
Good Reads and Great Views
We hope you enjoy APBP TIPs – a Best Practices e-news from the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. APBP’s goal is to help you and your community become more walkable and bicycle-friendly by connecting you with training, information and people who make good things happen every day. APBP invites you to forward TIPs to a colleague, friend or elected representative.

Best Practices - Steps You Can Take Now to Create a More Walkable Community

Who is Winning the Race for Walkable Communities?

Whether you’re just heading out or returning from vacation, chances are the places you go for vacation have certain things in common – you can walk most places most days. In these places you feel safe and experience happiness when you’re walking. Many cities large and small throughout North America are discovering that it just might be possible – and profitable – to emulate our favorite walkable vacation destinations. Walkable real estate development projects and places are on the rise nationwide, but certain metro regions are winning the footrace, according to Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros. “This is an important study underlining the economic power of walkable places, and identifying which metro areas are adding them fastest,” said Geoff Anderson, president and CEO of Smart Growth America. “Cities that want to thrive in our new economic and demographic realities will need to find ways to create and support more of these dynamic, productive walkable districts that are in high demand.”

Those planning to be in Pittsburgh in September will have access to a first-ever Walking Institute. Two recognized organizations, America Walks and the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, joined forces with hosts of the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference. The Institute is a conference track that offers talks with experts, sessions on lessons learned, choosing the right engineer, kickstarting a community project and creating programs that get people walking.

Giving Way to Walkers

New information sheds light on which places may be the worst for walking. Earlier this month, Governing magazine looked at crash location coordinates for the more than 22,000 pedestrians killed nationwide between 2008 and 2012, and found that poorer neighborhoods have disproportionately higher rates of pedestrian deaths. As article author Mike Maciag noted: “Many cities have made pedestrian safety a priority, but their efforts rarely focus on poorer areas, which have approximately [twice] the fatality rates of wealthier communities.”  Maciag interviewed Scott Bricker, director of the nonprofit America Walks, who agreed saying: “Many [poorer] areas have been neglected from a transportation standpoint. We need to devote much more energy on providing safe transportation options for everyone. Walking is a basic human right.”

Streets for People

Help is on the way for cities large and small. Written and published by the National Association of City Transportation Officials, the Urban Street Design Guide is one of several reformist NACTO publications that artfully guide cities in making streets work for all users. The APBP Board of Directors has endorsed this and other NACTO guides.

A report from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Active Transportation Beyond Urban Centers: Walking and Bicycling in Small Towns and Rural America was featured in the Aug. 20 APBP webinar on Transform Bicycling and Walking outside the Urban Context. Webinar presenters from small communities in rural Montana and Canada offered model guides and planning documents along with solutions and suggestions for partnerships, particularly between the planning, engineering and public health communities. (The webinar recording is available at

Gearing Up for a More Bicycle-Friendly Community

Are Bikeshare Bikes the Curiously Indestructible Toddlers of the Transportation World?

Here’s what happens when you mix people and bicycles in an easy-to-use formula: fun, freedom and a fascination with bikeshare. People of all ages who haven’t been on a bike in a while seem really eager to check out a new bikeshare bike and take it for a spin. Just watch them. They smile, laugh and may even lift their feet off the pedals in a joyful gesture of delight. Naysayers predicted that hapless tourists back on a bike after a long hiatus would be injured or killed on the streets of New York City. In addition to uncovering no deaths, Reuters writer Barbara Goldberg reported low crash rates: “In New York, out of 10.3 million Citi Bike rides, only 40 people have required medical attention after” crashes. Goldberg quoted transportation researcher Susan Shaheen, Ph.D. as saying “The bikes are heavy, with a very low center of gravity, wide tires, drum brakes that keep the braking system dry even in inclement weather, and the bikes are geared so it is difficult to gain considerable speed.”

APBP featured Shaheen’s bikeshare research in the 4-part APBP Bikeshare webinar series; recordings are available at Bikeshare is gaining momentum. Cities are ready for it. New and interesting partnerships seem to form daily at the local level to advance bikeshare as a healthy, happy form of transportation. One particularly exciting new development happened when the Indiana Pacers sports team became the name sponsor of the Indianapolis bikeshare system.  Other Indy bikeshare sponsors include entities from the health and civic arena. APBP predicts that smaller communities are poised to be the next bikeshare frontier.

Collaboration, Communication, Growth

Speaking of bikeshare success, congratulations to the recently formed North American Bike-share Association!  NABSA holds its first annual meeting Sept. 7-9 at the Westin in Pittsburgh, timed to coincide with the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference.   NABSA attendees can choose from three tracks: Planning/Funding/Contracting/Oversight, Operations/Technology and Pricing/Marketing/Programs/Sponsorship.


An image shown by Joe Gilpin a presenter at the Aug. 20 APBP webinar Transform Bicycling and Walking outside the Urban Context was unfamiliar to many participants. “What is it?” they asked. “It’s an advisory lane,” Joe said and went on to explain the concept. In 2009, APBP members prepared an article on the subject. Also called a "non-compulsory bicycle lane” or "suggestion lane” (translated from the Dutch "suggestiestrook”) an advisory lane is a bicycle lane into which motor vehicles may legally encroach. Therefore, the line demarcating the lane is dashed instead of solid. An advisory bicycle lane is often—but not always—used in conjunction with centerline removal. Keep your eye open for these – or learn about them and see if the design is right for your small, rural or narrow street community.


The Transportation Research Board’s Young Members Council is accepting nominations for the TRB Outstanding Young Member Award. Nomination packages are due by October 17, 2014.

A new report, Partnership for Sustainable Communities: Five Years of Learning from Communities and Coordinating Federal Investments, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency summarizes EPA’s collaborative efforts with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The report notes that improved access to public transportation and safe walkways improve the livability of communities.

Education & Training

Sept. 8, 1:00-5:00pm ET. Complete Streets Design Implementation for Professionals, a National Complete Streets Coalition Workshop hosted by APBP | Westin Convention Center, Pittsburgh, $250.
Register here

Sept. 17, 3:00pm ET. APBP webinar: Optimize Signals for Pedestrians and Bicyclists, $50/$85.

Sept. 4, 1:00-2:30pm ET, Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations webinar, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and hosted by the Pedestrian Bicycle Information Center, free.

Nov. 15-18, Healthography: How Where You Live Affects Your Health and Well-being, American Public Health Association 142 Annual Meeting and Exposition, New Orleans. Visit APBP at booth #806. APBP’s booth neighbors are Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.

Jan. 11-15, 2015, Transportation Research Board’s 94th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.


APBP Autumn 2014 student internship jobs abound. Check them out at the APBP Career Center.  Other jobs listed by other employers include a Bicycle Program Coordinator, a Smart Trips Program Coordinator, a Safe Routes to School Planner and a Civil Engineer. What a great time to be working to make communities more walkable and bicycle-friendly!

Good Reads and Great Views

The book Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds by Kelly A. Turner, Ph.D. offers food for thought about how we choose to live (or try to get healthy) can throttle our health. How is this related to transportation? Sedentary forms of travel have been identified as contributing to chronic diseases, including cancer. Dr. Turner summarizes her decade of research on this topic and interweaves fascinating healing stories with the latest scientific research.

Streetfilms offers compelling short yet in-depth looks at a variety of innovative practices, including bikeshare, bicycle parking, pedestrian spaces and public places.

The movie Riding Bikes with the Dutch was filmed on location in Amsterdam and Long Beach, California.

What did you read this summer to inspire you and keep you sharp in your quest to make communities more walkable and bicycle friendly? Share your Good Reads and Great Views at
The APBP E-news Team

Editors: Vivian Coleman, Debra Goeks, Kit Keller
Contributors: Tom Bertulis, John Ciccarelli, Peter Furth, Joe Gilpin, Governing, Grist, Dwight Kingsbury, Nell Neal, North American Bike-share Association, Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, Mark Plotz, Project for Public Spaces, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Smart Growth America, Transportation Research Board’s August 19, 2014 E-Newsletter, Kelly A. Turner, Ph.D. and U.S. EPA.

Photos: Susan Acton Campbell/Walking for
Designer: Jenny Bublitz,