US Department of Transportation

FHWA PlanWorks: Better Planning, Better Projects

US Department of Transportation

FHWA Planworks: Better Planning, Better Projects

Bicycles and Pedestrians


Safe, comfortable, and connected pedestrian and bicycle networks allow people of all ages and abilities to safely and conveniently get where they want to go. Connected networks of walking and bicycling infrastructure contribute to safe, accessible, and livable communities; promote physical activity and health; enhance access to opportunity and essential services; and reduce motor vehicle emissions. Legislation and regulations require the consideration of bicycle and pedestrian policies and projects in transportation plans and project development. State DOTs and MPOs are responsible for the development and integrated management and operation of transportation systems and facilities including accessible pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities. As such, planning for walking and bicycling should be a part of the transportation planning and Federal-aid project development processes.

Bicyclists travelling on protected bike lanes in Chicago, IL

Bicycle transportation facilities and pedestrian walkways must be considered, where appropriate, in conjunction with all new construction and reconstruction of transportation facilities, except where bicycle and pedestrian use are not permitted. Accordingly, transportation agencies should plan, fund, and implement improvements to their walking and bicycling networks, including linkages to transit. In addition, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S.DOT) encourages transportation agencies to go beyond the minimum requirements, and proactively provide convenient, safe, and context-sensitive facilities that foster increased accessibility to jobs and community services with the use by bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities, and use universal design characteristics when appropriate. Transportation programs and facilities should support accessibility and mobility that accommodates people of all ages and abilities, including people too young to drive, people who cannot drive, and people who choose not to drive by providing viable nonmotorized transportation options.

This PlanWorks Decision Guide is intended to help Metropolitan Planning Organizations, State Departments of Transportations, and other partners fully integrate pedestrian and bicycle planning and design into the formal transportation planning process. It provides detailed information on how multimodal transportation can be incorporated into specific steps in the planning process.

Hover over the highlighted Key Decisions to understand the specific relationship of bicycles and pedestrians to the decision. Click on any highlighted Key Decision for more information about questions, data, and relationships that support this interface. Key Decisions that are greyed-out have no specific relevance to the individual application or topic area but are still accessible from this graphic.

Application Roles Example

The role of each partner changes from one Key Decision to another. Understanding partner roles and how they change throughout the process is essential to successful collaboration. The Decision Guide describes the four possible roles for partners at each Key Decision:

Application Role Index Table

lrp-icon
LRP

This is going to be replaced with a description for Long Range Transportation Planning.

pro-icon
PRO

This is going to be replaced with a description for Programming phase in the Decision Guide.

cor-icon
COR

Corridor Planning I'm sure has an important description that will be replaced with this sample text.

env-icon
ENV

Evironmental Review (NEPA) Merged with Permitting something something.

norole-icon
No Role

Does not participate because the resulting action is outside the agency’s interests and requirements.

LRP-1
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-1

Invitation of bicycle and pedestrian partners to participate in long range transportation planning process. Information provided about known bicycle and pedestrian strengths and weaknesses in the community and scope of pedestrian and bicycle activities to be undertaken clarified.
LRP-2
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-2

Information provided about bicycles and pedestrians and the goals of bicyclists, pedestrians, and people who have disabilities in the region.
LRP-3
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-3

Incorporation of bicycle and pedestrian evaluation criteria into long-range planning, and identification of criteria relating to the bicycle and pedestrian perspective.
LRP-4
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-4

Gather feedback on transportation system deficiencies specific to bicycle and pedestrian stakeholders.
LRP-5
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-5

Identify Federal, State, local, or private revenue sources that could be available to support bicycle and pedestrian improvements and estimate the costs of those improvements.
LRP-6
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-6

Information provided about specific bicycle and pedestrian strategies that will be undertaken in order to meet goals and objectives.
LRP-7
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-7

Evaluation of potential scenarios to determine which are preferred or prioritized from a bicycle and pedestrian perspective.
LRP-8
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-8

Include the effectiveness of bicycle and pedestrian strategies to meet transportation deficiencies in the selection of a preferred scenario.
LRP-9
This Key Decision is not associated with application
LRP-10
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-10

Gather input on the LRTP from bicycle and pedestrian stakeholders.
LRP-11
This Key Decision is not associated with application

PRO-1
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/PRO-1

Identify public or private revenue sources that could be available to support bicycle and pedestrian improvements.Make budget requests, as applicable
PRO-2
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/PRO-2

Ensure that the methodology used to identify project costs and allocate revenue includes equitable treatment of bicycle and pedestrian programs and improvements and their maintenance and operations lifecycle costs.
PRO-3
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/PRO-3

Ensure projects that include bicycle and pedestrian strategies are identified, along with associated costs and revenue sources to implement.
PRO-4
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/PRO-4

Identify outcomes and other evaluation criteria (e.g., performance measures) to compare and rank projects and their impacts on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Include criteria that reflect the benefits of bicycle and pedestrian improvements and that incorporate equity considerations.
PRO-5
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/PRO-5

Engage bicycle and pedestrian partners and stakeholders for recommendations and input to decision makers.
PRO-6
This Key Decision is not associated with application
PRO-7
This Key Decision is not associated with application
PRO-8
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/PRO-8

For non-MPO areas, engage bicycle and pedestrian partners and stakeholders for recommendations and input to decision makers.
PRO-9
This Key Decision is not associated with application

COR-1
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-1

Invitation of bicycle and pedestrian partners to participate in corridor planning. Information provided about known bicycle and pedestrian networks and features.
COR-2
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-2

Identify the bicycle and pedestrian performance characteristics for the corridor and any related problems and opportunities.
COR-3
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-3

Information provided on bicycle and pedestrian goals could inform the corridor planning process.
COR-4
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-4

Information provided on bicycle and pedestrian data available/needed to implement the agreed-to scope of environmental review.
COR-5
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-5

Data provided from bicycle and pedestrian sources to support the development of evaluation criteria, methodology, and performance measures.
COR-6
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-6

Information provided on bicycle and pedestrian connectivity, accessibility, equity, and safety to inform approval of solution sets.
COR-7
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-7

Select a preferred solution set using input from a robust analysis of impacts of the potential solutions on bicycles and pedestrians within the corridor.
COR-8
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-8

Identify and include bicycle and pedestrian metrics to compare and rank projects.
COR-9
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-9

Ensure bicycle and pedestrian network connectivity, accessibility, equity, and safety are embedded as part of ongoing project prioritization and project selection process.

ENV-1
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-1

Invitation of bicycle and pedestrian partners to participate in environmental review. Information provided about known bicycle and pedestrian networks and features.
ENV-2
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-2

Develop brief descriptions that are broad enough to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian components and possible alternatives for the NEPA Notice of Intent (NOI).
ENV-3
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-3

Clearly articulate if and how bicycles and pedestrians are a part of the project purpose and need.
ENV-4
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-4

Consider potential bicycle and pedestrian alternatives and the needs of bicycle and pedestrian partners and stakeholders in the identification of the initial study area.
ENV-5
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-5

Identify evaluation criteria that adequately measure the potential impacts and benefits of bicycle and pedestrian improvements as well as related performance measures.
ENV-6
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-6

Identify project alternatives that will support the inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian improvements consistent with the adopted purpose and need.
ENV-7
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-7

Carry forward alternatives that address bicycle and pedestrian network connectivity, accessibility, equity, and safety.
ENV-8
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-8

Explain how alternatives address bicycle and pedestrian network connectivity, accessibility, equity, and safety in the Draft EIS.
ENV-9
This Key Decision is not associated with application
ENV-10
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-10

Ensure the preferred alternative is consistent with bicycle and pedestrian assumptions and incorporated in the long range transportation plan, the description of purpose and need, and input from bicycle and pedestrian partners.
ENV-11
This Key Decision is not associated with application
ENV-12
This Key Decision is not associated with application
ENV-13
This Key Decision is not associated with application
ENV-14
This Key Decision is not associated with application