This report is a culmination of a year-long study reviewing the common challenges and opportunities that large central cities share in promoting bicycling and walking, and provides examples of best practices in various cities nationally and internationally.
For many years, planning and policy decisions regarding surface transportation in large central cities took
place within a framework in which the roadway and transit were central, with pedestrians and bicyclists
just two more components that had to be worked in where possible. However, the Intermodal Surface
Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) began to change this way of thinking beginning in 1991 when it
provided new sources of funding for bicycle and pedestrian facilities; these provisions were extended
under the 1998 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).1
Nevertheless, some fifteen years later, promoting walking and bicycling while ensuring safety and mobility
for the overall transportation system, continues to present a challenge, especially for large central cities,
which must balance multiple and competing interests while facing limited space and funding. Further, they
must address such issues with limited data in a number of areas, including safety, design, and usage.
Funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and performed in conjunction with the National
Association of City Transportation Officials, Inc. (NACTO), this report is the culmination of a year-long
effort aimed at reviewing pedestrian and bicyclist standards and innovations in large central cities. The
study involved a literature review and analysis of the challenges facing large central cities when trying to
support pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as a review of several promising approaches being taken in
various cities. In September 2005, a peer-to-peer session with representatives from ten cities, and
several agencies and advocacy groups, was held to fill in gaps related to these approaches and policy
concerns. The following report is a compilation and synthesis of the findings from both these endeavors.
More Information: www.wagner.nyu.edu/rudincenter