Handy Lessons From Overseas on Walking and Bicycling

One way the U.S. Department of Transportation can help communities achieve the vision of greater livability with safer non-motorized options is to learn what other countries have done to reshape their communities with an eye toward livability and safety. In May 2009, a team of 12 U.S. transportation professionals conducted an international scan focused on bicyclist and pedestrian mobility and safety. The aim of the scan was to identify best practices in countries that have been leaders in making walking and bicycling safe, convenient, and popular transportation modes. Over a 2-week period, the scan team met with European transportation officials to learn how they have made these travel modes safer and more attractive. The team visited Copenhagen and Nakskov in Denmark, Berlin and Potsdam in Germany, Lund and Malmö in Sweden, Bern and Winterthur in Switzerland, and London and Bristol in the United Kingdom. This article summarizes some of the findings of the scan tour. The team identified best practices under six headings. The first is policy, followed by the five E's: encouragement, engineering, evaluation, enforcement, and education. The lessons learned from the scan tour revealed that to increase safety and mobility for walkers and bicyclists, a country must embrace foot and bicycle traffic as transportation modes and consider them as a means to attaining livability and sustainability goals. The cities visited by the scan team demonstrated that it is possible to transition from an automobile-dominated culture to one that embraces alternative modes. Now, after completing the scan, the scan team is reaching out to stakeholders in the United States to share the lessons learned from the host countries.


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  • Accession Number: 01150770
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2010 11:27AM