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Laura Sandt, Ph.D.
Tabitha Combs, Ph.D.
Jesse Cohn, MRP
Tabitha Combs, Ph.D.
Jesse Cohn, MRP
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Professionals in the transportation field, in particular those working on pedestrian and bicycle issues, are familiar with the concept of the "Es": Education, Enforcement, Engineering (and Policies), Encouragement, Evaluation, and sometimes also Emergency Management. In recent years, another "E", Equity, has emerged as an important consideration for transportation officials working on developing connected multimodal systems that provide meaningful choices in transportation. Equity in transportation seeks fairness in mobility and accessibility to meet the needs of all community members. A central goal of transportation equity is to facilitate social and economic opportunities through equitable levels of access to affordable and reliable transportation options based on the needs of the populations being served, particularly populations that are traditionally underserved. Traditionally underserved groups include individuals in at least one of the following categories: Low Income, Minority, Elderly, Limited English Proficiency, or Persons with Disabilities. It is important to note that transportation equity does not mean allocating transportation resources in equal amounts to all people. The graphic below (development credited to Out Front Minnesota) illustrates the differences between equality and equity. An equitable transportation plan considers the unique circumstances impacting various community members’ mobility and connectivity needs and uses this information to determine appropriate amount of resources to allocate to different people and places so that the transportation network more effectively serves all members.
Improving the ability of traditionally underserved communities to travel safely and conveniently via walking or wheeling is essential to achieving a sustainable, equitable transportation system that can provide options in how people access jobs, schools, health care services, faith entities, social gatherings, and other destinations. Numerous studies have shown that enhancing the ability of traditionally underserved populations to travel via nonmotorized modes can potentially lead to improved outcomes in public health, safety, and economic development; promote resource efficiency; strengthen inclusive neighborhood relations; and bolster public transit services (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). These benefits are not limited to underserved and disadvantaged populations but have been shown to have positive impacts community-wide.
The purpose of this paper, intended for transportation practitioners and decision-makers, is to:
- Define transportation equity-related terms in the context of planning for bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs;
- Synthesize and highlight recent research findings related to the travel needs of traditionally underserved populations and the role of pedestrian and bicycle planning in addressing equity concerns; and
- Share strategies, practices and resources to address bicycle and pedestrian planning inequities.
Defining Transportation Equity-Related Concepts
Many different, often interrelated terms have been used in discussions about transportation equity—environmental justice, social equity, reducing disparities, etc. This section defines key terms used throughout the paper in order to provide clarity and context for why the terms are used.
For the purpose of this paper, the term transportation equity relates to how transportation practitioners can provide access to affordable and reliable transportation (and specifically, pedestrian and bicycle facilities and programs) to fairly meet the needs of all community members, particularly traditionally underserved populations. Traditionally underserved populations—sometimes referenced as at-risk, vulnerable, low-resource, or disadvantaged—are defined here using FHWA’s definition, which include persons or communities fitting one or more of the following descriptions:
- Low Income
- Older Adults
- Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
- Person with Disabilities
Research On the Transportation Needs of Traditionally Underserved Populations
Traditionally underserved populations may have a greater need for safe facilities for walking and wheeling compared to other groups. These research findings provide evidence of the particular needs of underserved populations and highlight the importance of providing safe facilities for nonmotorized travel:
- Twenty four percent of Americans living in poverty do not own a vehicle (7). Many people in the U.S., in particular traditionally underserved populations, suffer from problems associated with inactivity, many of which could be addressed through improved access to safe walking and wheeling facilities (8).
- Low-income, minority, or immigrant individuals are more likely to have jobs that cause them to commute outside of traditional ‘9 to 5’ hours, often in the dark and when public transit services are not operating (9, 1).
- Immigrants and those with language barriers are more likely to travel by bicycle but are often less likely to practice safe bicycling techniques (such as riding with traffic, using lights, and wearing helmets and reflective clothing) (1, 10).
- Immigrants and individuals with language barriers travel more frequently by walking or wheeling than non-immigrants and native English speakers but are often forced by circumstance to do so along roads lacking safe, accessible pedestrian and bicycle facilities (1, 9, 10).
- Children, older adults, and individuals with physical or cognitive disabilities may be unable to drive and are, thus, more reliant on nonmotorized travel modes. At the same time, these individuals may also face challenges that make them less able to take advantage of sub-par pedestrian and bicycle facilities than people without such challenges (11).
- People with diverse cultural or religious backgrounds may choose not to own motorized vehicles and may live where public transportation options are limited (12, 13).
- As individuals age, they are increasingly likely to depend on transit as primary transportation. Safe pedestrian access to bus stops and transit stations is a key aspect of accessibility among older adults, who are especially at risk of social exclusion if they are unable to get out of the house. Older adults are also more likely to benefit from safe walking and wheeling facilities than younger adults, as walking (and wheeling) is a primary form of physical activity and socializing for many of them (14, 15).
- According to the recent League of American Bicyclists publication, Pedaling Toward Equity, women and minorities feel significantly less safe traveling by bicycle than non-minority males in the U.S. A majority of women and minorities agreed or strongly agreed that, given more supportive infrastructure (e.g., sidewalks, bike lanes, and separated facilities), they would be much more likely to try using a bicycle for transportation (10).
- Individuals with limited travel options (including limited access to nonmotorized travel modes) travel less overall, make fewer trips for shopping and socializing; have a harder time applying for and accepting employment; are less likely to access healthy foods, health care, and educational resources; and are more likely to experience social isolation (16, 17, 18).
Despite the strong need for safe pedestrian and bicycle facilities and high use of existing facilities as described above, traditionally underserved populations often face a travel environment that presents challenges for those walking, bicycling, or taking the bus or train. Research findings indicate that a lack of access to quality transportation facilities can have disproportionate effects for low-income and minority populations. Consider the following:
- Residents of underserved communities are less likely to live near or travel along roads with safe, accessible, and high-quality pedestrian and bicycle facilities (1, 9, 10, 19, 20). Where appropriate pedestrian and bicycle facilities do not exist, individuals are more likely to be exposed to walking or wheeling along roadways with higher traffic speeds, volumes, and ground-level air pollution (18). The risk of crashes with motorized vehicles increases when pedestrians are forced onto substandard or nonexistent facilities (8, 20-24).
- According to a recent survey by Active Living by Design, low-income respondents were twice as likely to report that fears about safety were major obstacles to traveling using nonmotorized modes (25). Because low-income individuals are less likely to own a car, they are more likely to walk, wheel, or bike, even when conditions are not safe and are, therefore, exposed to more risk of injury (26).
- Minorities and low-income children have greater odds of a poor outcome when crashes occur. One recent study found that among pedestrians that had been involved in a collision with a car, Black pedestrians were 22 percent more likely and Latinos 33 percent more likely to die from their injuries than whites (23). These discrepancies may be due to differences in overall health of the individual, the severity of the crash, in the amount of speeding and cut-through traffic happening in the neighborhood where the pedestrians were traveling, and/or the quality of emergency medical care available. Nonetheless, many studies have found that pedestrians and bicyclists in traditionally underserved communities face a greater threat of injury or death due to collisions with motor vehicles than the general population.
- According to Smart Growth America, "Low-income communities are disproportionately affected by unsafe streets. In counties where more than 20 percent of households have incomes below the federal poverty line, the pedestrian fatality rate is over 80 percent higher than the national average."
A focus on improving the ability of traditionally underserved communities to travel safely and conveniently by walking or wheeling is essential to achieving a balanced, equitable transportation system that can be used by everyone.
Strategies and Practices to Address bicycle and pedestrian Inequities
Concerted efforts to improve the ability of the traditionally underserved to travel by walking and bicycling, and to safely reach transit stops, will help reduce transportation-based inequities and the negative outcomes that impact underserved communities. Pedestrian and bicycle planners and other transportation practitioners are uniquely positioned to lead, facilitate, advocate for, and otherwise contribute to those improvements and be informed by those traditionally under-represented. The detailed knowledge of how to meet community transportation needs, combined with the ability to reach out to affected neighborhoods means that transportation planners can make a real difference in addressing the concerns outlined earlier in this paper.
A key concept is that equity can be considered both a process and an outcome. For the outcome to be equitable, the process to get there should also be equitable and based on the principles of transparency, inclusiveness, respectfulness, and building trustworthy relationships with the community. The following strategies, practices, and processes can be used by organizations and individuals looking to enhance their ability to address equity issues within the context of pedestrian and bicycle planning or beyond.
Examine Organizational Practices and Policies through the Lens of Equity
Organizational practices and policies may have unintended consequences when it comes to transportation equity. An organization seeking to be mindful of equity concerns should begin with a systematic review of its practices to identify potential equity issues and opportunities.
Hiring, training, and communications
As reported in the document, Building Equity: Race, ethnicity, class, and protected bike lanes: An idea book for fairer cities, "professional planners are disproportionality white," with 88 percent of practicing planners self-identifying as white in a 2013 American Planning Association survey (27). The disparity between the sociodemographics of transportation decision-makers and the community they are meant to serve can lead to less-than-equitable outcomes. Agencies should continually seek to increase the diversity of its staff at all levels of leadership and decision-making so that its workforce represents a range of backgrounds and life experiences and reflects the community it serves.
In addition, agencies may need to provide cultural competency training on a regular basis to all staff and work to build an organizational culture that values equity and is sensitive to the issues and how they are communicated. Similarly, government staff, officials, and leaders might need training on disability sensitivity, how to communicate effectively with people with disabilities, how to select accessible meeting sites, and how to ensure reasonable accommodation.
In discussions about transportation equity—which often raise complex issues regarding race, class, age, disability status, and other topics—words and terminology matter. It is important that staff is trained on how to communicate effectively and use language that is appropriate. One example is to be sure staff uses person-oriented communications, with emphasis on the person (such as "persons with disabilities") rather than terms focusing on an individual’s disability as a defining characteristic (such as "the disabled" or "handicapped"). To learn more, consider these resources:
- The National Center for Cultural Competence provides resources to help organizations design, implement, and evaluate culturally-competent programs to "address growing diversity, persistent disparities, and to promote health and mental health equity." It offers distance learning, self-assessments, and other resources.
- June Thomas’s 2008 Planning Theory article, "The Minority-Race Planner in the Quest for a Just City," provides additional information on how diversity within the workplace can lead to achieving equitable outcomes.
Infrastructure planning, goal-setting, and project prioritization
Several studies have demonstrated the role of the built environment—from micro-level considerations like sidewalk and bicycle-lane design and maintenance, to macro-level issues such as land use—in reducing or intensifying pedestrian and bicycle inequities. In particular, transportation practitioners should examine the processes by which transportation investments are made and prioritized in light of equity considerations. Some projects or programs are prioritized by how well they meet needs for "efficiency" or cost-effectiveness, with the goal of minimizing the cost of providing facilities or services. An example of this approach is prioritizing the installation of bicycle paths or sidewalks along streets with preexisting rights-of-way or in resurfacing projects where opportunities for quick, affordable infrastructure improvements exist. Similarly, some agencies use "public request" or "complaint-based" systems to drive investment or maintenance plans. Many communities rely on 311 numbers or websites such as SeeClickFix to collect and respond to maintenance requests. However, efficiency-based and/or complaint-based prioritization schemes alone may not be sufficient to help address equity issues, as shown in the Seattle example below. These approaches can unintentionally lead to resources being directed toward the most affluent or well-resourced community members—who have the time to use complaint-based systems and are comfortable working within government systems—rather than to communities that may need the improvements the most. An additional issue with complaint-based systems is that communities that have never had access to high-quality facilities (such as sidewalks or separated bike lanes) may not be aware of what facilities are available, why they are important, or how to go about requesting them through a complaint-based system. Further, these systems may not be accessible to all users, especially persons with disabilities or those with limited English proficiency.
Transportation practitioners can make equity a bigger part of the decision-making process by discussing what "equitable" outcomes mean and would look like, setting goals for equitable transportation outcomes, and changing processes to better meet those goals. Decision-makers can ask "who would benefit from pedestrian and bicycle services?" and "who would not benefit from these services?" under different resource distribution scenarios. Organizations can aim to target services and facilities toward populations and geographies that are disproportionally affected by health and safety burdens, acknowledging that policies and designs that improve conditions for vulnerable groups can benefit everyone in the community. Several tools are available to help organizations examine their programs through the framework of equity and develop plans and programs that incorporate equity goals. To learn more, consider these resources:
- Race Forward’s Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) Toolkit is similar to a health impact assessment in that it allows for an "examination of how different racial and ethnic groups will likely be affected by a proposed action or decision. REIAs are used to minimize unanticipated adverse consequences in a variety of contexts, including the analysis of proposed policies, institutional practices, programs, plans and budgetary decisions. The REIA can be a vital tool for preventing institutional racism and for identifying new options to remedy long-standing inequities."
- FHWA’s Performance-Based Planning and Programming Guidebook discusses how agencies can develop investment priorities that take into account equity, environmental justice, and other considerations. It provides guidance on making tradeoffs when developing long-range transportation plans as well as case studies regarding how State departments of transportation engaged residents and stakeholders during the planning process.
- The Transportation and Health Tool, developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Centers for Disease Control, is a simple-to-use tool for transportation decision-makers to better understand how their community or state compares to their peers in terms of key health and transportation indicators. The tool can help inform health-supportive state and regional transportation policies and project decisions and strengthen collaboration between transportation and public health sectors.
Tools such as these are being applied by governmental and nongovernmental organizations in cities across the U.S. For example, the City of Seattle's Racial and Social Justice Initiative applies to all city departments, including the Department of Transportation. Similarly, King County, WA, has an Equity and Social Justice Initiative that applies to all county departments, including Transportation and Roads. The organization PolicyLink promotes equity and addresses mobility issues through its Transportation Equity Caucus. Following are two examples of how equity was considered in the transportation planning process and two examples of how equity concerns were taken into account when developing and implementing pedestrian and bicycle programs such as Bike Share and Safe Routes to School activities.
Foster Inclusive Public Involvement
Individuals and communities, and particularly traditionally underserved community members, need to be empowered to participate in the transportation planning processes and have their needs heard. Public outreach and engagement are critical components of gathering information on these needs. There are a variety of steps pedestrian and bicycle practitioners can take to better understand and incorporate the needs of underserved populations in the transportation investment decision-making process via public participation. To start, it is important to examine and acknowledge the history of communities that have faced inequities—such as legacy community and accessibility impacts from construction of the national highway system—and to consider the relationship of such communities with their governments. For engagement, communication, and relationship-building to take place, government staff may need to recognize and take ownership of past mistakes, acknowledge injustices, and open the door for potentially uncomfortable or charged discussions. While difficult, this may be a critical step in building trust and inclusivity. Transportation agencies can consider what is needed to provide a space that is safe and empowering for these conversations to take place. In some places, maybe a survey is needed to ask the community about its needs and experiences. In other instances, it may be appropriate to have a third-part facilitator support the discussion.
Another key is to meet community members where they are and minimize barriers to participation. Some community engagement steps—such as making sure public hearings and meetings are held in buildings that are accessible and providing public notice in advance—are required by law.FHWA and FTA planning regulations further support this by requiring State Departments of Transportation and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to hold any public meetings in convenient and accessible locations and times. Planning regulations also require States and MPOs to seek out and consider the needs of traditionally underserved by existing transportation systems, such as low-income and minority households, who may face challenges accessing employment and other services.
Other steps may not be required but could be critical in ensuring the participation of traditionally underserved groups. Some ideas include:
- Sharing information and announcements in ways that people actually receive information, which may include posting fliers, connecting to community networks, using social media, and other outreach methods.
- Providing opportunities to meet and talk in informal settings, such as local community centers, religious institutions, or coffee shops, in addition to government buildings.
- Making public information (technical information and meeting notices) available in electronically accessible formats and means, such as the World Wide Web.
- Hosting events at schools, when parents can drop by after picking up their children. Keep in mind, however, that many schools in the U.S., or the paths of travel leading to them, are not fully accessible.
- Partnering with a not-for-profit or community group and working through local community partners or events.
- Providing opportunities for residents to participate during weekday and weekend times.
- Giving surveys in multiple languages and considering the needs of people who are blind or have low vision and those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Providing childcare at meetings or making events family-friendly.
- Hosting "pizza party" meetings at the end of the month, which can be a good way to engage families and feed them at the same time when household incomes may be running low at the end of the month.
As technologies continue to develop and agencies learn how to harness technology to engage communities, it is important to acknowledge the limitations of popular methods (such as crowd-sourcing tools) in engaging underserved communities. Rural communities without access to broadband, low-income residents, older adults, people with disabilities, and others may have limited access, ability, or comfort in using internet-based communications or other technologies. Agencies should carefully evaluate the use of technology in community engagement and consider a range of approaches to meaningfully engage the full spectrum of community stakeholders. Any technology used should be compliant with the Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act so it is fully accessible for all. The following examples highlight how communities are taking action to ensure inclusive public outreach and engagement as they aim for equitable planning processes and outcomes.
For more on this topic, consider these resources:
- NCHRP REPORT 710: Practical Approaches for Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations in Transportation Decisionmaking provides State departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and other transportation agencies with practical and effective tools, techniques, and approaches for identifying and connecting with populations that have traditionally been underserved and underrepresented in transportation decision-making. The report provides resources for engaging these populations for one project or on a continuous basis.
- How to Engage Low-Literacy and Limited-English-Proficiency Populations in Transportation Decisionmaking documents best practices in identifying and engaging low-literacy and limited English-proficiency populations in transportation decision-making.
- FHWA Public Involvement/Public Participation Website offers background on legislation and policies regarding public engagement in transportation planning as well as provides case studies and a reference tool to identify legislation enacted in each State.
- FHWA resources on public engagement provide a comprehensive set of publications and tools related to public involvement and equity in transportation planning. They include links to legislation and guidance, publications, and relevant websites and organizations.
- FHWA Resident’s Guide for Creating Safer Communities for Walking and Biking , Chapter 2, includes tips on developing diverse partnerships to address pedestrian and bicycle concerns, and ways to encourage inclusivity. The Guide also includes a dozen community success stories, many of which highlight efforts to work with and in vulnerable communities to reduce disparities.
- USDOT Pedestrian and Bicyclist Road Safety Assessments Summary Report highlights some of the varied and creative methods used to conduct the assessments. It discusses examples of both infrastructure and non-infrastructure barriers identified through the assessments; how specific communities used the assessments to discuss and address barriers; and resources (existing and under development) to support communities in ensuring safe and convenient access to walking and bicycling.
Leverage Data to Identify Concerns and Opportunities
Transportation practitioners, public health departments, and decision-makers may have access to many sources of data that can help identify areas where vulnerable groups exist and demand is not met, or where more engagement may be needed. For example, emergency department or police-reported pedestrian and bicycle crash data can be used to identify high-crash locations or corridors. Census data on household income, education, vehicle ownership, or other measures can be used to help identify potentially vulnerable neighborhoods within a community. Overlaid with crash data, this information can provide a particularly insightful tool for understanding how traditionally underserved communities may be overburdened by pedestrian and bicycle crashes. A look at broader public health data—such as infant mortality rates, drug-related hospitalization rates, and obesity rates can also potentially point to traditionally underserved communities that would likely benefit from targeted investment in pedestrian and bicycle programs. Partnership and collaboration with other agencies that may collect and use such these data on a regular basis—such as police departments, public health departments, and hospitals—may be an essential step in the process. While these data may help identify potential problems or deficits, agency staff should not overlook community assets and resources as well.
In addition to using crash data and public health data to identify populations of interest, transportation practitioners can use facility inventory data to identify gaps in transportation facility connectivity or access to essential services. Essential services typically include housing, employment, health care, and schools/education. Interactive mapping tools such as WalkScore, the HUD and USDOT’s Location Affordability Index or the EPA’sSmart Location Mapping tool can be used to assess and compare neighborhood situations. A focus on identifying pedestrian and bicycle network connectivity gaps may first involve defining what it means to be connected to essential services (e.g., percentage of households within a certain distance of a service or facility) and developing analytical methods to measure connectivity across the system (such as in the example provided below). It could also involve the identification of solutions to address those gaps.
Use scenario planning indicators to support data-driven decision-making and performance measurement
As described in FHWA’s Scenario Planning Handbook, scenario analysis is part of the planning process that typically involves "assessing the impacts, influences, and effects that various scenarios exert on selected indicators." There are several established indicators, and associated data sources, that relate to potential equity issues and can be used to assess the impact of transportation projects on facility use/demand and access to jobs, affordable housing, etc. These include:
- Percentage of population with access to transit.
- Number and/or percentage of jobs located near affordable housing.
- Change in average commuting times.
- Vehicle miles traveled by mode.
- Percentage of work or all trips by mode.
In particular, change in average commuting times has been closely linked to transportation equity issues. According to a recent article, "In a large, continuing study of upward mobility based at Harvard, commuting time has emerged as the single strongest factor in the odds of escaping poverty. The longer an average commute in a given county, the worse the chances of low-income families there moving up the ladder."
A variety of applications and models can be used to help identify and develop indicators. These include travel demand models, which can be used to gauge transportation accessibility, as well as GIS-based applications to assess roadway facility availability (such as sidewalks and bike lanes), create buffers to assess transit ridership, or other analyses. For example, the EPA has an Environmental Justice Screening Toolkit, EJSCREEN, which is a web-based GIS tool that can be used to map key environmental and demographic indicators to support problem identification, community engagement, and other planning efforts. Also, consider the "Data Collection and Analysis" Chapter of FHWA’s. Environmental Justice Reference Guide. See the following example on the use of data in relation to equity initiatives taking place in Humboldt County, CA.
Design Streets and Facilities for Everyone
Ensuring that roadway facilities can be accessed by everyone is a cornerstone of equitable transportation planning. While beyond the scope of this paper to discuss in detail, there are many existing resources that highlight the importance of "universal design"—or roadway design that accommodates roadway users of all ages and ability levels—and provide guidance on how it can be achieved. The Walk Friendly Communities website provides a listing of key references related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and FHWA has an ADA/Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 website with comprehensive resources as well. When designing accessible pedestrian and bicycle facilities, also consider the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center’s Design Resource Index, which provides a roadmap for finding specific information on various pedestrian and bicycle design treatments in key national design manuals, including several Institute of Transportation Engineers guidebooks.
In addition to adhering to universal design principles, many communities are adopting policies to support Complete Streets—streets designed to be safe and comfortable for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, motorists and individuals of all ages and capabilities. TheNational Complete Streets Coalition offers a wealth of resources on Complete Streets, including guidance on policies, policy implementation, and examples and case studies from across the U.S.
Enhancing the ability of traditionally underserved populations to travel by nonmotorized modes can potentially lead to improved public health and safety outcomes. These outcomes include strengthened neighborhood ties, improved access to health care services, reduced exposure to vehicular collisions by nonmotorized travelers, and lowered health care costs (2, 3, 4). Expanding opportunities for nonmotorized travel strengthens workforces, and it improves economic productivity by providing better access to educational and employment opportunities and by improving access to and expanding customer bases for local businesses (2). Transit services are also improved as investments in pedestrian and bicycling facilities expand catchment areas, increasing the number of potential passengers with safe access to transit and the number of destinations accessible via transit (2, 3). These benefits are not limited to underserved communities. Creating a more equitable distribution of pedestrian and bicycle facilities and services has been shown to have positive impacts community-wide. Everyone, not just the estimated 30 percent of Americans who do not drive (2), is likely to experience some level of transportation disadvantage in their lifetime. Whether that disadvantage is temporary or permanent, and whether it arises via age, disability, loss of income, or the imposition of additional travel burdens, efforts to improve access to pedestrian and bicycle opportunities for today’s underserved populations are likely to provide a direct benefit to a large percentage of Americans at some point in their lives.
Transportation practitioners and those engaged in pedestrian- and bicycle-related efforts are uniquely positioned to lead, facilitate, advocate for, and contribute to improving transportation equity to better meet community members’ varying needs and abilities to access employment, education, and other opportunities safely and conveniently by walking or wheeling. By examining fundamental organizational practices and policies through the lens of equity, by seeking inclusivity and community integration, by leveraging data to identify concerns and opportunities, and by designing facilities that can be used by everyone, transportation professionals can promote equity both as a process and as an outcome. While transportation equity cannot be achieved through pedestrian and bicycle planning efforts done in isolation, equity goals and outcomes can be moved forward when equity is part of the overall policy and programming framework across all levels of decision-making.
Equity-Related Initiatives, Resources, and Tools
- Race Forward's Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) Toolkit
- HUD and USDOT's Location Affordability Index
- EPA's Smart Location Mapping tool
Federal Reports and Guidelines
- FHWA's Scenario Planning Handbook
Webinars and Training Opportunities
- National Highway Institute's Course Offering Public Involvement in the Transportation Decisionmaking Process
- Advancing a Sustainable Highway System: Highlights of FHWA Sustainability Activities resource and webinar on Access and Affordability (held May 2015)
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center webinar on Equity (held December 2013)
- The National Center for Safe Routes to School webinar on Ladders of Opportunity (held February 2015)
There are many other resources and ongoing initiatives—by the Federal Highway Administration and other organizations—that hold promise for further informing the conversation around equity in transportation. Read more about FHWA research in progress, or sign up to receive bi-weekly emails from the Human Environment Research Digest. You can also sign up for the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center quarterly newsletteror follow the Facebook page to receive regular updates on the status of projects and available resources.
This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Highway Administration under Cooperative Agreement No. DTFH610110H-00024. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Federal Highway Administration. All images are from www.pedbikeimages.org (taken by Dan Burden and Elly Blue) unless otherwise noted and are used with permission. Dara Baldwin, of the National Disability Rights Network; Naomi Doerner, of the Alliance for Biking and Walking; and Simran Noor, of the Center for Social Inclusion, contributed to many of the ideas and examples in this paper through their involvement in the 2015 National Bike Summit panel entitled, "Successfully Addressing the Root Causes of Inequity," held on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Washington, DC.
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