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City Transportation Officials Praise Federal Highway Guidance on Bicycle Design

Contact: Linda Bailey, 646-256-3255

New York, September 13, 2013

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) applauds the new national guidance on street design from the Federal Highway Administration that endorses the work that NACTO has done on better city street design. Federal Highway is showing that they are a true partner with cities’ efforts to create modern, safe and inviting streets for cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers.

“NACTO cities have led the way in creating better and safer streets, and this FHWA guidance sends a clear message that these street designs have a place in cities across the nation,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City Transportation Commissioner and President of NACTO. “This important recognition shows that streets that accommodate everyone who uses them aren’t just big-city innovations, they are the new best practices in an increasingly urban nation.”

The guidance, published on FHWA’s website and covered on a September 13th webinar, gives direction to its division offices in each state to work with the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide to “go beyond the minimum requirements, and proactively provide convenient, safe, and context-sensitive facilities that foster increased use by bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities, and utilize universal design characteristics when appropriate.”

NACTO’s Guide, first published in 2010, is ground-breaking in laying out the principles for protected cycle tracks, where bicyclists of all ages have been shown to fare better in terms of safety and comfort. Research has shown that cycling in these types of facilities rises dramatically in comparison to conventional bicycle lanes.

“The Federal Highway Administration’s support for NACTO’s design guidance for bikeways is critical to us,” said Ed Reiskin, San Francisco MTA Director of Transportation and NACTO Vice-President. “In San Francisco, we count on FHWA to be a partner in building the safest and best streets possible.”

“Cities and towns all across America want to re-engineer streets to accommodate the needs of all users; for efficient throughput, safety, economy, and overall livability.  That’s why it is so exciting that the Federal Highway Administration is clarifying a strong stance in favor of better street design for cyclists,” said Gabe Klein, Chicago Transportation Commissioner and NACTO Treasurer. “These guidelines will assist Chicago, and clarify for all of our partners at the local, State and Federal levels, how to provide a safer environment for all users of our roadways.”

“FHWA is putting street design decisions firmly in the hands of experts on the ground, where it should be,” said Wylie Bearup, Transportation Director for the City of Phoenix. “In fact, we are currently using the Guide to update our bicycle infrastructure master plan.”

The original FHWA guidance is available online.



NACTO is an association of 16 major US cities formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. Members include Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC. Affiliate members of NACTO include Arlington (VA), Austin, Burlington (VT), Cambridge, Hoboken, Indianapolis, Louisville, Memphis, Oakland, Salt Lake City, and Ventura (CA).