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Active Transportation Tips for City Leaders

SRTS Toolkit

Ask “what has already been done?” to promote safe and active transportation.

  • How is active transportation addressed in the general plan?
  • How is active transportation considered when determining public works project priorities?
  • Has the council considered it’s allocations to active transportation funding?
  • Have you discussed challenges and opportunities with knowledgeable staff from planning, public works, parks and recreation and law enforcement?
  • How is active transportation addressed by regional planning agencies?
  • How is our council linked to county and regional transportation agencies?  Who is the liaison? Have they reported on active transportation priorities to our council?
  • What community-based organizations have studied the situation and developed recommendations?

Set Direction and Establish Structure

  • Build a shared understanding on the council and within your city of the benefits of active transportation. Back your beliefs with research.  Start with www.activelivingresearch.com.
  • Incorporate active transportation goals and plans into your planning processes. 
  • Be sure active transportation goals are addressed in the city’s general plan update, particularly the circulation element which can address complete streets and a level of service policy. More information about these tools is available in the Existing Tools for Active Transportation post.
  • Many cities address active transportation in specific plans for areas within the city, in the climate action plan, pedestrian plan and bicycle transportation plan.  Read City, County, School and Regional Plans for more information.
  • Ensure that zoning and parking codes are align with active transportation goals.
  • Encourage local collaboration to promote resident health and safety that engages schools, the county health department, parent and student groups, seniors, bicycle and walking organizations and health agencies.
  • Where needed, assign responsibility for assessing and developing active transportation recommendations to a collaborative body that represents interests of all residents. Include business, schools, health, law enforcement, and pedestrian and bicycle organizations.

Walk Your Talk

  • Appoint a council member to champion this issue with local and regional collaborative transportation planning.
  • Invest and advocate for projects that support active transportation. 
  • Promote and participate in active transportation events.
  • Model physical activity. Host walking constituent meetings. Create a challenge to fellow council members. Clock your walking and bicycling miles.
  • Request regular active transportation progress reports to council.

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