This section – States: Plans and Policies – looks at public policies created by states and published through a formal process. These plans and policies provide a basis for coordination between state agencies, local agencies, and other entities so that  all stakeholders involved in transportation decision making have a common understanding of the goals of the state and the policies and tools the state has adopted to accomplish its goals for bicycling and walking.

This section looks at three principle sources of public policy for bicycling and walking at the state level:

  • BICYCLE AND/OR PEDESTRIAN PLANS: These plans can serve a variety of purposes and be developed in a variety of ways. In some states, such as Maryland, they are developed and coordinated with capital improvement plans. In others, such as Wyoming, they have been developed at the direction of the legislature. Common purposes for bicycle and/ or pedestrian plans include reviewing relevant state policies, developing project prioritization processes, and coordinating policies and funding decisions with state and local stakeholders.
  • COMPLETE STREETS ACTIONS: Complete Streets policies ensure that streets are planned, designed, and operated with the needs of all users in mind including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets actions can take a variety of forms, such as legislation, policies adopted by the state Department of Transportation, and design guidance that gives planners and engineers the tools to put a policy into practice.
  • STRATEGIC HIGHWAY SAFETY PLANS (SHSP): The SHSP is required as part of receiving federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (SHSP) funding.  It is a statewide-coordinated safety plan that provides a comprehensive framework for reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. Data from each state’s SHSP is collected by the Federal Highway Administration’s Roadway Safety Professional Capacity Building program and is interpreted into the categories identified in this report.

Data on this page:

Most Recent Bicycle or Active Transportation Plan Adoption

Statewide Plans Supporting Improvements for Pedestrians & Bicyclists

Since 2006, 36 state bicycle and/or pedestrian plans have been adopted, including 17 states that adopted such a plan for the first time.

State Complete Streets Actions by First Year Taken

Complete Streets Actions for Integrating Pedestrians & Bicyclists in Transportation Projects

More than One-Third of states have not taken an action to create a Complete Streets policy according to data from the National Complete Streets Coalition. Nearly 70% of the states that have taken an action to create a Complete Streets policy took action for the first time after 2007.

State Goals & Support for Efforts to Reach Zero Traffic Deaths

State Strategic Highway Safety Plan Emphasis Areas & Strategies for Biking & Walking Safety

Federal law requires each state to create a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) as part of receiving federal transportation funding. The SHSP is intended to be a data-driven approach to reduce roadway fatalities and serious injuries. Most states place an emphasis on bicycling and walking safety in their SHSP, but several states with above average percentages of fatalities for people either biking and walking do not, including New York, Nevada, Delaware, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Arizona, and Alaska.

State Biking & Walking Design Guidance