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.53 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.
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.
Complete Streets Actions
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
Federal Highway Administration. Strategic Highway Safety Plan (last updated June 16, 2017). Available at https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/shsp/.
“First Year Adopted” column is from The League of American 2015 Bicycle Friendly State Survey data for question 63c. “Year of Most Recent Plan Adoption” column is from The League of American Bicyclists. 2017 Bicycle Friendly State Survey data for question EP1.
National Complete Streets Coalition, National Complete Streets Policy Inventory (retrieved November 2018). Available at https://smartgrowthamerica.org/program/national-complete-streets-coalition/publications/policy-development/policy-atlas/.
The League of American Bicyclists. 2017 Bicycle Friendly State survey data from question PP3.
National Safety Council. Road to Zero Coalition Members (retrieved December 2018). Available at https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/get-involved/road-to-zero.
Federal Highway Administration. Roadway Safety Professional Capacity Building’s Community of Practice Strategic Highway Safety Plan database (retrieved August 2018). Available at https://rspcb.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/shsp_cop.aspx.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Persons Killed, by STATE and Person Type - State: USA, Year (2012-2016). Available at https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/States/StatesCrashesAndAllVictims.aspx.
Federal Highway Administration. Roadway Safety Professional Capacity Building’s Community of Practice Strategic Highway Safety Plan database (retrieved December 2018). Available at https://rspcb.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/shsp_cop.aspx (Data reported reflects how it was reported by the database).
National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). NACTO Endorsement Campaign for Urban Bikeway Design Guide. Available at https://nacto.org/publication/urban-bikeway-design-guide/endorsement-campaign/.
National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). NACTO Endorsement Campaign for Urban Street Design Guide. Available at https://nacto.org/publication/urban-street-design-guide/endorsement-campaign/.
The League of American Bicyclists. 2017 Bicycle Friendly State survey data from question IF7 (States labeled “not available” did not complete the 2017 Survey).