Raleigh Paves the Way for Walkability

Raleigh, North Carolina didn't take getting placed sixth most dangerous metro area in the country lightly back in 2009, and recently drafted a Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan in response.

December 12, 2012, 6:00 AM PST

By Erica Gutiérrez


In 2009, the think tank Transportation for America released a report called "Dangerous by Design" [PDF], ranking the least pedestrian-friendly metro areas in the country” reports Eric Jaffe, adding, “Raleigh, North Carolina, placed sixth—as in sixth most dangerous.” According to Fleming El-Amin, one of the city's transportation planners, “That was a bit of an eye opener." Following a lengthy public commentary period, Raleigh is now set to release its response to their public pedestrian shaming - a final version of the draft Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan released last October.

The plan includes physical and psychological elements for making the city more walkable. They physical component includes the creation of up to 212 miles of new sidewalks, which utilizes "a new GIS-based prioritization system that ranks sidewalk projects on both 'need' and 'demand.'" The psychological approach is focused on getting drivers to change their behavior and “to be more observant, and tolerant, of pedestrians.” It also includes the possibility of expanding the city's popular guerrilla wayfinding effort, Walk Raleigh, which helps pedestrians better calculate walking times through signage.

Though the city does not have specific success targets yet, it has already improved to 13th worst pedestrian city in a more recent 2011 report [PDF]. And, El-Amin asserts that this is not just a local issue, but a much larger one for the country, “I think when we really make a shift, either statewide or nationally, to think about every street as a complete street, it'll be more at the forefront to look at pedestrian mobility and connectivity more holistically and comprehensively."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

LAX Cars

Car Noise Is Killing Us

It’s not just traffic collisions that kill—a new study from researcher at Rutgers finds that the loud noises emanating from cars has direct impact on heart health in Americans.

May 6, 2022 - Streetsblog USA

State Capital of Utah

Affordable Housing Proposal Faces Backlash in Salt Lake City

A public hearing last week revealed widespread opposition to a plan to loosen density and height limits and reduce parking requirements to encourage more developers to build affordable housing.

38 minutes ago - The Salt Lake Tribune

Two people on a bike trail with downtown Houston in the background

Houston Bike Summit Makes In-Person Return

The event will focus on improving bike safety and continuing maintenance on the city's growing network of bike lanes and trails.

1 hour ago - Houston Public Media

Austin Bus

Austin’s Transit CEO Moving to D.C.

After overseeing a major system redesign and plans for its largest-ever expansion, the head of Capital Metro will take over Washington, D.C.’s transit agency.

2 hours ago - KUT

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.