Guide to Best Practices

Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinators

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Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinators

The responsibility for nonmotorized transport planning should be clearly established within an agency to help maintain continuity through the process and develop necessary contacts and expertise. This is especially important because nonmotorized transportation planning crosses traditional institutional categories (involving planning, engineering, safety education, recreation, and marketing). Typical pedestrian/bicycle coordinator responsibilities include:

  • Work with other departments and agencies to co-ordinate bicycle and pedestrian programs, plans, and policies in the region.

  • Coordinate educational opportunities for designers, traffic technicians, and police in dealing with the needs and concerns of pedestrians and cyclists.

  • Review standards, plans, and development proposals to determine whether they meet the needs of pedestrians and cyclists.

  • Review designs for municipal roads and highways to ensure appropriate consideration for cyclists and pedestrians, and that facilities meet national design standards.

  • Work with local advocacy and safety groups to help support nonmotorized promotion and safety efforts.

  • Maintain a database of cycling and pedestrian traffic volumes, complaints, and collisions to identify locations needing improvements.
  1. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is concerned with designing the local environment to minimize opportunities for crime. Local police may be trained to perform “safety audits” to identify design strategies to increase personal safety. Paths intended for day and evening use are more secure if located near residences, which provide passive surveillance. Lighting should be adequate to remove very dark areas at night, and vegetation should be managed to ensure good sight lines, minimal places to hide, and ensure paths are visible to surrounding areas.34 The placement of bicycle parking facilities should also be well considered to reduce the likelihood of bicycle theft.

The following guidelines, adapted from Safe Cities: Guidelines for Planning, Design and Management, can be used to make cycling facilities and routes safer so that people will not be afraid to use them.

  • Is there adequate visibility of parked bicycles, and for people in the process of locking and unlocking their bicycles from people passing by, in adjacent buildings, or from station attendants?

  • Are there entrapment spots? Are there dark isolated spaces near the bicycles?

  • Is there a clear system of through routes on city streets, preferably not separated by visual barriers?

  • Are the routes clearly sign-posted, not only on the route but along major roads feeding into the route?

  • Are commuting routes chosen not only for convenience and lack of detours, but also for security? This means locating bicycle routes adjacent to areas of high pedestrian and car traffic during the day and evening, with as much continuous building, as few “empty spaces” and as few underground crossings as possible. Separating bicycle paths from both pedestrian and automobile traffic makes them more vulnerable.

  • Are the routes well lit?

  • Do they avoid underground crossings?

  • Are there bushes and dense clusters of trees avoided immediately adjacent to the route?


Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Canadian National Crime Prevention Centre (

Crime Prevention From the Ground Up, National Council for the Prevention of Crime (

Design and Crime Program, Nottingham Trent University (

Social Research Associates, Personal Security Issues in Pedestrian Journeys, UK Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (London;, 1999.

Tom McKay, “The Right Design for Reducing Crime; Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design,” Security Management Magazine (, March 1996.

Wekerle and Whitzman, Safe Cities: Guidelines for Planning, Design and Management, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1995.

WAC, Safety Audit Guide, Women’s Action Centre Against Violence (Ottawa, 613-241-5414;;, 1996. $25 Canadian.

What is Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design? Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association, University of Alberta (

IV. Planning for Pedestrians

Accommodating pedestrians is critical for a quality community. Walking is the most basic form of transportation, and pedestrian conditions affect public transit use, since transit riders usually walk for mobility at their destinations. The pedestrian environment provides public space where people can meet and interact. Creating an attractive and safe pedestrian environment is a critical part of developing more livable communities.
Principles for Pedestrian Design35

  1. The pedestrian environment should be safe.

Sidewalks, pathways, and crossings should be designed and built to be free of hazards and to minimize conflicts with external factors such as noise, vehicular traffic, and protruding architectural elements.

  1. The pedestrian network should be accessible to all

Sidewalks, pathways and, crosswalks should ensure the mobility of all users by accommodating the needs of people regardless of age or ability.

  1. The pedestrian network should connect to places people want to go.

The pedestrian network should provide continuous direct routes and convenient connections between destinations, including homes, schools, shopping areas, public services, recreational opportunities, and transit.

  1. The pedestrian environment should be easy to use.

Sidewalks, pathways, and crossings should be designed so people can easily find a direct route to a destination and delays are minimized.

  1. The pedestrian environment should provide good places.

Good design should enhance the look and feel of the pedestrian environment. The pedestrian environment includes open spaces such as plazas, courtyards, and squares, as well as the building facades that give shape to the space of the street. Amenities such as street furniture, banners, art, plantings, and special paving, along with historical elements and cultural references, should promote a sense of place.

  1. The pedestrian environment should be used for many things.

The pedestrian environment should be a place where public activities are encouraged. Commercial activities such as dining, vending, and advertising may be permitted when they do not interfere with safety and accessibility.

  1. The pedestrian environment should be economical.

Pedestrian improvements should be designed to achieve the maximum benefit for their cost, including initial cost and maintenance cost as well as reduced reliance on more expensive modes of transportation. Where possible, improvements in the right-of-way should stimulate, reinforce, and connect with adjacent private improvements.

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