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ARC’s Bicycle-Pedestrian Plan Receives National Recognition

Posted on: Jul 25, 2017

The Atlanta Regional Commission’s innovative bicycle & pedestrian plan, which provides a vision for improving biking and walking options across metro Atlanta, has earned a Transportation Planning Excellence Award from the Federal Highway Administration.

ARC was one of just 11 organizations nationwide to receive a planning excellence award for 2016-17. The winners were announced earlier this month.

ARC’s Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan envisions linking many existing trails to create a regional trail network.

The plan, Walk. Bike. Thrive!, was recognized for its combination of “public input, technical analysis, and policy frameworks to make walking and bicycling safe and comfortable across the metropolitan region.”

According to the plan, the key to encouraging walking and biking is building safe, comfortable, and convenient places for such activities. Livable neighborhoods, walk- and bike-friendly communities, complete streets, and regional trails all support active, healthy transportation options for metro Atlanta residents.

“This plan provides a blueprint for creating a better connected, healthier, and more competitive region,” said Mike Alexander, Director of ARC’s Center for Livable Communities.

The Walk. Bike. Thrive! plan has six key objectives:

  1. Encourage targeted investments to improve connections to schools, parks, transit stops, and job centers, making it easier for people to get more places without driving.
  2. Realize the Atlanta region’s potential: 42 percent of metro Atlantans live within a five-minute ride of a trail; 41 percent work within a five-minute walk of a transit stop; 23 percent live within a five-minute ride to a job center. Opportunities exist in every community and by relentlessly identifying and incrementally addressing barriers to walking and biking, more people will be able to walk or bike for transportation.
  3. Build a regional trail network that connects existing major trails.
  4. Encourage more communities to take advantage of national programs that help improve conditions for walking and biking. There are currently six nationally recognized Walk-Friendly or Bike-Friendly communities in the Atlanta region.
  5. Emphasize the economic value of quality walking and bicycling networks. A 2014 study showed that half of all income property developed in metro Atlanta since 2009 occurred in walkable, urban places – demonstrating that bike and pedestrian infrastructure is critical to our economy.
  6. Allocate $1 billion for bicycling and walking infrastructure in the region’s long-range transportation plan. ARC and its planning partners have achieved this goal, ensuring the development and maintenance of quality bike-ped infrastructure.

    Pictured, from left, are: Tread Davis, ARC board member; Byron Rushing, ARC Bicyle/Pedestrian Senior Principal Planner; Steve Luxenberg, Director of Program Development, Federal Highway Administration Georgia Division; and ARC Board Member Charlotte Nash, Chair of the Gwinnett County Commission.