To read this document, sign up for free access to our entire library

By joining the ChangeLab Solutions community, you'll get access to all our law & policy resources. And we'll notify you when we release a new tool related to your sector or area of interest.

Making Streets Welcoming

Creating safe streets for people walking & biking

Fact Sheet
Healthy Neighborhoods

For decades, communities across the United States have been designed for cars, rather than for people walking and biking.

Unfortunately, this approach to urban design has had major negative effects on Americans’ health and safety. Pedestrians are more likely to be injured or killed while navigating roads with no sidewalks or crosswalks and cyclists struggle to share the road with motor vehicles. By extension, roads built solely for the use of cars discourage people from making walking and biking part of their daily routine, depriving them of such health benefits as lower rates of obesity and diabetes.

The first step for communities and advocates who want to transform a neighborhood or ensure that city codes promote pedestrian-friendly streets is to pinpoint the elements that make a community walkable. 

ChangeLab Solutions developed a fact sheet, Making Streets Welcoming for Walking, that outlines 3 principles of walkable streets, which include safety, convenience, and comfort. It also offers strategies for combining efforts across different local agencies, and provides advice for making short-term improvements and lasting, long-term change.