PHOENIX — Now that the weather has cooled off and more people are getting outside to walk or bicycle, the Arizona Department of Transportation is touting an update to its Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. ADOT established the original Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan in 2003 to improve walking and bicycling options throughout the state.
The 2013 update to the plan focuses on increasing bicycle and pedestrian trips, improving bicyclist and pedestrian safety, and improving bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure along our state highway system. It was a collaborative effort with Arizona’s metropolitan planning organizations, councils of governments, and members of the bicycling and walking communities. These groups worked together to establish 25 strategies and outline a timetable to reach the plan’s goals. ADOT also conducted two public comment periods, collecting a total of 3,300 responses.
“The intent of the plan is to make it safer and more comfortable for people on foot or bicycle to cross or use Arizona’s highways for travel,” said Michael Sanders, ADOT’s bicycle and pedestrian program coordinator. “We’ve developed performance measurements to help us evaluate our progress. For example, one goal is to double the percentage of walking and bicycling trips statewide over the next 10 years.”
Specific improvements to bicycle and pedestrian facilities along our state highway system include bikeway and walkway facilities, enhanced road crossings, sidewalks and ensuring that our infrastructure is accessible and accommodating for people with disabilities. The updated plan is also centered on enhancing bicycle and pedestrian education, such as helping improve bicyclist skills, implementing design training for engineers and planners, increasing awareness and creating a greater understanding for all of us to follow the rules of the road.
ADOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan was developed in accordance with federal transportation policy to promote the increased use and safety of bicycling and walking as transportation modes. It is also part of Arizona’s Long-Range Transportation Plan.
“Bicycling and walking are important components of the state’s transportation network. This plan is another step in our commitment to increasing multimodal transportation options for Arizonans,” said Sanders.
The Web address to view the final report on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Update is http://wwwa.azdot.gov/ADOTLibrary/Multimodal_Planning_Division/Bicycle-Pedestrian/Bicycle_Pedestrian_Plan_Update-Final_Report-1306.pdf