CHAPEL HILL, N.C., April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) is excited to announce three new Walk Friendly Communities (WFC) across the nation and one that elevated its status. The "Walk Friendly" title means a city or town is being recognized for its success in working to improve a wide range of conditions related to walking, including safety, mobility, access, and comfort. PBIC recognizes these four communities for their commitment to improving walkability and pedestrian safety:
- Eugene, Ore.
- Corvallis, Ore.
- New Orleans, La.
- Forest Park, Ill.
"Not only did we add three new communities, we also saw a community reapply and achieve a higher level designation," said Carl Sundstrom, WFC program manager. "We are excited to add these communities to the showcase of how communities across the nation are improving pedestrian safety and walkability."
There are now 24 Walk Friendly Communities across the nation, and this is the first time any community has moved up to a higher level. To date, Seattle, Wash., is the only Platinum-level Walk Friendly Community.
The program will begin accepting applications for the next round on May 1, 2012, with the deadline for submission on June 15, 2012. Interested communities are encouraged to visit www.walkfriendly.org to learn more about the program and review the community assessment tool.
Applicants use a web-based program that asks a comprehensive set of questions and provides communities with feedback and ideas for promoting pedestrian safety and activity. The questions examine engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and planning. Officially launched in October 2010, the WFC program is funded by FedEx and the Federal Highway Administration.
"FedEx is committed to helping communities provide safer and more walkable roadways," said Rose Flenorl, manager of FedEx Global Citizenship. "Our drivers are out there every day and see the value of walking trails, sidewalks and other pedestrian amenities.
"FedEx takes pride in our internal efforts to advance safe driving practices, but we remain committed to doing more. By supporting Walk Friendly Communities, we can have a lasting impact on a community and the safety of its residents."
About the WFC Program
The Walk Friendly Community designation, awarded from bronze to platinum, is given to applicant communities that have demonstrated a commitment to improving and sustaining walkability and pedestrian safety through comprehensive programs, plans and policies.
At the core of the WFC program is a comprehensive assessment tool that evaluates community walkability and pedestrian safety through questions related to engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and planning. The assessment tool questions are intended to both evaluate conditions for walking and provide communities with feedback and ideas for promoting pedestrian safety and activity.
Modeled after the League of American Bicyclists' "Bicycle Friendly Communities," WFC distinguishes cities and towns that are leading the way in walkability. WFC is the first program to highlight communities for their walkability initiatives and programs, while also offering feedback to assist communities in improving walkability.
Since its inception in 1999, PBIC's mission has been to improve the quality of life in communities through the increase of safe walking and bicycling as a viable means of transportation and physical activity. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center is maintained by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.
About the FHWA Bicycle & Pedestrian Program
The Bicycle & Pedestrian Program of the Federal Highway Administration promotes bicycle and pedestrian transportation use, safety, and accessibility. The FHWA Bicycle & Pedestrian Program issues guidance and is responsible for overseeing that States and other agencies understand and meet legislative requirements.
FedEx Corp. provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $42 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 300,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.
SOURCE Walk Friendly Communities