Arlington Recognized as Gold-Level Walk Friendly Community
April 29, 2011
Walk Friendly Communities is a national recognition program developed to encourage towns and cities across the United States to establish or recommit to a high priority for supporting safer walking environments. The WFC program recognizes communities that are working to improve a wide range of conditions related to walking, including safety, mobility, access and comfort.
A Walk Friendly Community is a city or town that has shown a commitment to improving and sustaining walkability and pedestrian safety through comprehensive programs, plans and policies. Communities can apply to the program to receive recognition in the form of a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum designation.
Arlington received the second-highest Gold Level designation, one of only four communities to be honored at this level nationwide. The other three Gold Level communities are Ann Arbor, Michigan, Hoboken, New Jersey, and Santa Barbara, California. Seattle, Washington was the only community to receive the highest, Platinum Level designation.
Arlington’s designation comes in the inaugural round of the new Walk Friendly Communities initiative, which was established in 2010 to recognize communities for their walkability and commitment to pedestrian safety.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and FedEx, Walk Friendly Communities is a national program recognizing applicant communities for their commitment to walkability and pedestrian safety through comprehensive programs, plans, and policies. Eleven communities received the Walk Friendly Community designation, awarded at four levels-bronze, silver, gold, and platinum-in this first round.
Reviewers cited the following as reasons for Arlington County’s Gold Level Walk Friendly Community designation:
- Pedestrian initiatives like WalkArlington and activities and encouragement programs like Walkabouts and the Car-Free Diet, which serve as examples to pedestrian advocacy efforts nationwide.
- Arlington’s outstanding transit-oriented planning, well-conceived pedestrian plan, first-class pedestrian facilities, excellent transit, and innovative transportation demand management strategies.
- The community’s commitment to instilling positive values and best practices through frequent and dynamic educational opportunities.
According to the WFC panel, Arlington exhibits both a commitment to active transportation and a willingness to step outside the status quo to improve walkability and health in the community.
Arlington County will use this designation as a first step toward learning what our community can do to address remaining areas of need, supporting pedestrian initiatives in other communities, and elevating the importance of pedestrian safety across the nation.
Read more: Arlington's profile on the Walk Friendly Communities website
Giving Cities Legs: Ideas and Inspirations from Walk Friendly Communities
(PDF, 3.11 MB. Adobe Reader required.)