Arlington Is a Platinum Walk Friendly Community
Arlington joins a distinguished group of just five U.S. cities and towns as a Platinum Walk Friendly Community.
For the past 12 years, the University of North Carolina’s (UNC) Walk Friendly Communities program has recognized walkable communities by encouraging them to apply for a Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze Walk Friendly designation.
Factors they consider include:
- Does the community have a plan for how it will ensure the safety and convenience of those traveling on foot?
- Does it have a Complete Streets program?
- Is there a Safe Routes to School program?
- Are there pedestrian advocacy groups?
In Arlington’s case, UNC recently determined that the answer to these and other pertinent questions was a resounding, “Yes.”
So now, after more than a decade as one of 16 Gold communities, Arlington has become one of just five communities nationwide considered Platinum Walk Friendly. It’s an honor to be recognized, but it’s not surprising that Arlington is Platinum. Arlingtonians love to walk and we care about ensuring that people of all ages and abilities are comfortable getting around on foot.
Here are some reasons we’re being recognized:
Safe Routes to School Program
The Safe Routes to School program is dedicated to making it easier for students to get healthy outdoor time by walking or biking to school instead of being shuttled there in a vehicle. They’ve organized “Walking School Buses,” provided maps of suggested safe walking routes to Arlington elementary schools and, most recently, even helped start an intergenerational walking school bus that was featured on CBS Evening News.
Community Commitment to Walkability
The all-volunteer Pedestrian Advisory Committee meets monthly to discuss issues pertaining to walkability in the County. They advocate vigorously and respectfully to make sure everyone feels comfortable walking around Arlington. They’re a smart, hardworking group and we are lucky to have them. Besides the PAC, Arlington has several other volunteer community groups that advocate for pedestrian safety. They also help make Arlington a friendlier environment for people walking.
Vision Zero & The Dedication of Our Arlington County Team
When it joined the international Vision Zero network in 2019, Arlington County made a commitment to eliminating transportation-related deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Through a data-driven, five-year Vision Zero Action Plan, the County laid out clear goals for executing short and long-term projects that improve safety for all. It continues to make progress toward these goals and engage with the community to understand their safety concerns.
Many Arlington County staff, including our Department of Environmental Services; the Transportation, Engineering and Operations team; Planning and Capital Improvement Projects; Water, Sewer, Streets; and the Arlington County Police Department, have a hand in making Arlington more accessible to people walking.
Arlington’s commitment to walking—evidenced through policies, plans, and human-scale interventions—is a big reason we’re a Platinum Walk Friendly Community. I’m proud to live here and continue to advocate for walking every day.
To learn more about Walk Friendly Communities across the country, visit the Walk Friendly Communities website.