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Mayors' Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at the 2014 Pro Walk, Pro Bike, Pro Place Conference

Secretary Foxx at the 2014 Pro Walk, Pro Bike, Pro Place Conference

Mayors' Challenge Award Winners Announced!

At the 2016 Summit for Safer People, Safer Streets at USDOT headquarters in September 2016, Secretary Foxx recognized the communities that demonstrated the most progress with awards for Overall Success, Ladders of Opportunity, Engagement, and each of the seven Challenge Activities. Check out the Mayor's Challenge Awards and Success Stories here.


In January 2015, Secretary Foxx challenged community leaders to raise the bar for bicyclist and pedestrian safety by joining the Mayors' Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets effort. In March 2015, the USDOT and cities from across the nation launched the Challenge during the first Mayors' Summit for Safer People, Safer Streets at the USDOT headquarters in Washington, DC.
Mayors and other elected city officials participate by leading a call to action and forming a local action team to advance safety and accessibility goals by taking on one or more Challenge activities outlined below. USDOT offers forums, webinars, and resources to help Challenge Cities accomplish their Challenge activity goals. The Challenge is based on the 2010 USDOT Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation, and has helped inform the Strategic Agenda for Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation. 
You can download an executive summary of the Mayors' Challenge here.

Interested cities can still join the more than 200 Challenge cities committed to improving walking and biking by emailing

The 2016 Safer People, Safer Streets Summit was held on September 16, 2016 at USDOT headquarters in Washington, DC. See Secretary Foxx's blog post here recapping this event!

Mayors' Challenge Activities

Take a Complete Streets approach

Complete streets make it safe and convenient for people of all ages and abilities to reach their destination whether by car, train, bike, or foot. A Complete Streets approach starts with a policy commitment to prioritize and integrate all road users into every transportation project.

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Identify and address barriers to make streets safe and convenient for all road users, including people of all ages and abilities and those using assistive mobility devices

The ability for older adults, young children, and people with disabilities to travel safely is critical to freedom of mobility and quality of life. People may have challenges with eyesight, reaction times, cognitive ability and muscle dexterity that make travel difficult.

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Gather and track biking and walking data

The lack of systematic data collection related to walking and bicycling transportation, such as count data, travel survey data, and injury data, creates challenges for improving non-motorized transportation networks and safety. Communities that routinely collect walking and biking data are better positioned to track trends and prioritize investments.

Read more about data collection

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Use designs appropriate to the context of the street and its uses

 Transportation agencies are encouraged, when possible, to go beyond designing walking and bicycling facilities to the minimum standards. It is more effective to plan for increased usage than to retrofit an older facility. Planning projects for the long-term should anticipate likely future demand for bicycling and walking facilities and not preclude the provision of future improvements.

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Take advantage of opportunities to create and complete ped-bike networks through maintenance

Expanding and improving existing roads and facilities to build biking and walking networks as part of regular and routine resurfacing and other maintenance programs can be a low cost alternative to building new roads or widening existing roads.

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Improve walking and biking safety laws and regulations

Traffic laws such as reduced speed, failure to yield, passing, and helmet laws can be effective in improving safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and others.

Read more about walking and biking safety laws and regulations

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Educate and enforce proper road use behaviors by all

Highly-visible and well publicized targeted enforcement tied with educational campaigns has shown to be effective in reducing crashes.

Read more about education and enforcement

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Updated: Friday, September 23, 2016
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