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Resolution 01-01

Resolution 01-01

A Declaration of Pedestrian Rights

All people are pedestrians, and as pedestrians are endowed with certain inalienable rights.  Among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  All too often, people must risk their lives to walk.  All too often, people are not at liberty to travel outside the confinement of a motor vehicle.  All too often, barren streets allow one to walk, but produce no joy or happiness from the experience.

WHEREAS, walking (which includes the use of a wheelchair or other mobility aid) is a healthful activity, while physical inactivity is a major cause of ill health and early death; and

WHEREAS, walking is friendly to the environment, while many other forms of transportation are major sources of pollution; and

WHEREAS, walking is energy efficient, while motorized transportation is a major user of scarce energy resources; and

WHEREAS, walking teaches children independence, while many children are dependent upon adults for transportation; and

WHEREAS, walking allows the elderly and disabled to maintain independence, while auto-oriented sprawl forces many of these individuals to prematurely leave their homes or limits their choices as to where to live; and

WHEREAS, walking is economical, while the cost of owning and maintaining several automobiles are a major financial burden on many households, or even out of reach; and

WHEREAS, walking promotes informal interactions between people and strengthens and enriches the community, while many neighborhoods lack any social contact between neighbors; and

WHEREAS, walking reduces crime by putting eyes on the street, while driving leaves empty sidewalks deserted by society; and

WHEREAS, walking makes cities vibrant places, while too many cities have been destroyed to make room for misguided freeways and parking lots; and

WHEREAS, walking is good for the mind and the soul, while too many suffer under stress driving in traffic;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that America Walks and its member organizations will work toward the following goals:

People shall have a way to walk along the public right of way. Streets and roads in populated areas will include sidewalks or other suitable accessible pathways.

People shall have a safe and accessible way to walk across the public right of way. Streets and roads will include safe, accessible, comfortable, and convenient crossings wherever people would reasonably want to cross.

People shall have places to walk to. Housing, commercial, and retail developments will be located so as to have a variety of destinations within safe and accessible walking distance.

People shall have the highest priority in transportation planning and construction. Staffing and expenditures shall be allocated so as to ensure the priority of pedestrian needs on all transportation projects.

People shall have the highest priority in urban design. Buildings, blocks, streets, and districts will be designed to include walking as an attractive option.

People shall have a welcoming, safe, and accessible environment. Sidewalks will be a generous width, with shade trees, benches, or other appropriate amenities to make walking pleasant and purposeful.

People shall have a well-maintained environment. Sidewalks will be kept free of shrubbery, snow, and man-made obstructions.

People shall have support from other modes. Transit systems will work as an effective extension of walking.

People shall have full consideration for their range of needs when walking.

Persons with disabilities will be accommodated both to the letter and in the spirit of the Americans With Disabilities Act and other state and local accessibility standards.

People shall be protected from vehicle threats by adequate enforcement of traffic laws. Drivers will respect crosswalk laws.