U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Kenneth R. Wykle
Federal Highway Administrator
Federal Lands Highway Program Engineers
Date: February 28, 2000
Reply to: HEPH-30
This memorandum transmits the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Design Guidance Language as called for by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), and requests a progress report on action items listed in my memorandum of February 24, 1999.
Section 1202 (b) of TEA-21 calls upon the Secretary, "in cooperation with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and other interested organizations to develop guidance on the various approaches to accommodating bicycles and pedestrian travel." This process was carried out and the resulting guidance document is attached for your use. As stated in my February 24, 1999, memorandum, TEA-21 calls for the mainstreaming of bicycling and pedestrian projects into the planning, design, and operation of our Nation's transportation system. That memorandum also transmitted the Program Guidance which explained how bicycle and pedestrian improvements can be routinely included in federally-funded transportation projects and programs. The attached Design Guidance Language furthers that process.
This new Design Guidance Language, entitled "Accommodating Bicycle and Pedestrian Travel; A Recommended Approach - A US DOT Policy Statement on Integrating Bicycling and Walking into Transportation Infrastructure," states that bicycling and walking facilities will be incorporated into all transportation projects unless "exceptional circumstances" exist. These "exceptional circumstances" are clearly spelled out in the document. Each division office should pass along the Design Guidance Language to the State DOTs for their use, and work with them in its implementation.
I would like to commend you for efforts you have made to date and will make in the future to ensure that bicyclists and pedestrians (including those with disabilities) receive fair consideration in decisions which affect our Nation's transportation system. That system must be balanced, accessible, and safe for all Americans. The FHWA must take a leadership role in working with States, localities, and our other partners to make it happen.