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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

Subject: ACTION: Designation of Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinators within State Departments of Transportation

Associate Administrator for Program Development

Regional Federal Highway Administrators

Date: January 17, 1992

Reply to: HPD-1

Over the last year and a half, FHWA has taken a leadership role in encouraging consideration of the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians by States and localities in highway projects. The new Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) offers increased opportunities for accommodating bicyclists and pedestrians as legitimate users of the transportation system.

Section 1033 of the new legislation requires the creation of a bicycle and pedestrian coordinator position within each State Department of Transportation. Federal funding for this position may be derived from funds available from apportionments made under Sections 104(b)(2), Surface Transportation Program, or 104(b)(3), Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.

Each State, in consultation with the division offices, should initiate recruitment actions to fill this position. Where States already have bicycle/pedestrian coordinators in place, no further action is required to fill the bicycle/pedestrian coordinator position. In these cases, funds authorized by 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(2) or 104(b)(3) may be used for the position. In the remaining States, the bicycle/pedestrian coordinator position should be established and filled as soon as possible. We strongly encourage States to consider establishing a full-time bicycle and pedestrian coordinator position; however, we recognize that a full-time position may not be necessary in some States.

The Federal share for funding the bicycle/pedestrian coordinator positions shall be 80 percent with a 20 percent State matching funds requirement. For less than a full-time position, Federal funds would be available for 80 percent of the percentage of the position actually spent on bicycle and pedestrian responsibilities.

The ISTEA states that the responsibilities of the position include:

  1. "promoting and facilitating the increased use of nonmotorized modes of transportation, including developing facilities for the use of pedestrians and bicyclists and public education, promotional, and safety programs for using such facilities."

We have attached copies of a document prepared by the Bicycle Federation of America entitled "Bicycle Coordinators and Programs: Why, How, What and Who." We would particularly direct your attention to the chapters "What does a bicycle coordinator do?", and "Who would make a good bicycle coordinator?" We have also attached a listing of the qualities useful for the coordinator and a listing of typical duties. These documents should be passed along to the States for their information.

In addition to the qualifications listed in this publication, an interest in and a commitment to the use of nonmotorized transportation modes is an important qualification for the coordinator position. The coordinator should be a program manager with specific responsibility for bicycle and pedestrian programs and activities, and have sufficient authority to work effectively with other elements within the State.

We would ask that each FHWA division office inform us of the name of the present bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for each State or the new individual as soon as these positions are filled. Please forward this information to Mr. Tom Weeks, Chief, Planning and Programming Branch, (HEP-12).


Attachment 1


  1. Plan and manage new programs in the areas of non-motorized accommodations, safety, educational materials, enforcement materials, courses, and recreation.

  2. Assist in development of State and MPO level bicycle and pedestrian facility plans.

  3. Develop safety and promotional information through printed materials, videos, TV spots, press releases, interviews, and promotional activities.

  4. Develop guidelines to assist all metropolitan areas in developing a comprehensive pedestrian/bicycle plan and provide assistance to local jurisdictions in the development of plans and programs.

  5. Develop (or prepare) printed materials such as quarterly newsletters, maps showing bicycle and pedestrian routes, safety information, and answer inquiries from citizens.

  6. Arrange for special displays and events, including conferences, workshops, and other public and technical information presentations.

  7. Develop (if necessary), review, and update State's Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan.

  8. Serve as principal contact with Federal, state and local agencies, the press, citizen organizations, and individuals on matters relating to bicycles and pedestrians.

  9. Coordinate and maintain budget and forecast budgetary needs.

  10. Review projects for conformity with design standards and the state's comprehensive plan as it relates to bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

  11. Identify legislative requirements and recommend appropriate changes in state law to facilitate maximum utilization of the bicycle and pedestrian modes for transportation purposes.

  12. Maintain current knowledge of sources of funding for program. Work with appropriate offices to fully integrate bicycle and pedestrian projects in programming decisions.

  13. Serve as bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee member (if applicable).

  14. Develop priorities for special studies in areas such as:

    1. cause of accidents
    2. locations of accidents
    3. effectiveness of new facility designs
    4. needs analysis
    5. barrier removal analysis
    6. origin and destination surveys
  1. Monitor pedestrian and bicycle use, provide recommendations for system improvement and develop usage data.

Attachment 2


  1. Commitment to non-motorized means of transportation - interested in the fields of bicycling and walking, and personally supportive of these modes

  2. Technical experience - engineering and/or planning expertise relating to non-motorized travel useful, ability to assimilate technical information readily, problem solver and able to work through administrative as well as the inter-agency political process

  3. Manager - Ability to coordinate contractual agreements; work within a budget; participate in developing training courses, and disseminating information to the general public and other government officials

  4. Good Interpersonal Skills - Effective public speaker, with ability to chair meetings, coordinate contacts with the press and coordinate within various groups and organizations - both inside and outside the State government

  5. Writing skills - Ability to organize thoughts clearly and concisely; understanding of the electronic and print media

  6. People oriented - Outgoing, a good listener, enjoys mixing with a variety of people and sharing ideas and information

  7. Creativity - Imaginative and possesses initiative to make new program a success

  8. Assertive - Self-confident, enthusiastic person who will build on team developed projects

Updated: 2/10/2014
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