Equity

RELATED TOPICS: Vision Zero, Health, Community Engagement

Historically, many low-income communities and underserved populations have been left out of conversations about transportation planning and this has led to unsafe conditions where pedestrians and bicyclists are over-represented in crashes. An equitable transportation system fosters fairness and helps facilitate access to opportunities for all community members. Equity can be considered both a process and an outcome. To achieve transportation equity, communities must engage in inclusionary, authentic outreach to address underlying disparities of mobility and access and prioritize equity during all stages of the planning and implementation process. This involves building an accessible, affordable, and reliable transportation network that effectively serves all people. Discriminatory enforcement of traffic laws is a form of transportation inequity.

Transportation equity requires understanding the unique needs and safety concerns of different populations and providing the appropriate amount of resources to each group. Numerous studies have shown that enhancing the ability of traditionally underserved populations to travel via nonmotorized modes can potentially lead to improved outcomes in public health, safety, and economic development; promote economic development and resource efficiency; strengthen inclusive neighborhood relations; and bolster public transit services. Benefits of an equitable transportation system positively impact the entire community.

Resources

Pursuing Equity in Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning provides an overview of transportation equity, nonmotorized transportation options for traditionally underserved populations, and strategies for improving equity for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Guidebook for Developing Pedestrian and Bicycle Performance Measures helps communities develop performance measures, including those related to equity, and highlights a broad range of ways that walking and bicycling investments, activity, and impacts can be measured.

A Look at Cutting Edge Research Related to Equity and Active Transportation highlights findings from a series of recently published research aimed at exploring various facets of equity in active travel.

Evaluating Transportation Equity examines methods for understanding and evaluating equity in transportation planning to ensure equitable distribution of transportation resources.

Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation compiles essays and articles which focus on equity in bicycle advocacy, planning, and policymaking.

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Examples

America Walks Social Justice Toolkit provides tools and resources to consider equity and mitigate disparities by working towards healthy, productive walking environments for everybody.

Better Bike Share Partnership focuses on sharing best practices for building more equitable bike share systems for replication in other cities.

The Untokening Collective seeks to address inequities and tokenism in mobility project implementation, planning, and public engagement.

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