Statewide Planning

At the state level, bicycle and pedestrian plans establish policies, goals, and actions for state agencies (i.e. within a state department of transportation and transit agencies) to accommodate and improve conditions for biking and walking. These plans often include design standards/guidance for local and regional governments, and typically address education and safety issues as well.

In addition to statewide bicycle plans, state planning activities sometimes include supporting-through technical assistance or sharing information-local or regional planning efforts. North Carolina, for example, provides small grants to communities for pedestrian and bicycle planning, and provides technical assistance and model plan structures for the completed local plans. These state-supported local plans help the local governments and communities better implement improvements within their jurisdictions, helping the overall statewide pedestrian environment.

States also rely on planning activities to develop their State Transportation Improvement Plans (STIPs), which are lists of transportation projects that are scheduled to be implemented in the next year and within the next five to ten years. Inclusion of bicycle facilities in STIPs increases the likelihood that they will actually be built. Because many states have very large transportation budgets, and most bicycle projects are relatively inexpensive, bicycle projects are sometimes grouped as a single item (i.e., "Bicycle improvements - $2.5 million") and then a sub-plan lists the anticipated projects.

Examples of statewide bicycle plans can be found in the Sample Plans section.