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DurhamWalks! Pedestrian Plan Summary

Prepared by the Pedestrian Plan Implementation Committee of the Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC)

In September of 2006, the Durham City Council passed the DurhamWalks! Pedestrian Plan, the first dedicated pedestrian plan for the City in the modern era. The purpose of the plan is to assess the existing pedestrian environment and to make recommendations for creating and maintaining a safe and accessible network of sidewalks, trails, and intersections. The plan also recommends implementing new programs and policies to educate the public about safe walking habits, enforce laws for both pedestrians and drivers, and to encourage walking as a transportation alternative. The plan was prepared and guided by the efforts of Durham City staff, consultants from Louis Berger Group, Inc., and a Stakeholder Committee composed of citizens and staff. Funding for the plan came from the City of Durham and the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

The five major goals of the Pedestrian Plan are as follows:

  1. Facility Quantity: Increase the number of pedestrian facilities, including sidewalks, trails, crosswalks, and pedestrian safety improvements at intersections. A list of 19 prioritized projects has been established for new sidewalk construction and is available in the Pedestrian Plan Digest or in the comprehensive DurhamWalks! Pedestrian Plan. One important recommendation of the Plan is the creation of an online sidewalk petition process for residents.
  2. Facility Quality: Upgrade facilities in poor condition. A list of 21 prioritized projects for intersection improvements and 20 prioritized projects for sidewalk improvements has been established and is available in the Pedestrian Plan Digest or in the comprehensive DurhamWalks! Pedestrian Plan.
  3. Improving Pedestrian Safety and Security: Improve the safety and security of pedestrian facilities
  4. Enhancing Coordination: Enhance and coordinate the efforts of people and agencies that make decisions concerning transportation and land use to prioritize pedestrian activity in their policies and practice.
  5. Public Health Promotion: Promote public health by increasing pedestrian activity (this goal was added to original list of goals 1- 4).

The major programs, products, and policies that are recommended within the plan and that serve the five major goals include:

  1. School Strides Program: This program will model the Safe Routes to School Program, with the purpose of educating and encouraging elementary, middle, and high school children to walk to school and to do so safely.
  2. Durham-Focused Pedestrian Safety Brochure: This brochure will focus on Durham’s pedestrian issues, including current pedestrian projects and programs, contacts. It will link to the DurhamWalks! Pedestrian Plan, and should be distributed to schools, health care facilities, senior centers, colleges, and transit companies.
  3. Creation of a Pedestrian Awareness Task Force: This task force will increase coordination across sectors via a Pedestrian Awareness Task Force, led by the Public Works Department Transportation Division and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission. The task force will be composed of individuals from the police, engineering, and transportation departments, as well as the public schools.
  4. Pedestrians and Transit: The DurhamWalks! Pedistrian Plan contains a number of recommendations designed to ensure that transit users have safe and accessible pedestrian facilities.

To achieve these goals and implement the plan, the Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC) created a Pedestrian Plan Implementation Committee. The first action of this committee was to create a digest version of the Plan to better inform the public of its content and the opportunities available to improve pedestrian safety and facility construction. Click here to download the Pedestrian Plan Digest. The complete plan is linked below. An annual goal of the Pedestrian Plan Implementation Committee is to track progress made on the plan through the publication of an Annual DurhamWalks! Progress Report. As a subcommittee of BPAC, the committee can include non-BPAC members. It currently includes citizens representing a variety of interests including, Durham Public Schools, downtown Durham, public health.

If you would like to participate or provide input, please contact:

Dale McKeel
City of Durham/DCHC MPO Bicycle & Pedestrian Planner
919-560-4366 ext. 30421
dale “DOT” mckeel “AT” durhamnc “DOT” gov

BPAC maintains an interactive map showing the status of sidewalk improvement projects here.
Links to all sections of the DurhamWalks! pedestrian plan are below.

The 2006 DurhamWalks! Pedestrian Plan

  • Cover
  • Acknowledgements
  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary
  • Section 1.0 Introduction, Goals, and Objectives
  • Section 2.0 Evaluating Current Needs
  • Section 3.0 Existing Plans, Policies and Programs
  • Section 4.0 Pedestrian System Plan
  • Section 5.0 Project Prioritization
  • Section 6.0 Standards and Guidelines
  • Section 7.0 Program and Policy Recommendations
  • Section 8.0 Implementing the DurhamWalks! Pedestrian Plan
  • Glossary
  • Appendix 1. Public Involvement: Flyers, Handouts, and Newsletters
  • Appendix 2. Complete Listing of Corridor Projects and Intersection Projects
  • Appendix 3. Study Corridors and Intersections
  • Appendix 4. Corridor Projects and Intersection Projects by Rank
  • Appendix 5. Durham Pedestrian Path Inventory Field Guide