UNC Highway Safety Research Center secures $1.6 million to continue national bicycle and pedestrian clearinghouse

News Release

June 16 , 2006

CHAPEL HILLThe University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) has received $1.6 million for the renewal of the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Clearinghouse, a leading source of pedestrian and bicycle information and technical assistance nationwide.

Part of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), the clearinghouse is funded by the Federal Highway Administration for two base years with an option for an additional 21 months following. HSRC has operated the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Clearinghouse for the past six years, disseminating information and technical assistance in the areas of health and safety, access and mobility, engineering, education, advocacy and enforcement.

Said project manager Charlie Zegeer, “We look forward to the opportunity to continue the work we’ve accomplished, add new activities and expand our reach through updated technology and programs targeted to a more diverse audience.”

With new funding, the clearinghouse plans to continue its work in making bicycling and walking more prominent transportation options, use innovative approaches and technology such as downloadable presentations and searchable databases and respond to the needs of their many audiences. The clearinghouse will also analyze and evaluate bicycle and pedestrian techniques and programs, as well as develop core studies and best practices reports.

Additionally, the clearinghouse plans to mentor pedestrian and bicycle professionals who are new to the field. “We have an interest in guiding and encouraging the development of young pedestrian and bicycle professionals,” said Zegeer. “We hope to help expand the team of professionals who will be actively promoting safer bicycling and walking in the future.”

The clearinghouse is available for use by transportation planners, engineers, educators, enforcement officers, advocates, the health community and any citizens who have an interest in pedestrian and bicycle matters.

Multiple interactive and technical tools are available through the clearinghouse for practitioners to input their local issues and concerns and receive tailored guidance. The clearinghouse also responds to over 6,000 questions a year by phone and email.

To date, the clearinghouse has developed seven unique Web sites, coordinated International Walk to School activities in all 50 states across the U.S. and 37 countries worldwide and acted as a leading source of information for pedestrian and bicyclist inquiries.

The clearinghouse has also developed and presented training courses throughout the U.S. on planning and facility design related to walking and bicycling. New courses will be taught to different audiences as part of the role of the new clearinghouse.

The clearinghouse will be operated by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC), a sub center within HSRC that maintained the clearinghouse for the past six years. The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals and a team of consultants are partners with the PBIC in many of these clearinghouse tasks and activities.

The clearinghouse Web site, www.pedbikeinfo.org, received an award this year for best planning, design, and development from Planetizen, a planning and development network.

In May 2006, HSRC also received funding to operate the National Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Clearinghouse. This program will operate independently of the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Clearinghouse, but they will be closely coordinated to increase efficiency and prevent duplicating efforts.

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UNC Highway Safety Research Center contact: Katy Jones, (919) 843-7007 or jones@hsrc.unc.edu

Media Contacts

Caroline Dickson
919.962.5835
dickson@hsrc.unc.edu

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