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Pedestrian Advocacy Groups

Unfortunately, we do not usually think of walking as a form of transportation. It is hard to remember that, one hundred years ago, walking was the transportation mode used for most trips in American cities. As recently as 1960, nearly 10 percent of Americans walked to work, but by 1990, the figure was down to 3.9 percent, according to Census Bureau figures compiled by the Surface Transportation Policy Project.

Today, new neighborhoods all include parking, but about 70 to 80 percent of new neighborhoods do not include sidewalks, according to Dan Burden, director of Walkable Communities.

Recently, though, many groups have appeared that are dedicated to making cities more pedestrian friendly. Pedestrian-oriented design can not only lure people out of their cars on some trips. It is also essential to building new neighborhoods where a car is not a necessity. This movement is beginning to succeed: for example, the neighborhood of University Place, Washington, was built with no sidewalks but now is spending millions of dollars to install them.

For a listing of pedestrian advocacy groups, see America Walks member groups.