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Arlington, VA

Walk Friendly Communities - Gold Level

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Community Highlights

Arlington is designated as a Gold-level community due to its success in transit-oriented planning, remarkable promotion and outreach, and educational offerings for staff and citizens. Highlights of Arlington's application include:

  • Arlington's goal of developing as a dense, transit-oriented community required strategic management of parking and the policies the community has implemented showcase a superb understanding of market-based parking management. Parking costs are unbundled from housing and public on-street spaces are provided at minimal cost to car sharing programs like Zipcar, which reduces the need for private automobiles. For commercial development, below-grade parking is the norm and Arlington also encourages shared parking between uses. The community also provides cash-out incentives, providing employees that do not require a parking space with monetary compensation.
  • Arlington is achieving great success in walkability due, in large part, to what one transportation planning official called a "voracious appetite for understanding best pedestrian planning practices around the world." Training and educational opportunities include webinars and conferences from nearly 20 different groups as well as in person training workshops. Staff is also given a regular refresher course on pedestrian safety on "Safety Day".
  • Arlington's education and encouragement programs are incredibly important in fostering community support for walkability. The community runs a number of innovative programs that engage community members, including Street Smart, the Car Free Diet, and the Neighborhood 25 campaign.
    • Street Smart is a public awareness and enforcement campaign in its tenth year that uses print, outdoor, online, and broadcast media channels throughout the metropolitan Washington area to reach a diverse audience.
    • The Car Free Diet program is an innovative development aimed at raising awareness of the health, environmental, financial, and commuting benefits of going car-free or car-lite. Through web, video, blogs, social media, transit advertising, a Car-Free Diet Calculator, and media outreach, the campaign has generated significant media and public attention and garnered substantial support from local businesses.
    • The Neighborhood 25 program is a new campaign that began in 2010 as a response to the difference in fatal crashes that occur at 20mph and 30mph. Neighbors voluntarily place "Keep Kids Alive – Drive 25" signs throughout the neighborhoods in conjunction with police placement of speed feedback signs. Police will follow up with additional data collection after the signs are removed to verify the success of the program.
  • WalkArlington conducts an impressive amount of outreach and education about walking in the community and is involved in everything from Safe Routes to School to walking clubs for seniors to programs for employers. One of the most significant resources are the Walkabouts available on the website. These well-designed maps have detailed information and diagrams for 18 different walking routes in Arlington, ranging from rolling parkland to historic neighborhoods.
  • Arlington's recognition of the importance of pedestrian counts is a major contributor to the success experienced thus far. Since 2008, Arlington has conducted manual counts seasonally at more than 20 locations and installed permanent counters at six locations, with plans to install twelve more this year. In addition, Arlington also conducts regular surveys and studies of travel patterns. This information is all feeding into an integrated database that can store, analyze, and share data while contributing to the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project.