Tallahassee, FL

Level: silver
Population: 191,019
Population Density: 1,809/sq. mi.
Contact: Julie Christesen

Community Highlights

Tallahassee is designated as a Silver-level community due to its excellent engineering practices, targeted enforcement activities, ordinances that promote density, and variety of outreach techniques used to collect input from diverse segments of the community. Highlights of Tallahassee’s application include:

  • The Tallahassee Police Department’s (TPD) excellent school crossing guard program and Traffic Unit. For example, during biannual crosswalk stings at locations with high pedestrian traffic, officers issue warnings and citations for “failure to yield” to pedestrians. They also videotape the entire operation. Local police departments regularly schedule coordination meetings and attend bicycle and pedestrian committee meetings.
  • Tallahassee benefits from the Florida DOT’s Alert Today Alive Tomorrow campaign, which uses enforcement activities, along with TV, radio, social media, and transit advertising, to communicate the message: “safety doesn’t happen by accident.”
  • Tallahassee has great parking and land use policies that encourage dense, mixed-use development, especially within the city’s 18-square-mile Mobility District. The city offers incentives and density bonuses to developers who provide inclusionary housing, accessory dwelling units (allowed in all zoning districts), or amenities that improve the pedestrian environment. The Comprehensive Plan also created multimodal level of service (LOS) standards and performance targets for the Mobility District, whereby pedestrian, bicycle, and transit LOS take priority over vehicle LOS in the evaluation of roadway improvements, capital improvement planning, and funding allocation.
  • To help fund transportation projects, partner agencies in Tallahassee started a Significant Benefits Program which pools the funds from developers who pay their “proportionate fair share” to mitigate development impacts on the transportation network. Rather than funding small projects throughout the community that might encourage sprawl, the money accrues in an account until there is enough money to complete one major transportation project. Project priorities were established for five districts in Tallahassee, and within the Mobility District, 100 percent of money will be spent on bicycle, pedestrian, and transit projects.
  • Public input is vital to creating a vision for the community that is lasting and appealing to residents. Tallahassee has a nice variety of options for soliciting public input. The city has demonstrated its flexibility by offering Saturday morning meetings and door-to-door outreach for controversial projects.
  • Tallahassee has excellent crossing treatments, including high visibility markings, advance yield lines, bump-outs, and innovative treatments like rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs). The city installed its first Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon last year and has two more locations are planned.