Washington, DC

Level: gold
Population: 601,723
Population Density: 9,856/sq. mi.
Pedestrian Plan
Program Website
Contact: George Branyan

Community Highlights

Washington DC is designated as a Gold-level community due to its high transit and walking mode share and exceptional planning and engineering. The City’s level of staffing and public input for pedestrian issues also demonstrates a strong commitment to walkability. Highlights of Washington DC’s application include:

  • An element of the 2014 MoveDC Multi-Modal Transportation Plan, the latest Pedestrian Master Plan defines the pedestrian network as the ‘foundation of our transportation system’.
  • Washington DC adopted a Vision Zero policy in 2015, signaling their transition to a proactive approach to road safety.
  • In 2013 and 2014 the District created a signal optimization project that counted all modes at signalized intersections and used the pedestrian traffic data to identify locations for leading pedestrian intervals.
  • 96 percent of DC’s population lives within a quarter-mile of a bus stop or half-mile of a rail station! The NextBus app and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) website have online trip planning that lets people look for options that reduce transfers or reduce travel time. WMATA’s Guidelines for the Design and Placement of Transit Stops document is used by DDOT in construction projects, and is provided to developers when they are impacting a bus stop through construction.
  • Washington DC’s complete streets policy, signed in 2010, applies to all transportation planning, design, review, operations, major maintenance projects (such as milling and overlay), new construction and reconstruction projects, except where prohibited by law.
  • The training for planning and design staff, as well as police officers in DC, is excellent. Since 2005, DDOT has partnered with the DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to offer trainings for officers on bicycle and pedestrian safety, law, and effective enforcement techniques. In 2011, DDOT prepared a training presentation module for computer-based distance learning that must be completed by all MPD officers.
  • DC’s Downtown Business Improvement District led the effort to develop a citywide wayfinding signage system. More than 30 stakeholder groups were involved in the process and the system is now expanding to neighborhoods beyond downtown.
  • In addition to excellent sidewalk coverage and pedestrian accommodations on over 230 bridges, DC has an exceptional Design and Engineering Manual.