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Developing the WFC Program

The WFC assessment tool was developed through the review of relevant programs, guides, and research, collaboration among a diverse group of pedestrian experts, and pilot testing in communities. The development process included the following steps:

  1. A program and literature review of relevant programs, tools, and research was performed to determine the best tools and resources for evaluating the walkability of a community. This review summarized existing community studies, scorings, programs, and community approaches that provide goals and recognition to cities emphasizing walkable or bikeable communities.
  2. Two advisory panels were formed to assist in program development, ensuring that all potential walkers were represented in the final WFC program. The first panel formed includes 10 members of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, the professional membership organization for the discipline of pedestrian and bicycle transportation. The other panel formed is a national review group that includes members representing many different areas of expertise to ensure of all the important pieces of walkability was covered.
  3. A draft community assessment tool was created to comprehensively evaluate a community's walkability. This rating tool is based on the 5 E's (Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, & Evaluation) and other elements (including planning) that are needed to help communities become excited about becoming more walkable and to set clear goals and plans for achieving those goals. The draft tool provided the foundation for the existing assessment tool.
  4. The assessment tool was then pilot tested in three communities of varying demographics. These communities include a small town (Cedarburg, WI), a small town with a college and commuter population (Davidson, NC), and a large city (Orlando, FL). These communities were able to contribute significantly to this program by helping shape the program. Through their suggestions and feedback we the tool was revised to capture information more accurately and easily.