The following California communities have been awarded a "Walk Friendly" designation, which recognizes their commitment to supporting safer walking though infrastructure improvements, education, encouragement, and traffic safety enforcement.
Walk Friendly Communities is sponsored by FedEx and the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. The program is maintained by the UNC Highway Safety Research Center's Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, with support from a variety of national partners.
The Walk Friendly Assessment Tool can be used by communities to measure their own walkability, whether or not they choose to submit an application to be considered for recognition. Walk Friendly Communities considered applications on a periodic basis.
The California communities with Walk Friendly designations are:
- Arcata is designated as a Bronze-level community due to its high mode share, comprehensive planning efforts, and engineering improvements.
- Mountain View is "designated as a Bronze-level community due to dedicated efforts to support walking through infrastructure and planning."
- Long Beach designated as a Silver-level community due to its pedestrian safety enforcement activities, excellent transit access, and sidewalk coverage
- Rancho Cordova which earned Honorable Mention, " due to its comprehensive traffic calming strategies and dedicated traffic safety enforcement"
- Redwood City designated a Silver-level community due to its downtown development policies, enforcement practices, and thorough approach to inventorying and updating sidewalks, curb ramps, and crosswalks
- San Francisco earned Gold Status, "due to the city's outstanding planning practices, community pedestrian events, and focus on providing a pedestrian friendly environment." Numerous programs were cited in the award, including the Better Streets Plan, the WalkFirst Project, Sunday Streets and various Health Impact Assessment tools, such as the Pedestrian Environmental Quality Indexes (PEQI)
- Santa Barbara earned Gold Status " due to strong connectivity policies, a model Safe Routes to School program, and its unique pedestrian-oriented 'paseos.'" Among the programs cited in the award were its Circulation Element
- Santa Monica earned Silver Status in September 2011, "due to its transit system accessibility, responsiveness to sidewalk maintenance, and innovative pedestrian treatments." Programs cited in the designation that are available on the web are Santa Monica’s Commuter Club and the Land Use and Circulation Element
- Sebastopol was awarded Bronze Status due to " comprehensive planning efforts, engineering improvements, and demonstrated support from the community for walking-related programs and initiatives."