New Orleans was among seven U.S. cities recognized by the Walk Friendly Communities program (WFC) for their commitment to prioritize walking and create safe, comfortable and inviting places to walk. Each of the awarded cities had previously been recognized as Walk Friendly Communities, and the new designations demonstrate a sustained commitment to prioritizing people on foot.
New Orleans is one of 34 cities across the country recognized as a Bronze-level Walk Friendly Community.
"I'd like to thank Walk Friendly Communities for this honor. We are excited to see that our work to implement the New Orleans Complete Streets Ordinance and make mobility safer, more accessible and more equitable is being recognized on a national level. However, too often we are reminded of how far we have to go, considering the deaths on our roadways due to crashes involving people who walk. We will continue to work to make our streets safer for everyone," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
The City’s efforts to improve the walking environment of New Orleans include the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, which helps prioritize investments in our roadways to reduce fatal and severe crashes; upgrading traffic lights with new pedestrian signals at dozens of intersections; and, early in the Cantrell Administration, engaging the New Orleans Health Department to work with NOLA Public Schools to improve walking and bicycling conditions for students trying to get to and from school.
Walk Friendly Communities is a national recognition program developed to encourage cities and towns across the United States to develop and support walking environments with an emphasis on safety, mobility, access and comfort. Sponsored by FedEx and managed by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC), the program distinguishes communities leading the way in walkability and seeks to share their stories to inspire other communities to move toward their own innovative solutions.
"Thank you to the Walk Friendly Community Program and their sponsors for recognizing New Orleans’ citywide effort to make the streets safer and more enjoyable for people walking. The work to ensure roadways are accessible is a priority of the Mayor’s, and we will continue to advance these critical safety and equity initiatives through the Complete Streets approach,” said Laura Bryan, Director, Mayor’s Office of Transportation.
Alongside New Orleans, six other cities were recognized as Walk Friendly communities: Decatur, Ga., and Madison, Wisc., at the Gold level and Arcata, Calif.; Columbia, S.C.; Roswell, Ga.; and Sebastopol, Calif. at the Bronze level.