People who rely on walking, bicycling, or wheelchairs need accessible pathways. Especially in suburban areas, low-income residents are more likely to rely on low-cost modes than higher income residents to reach employment, services, and other destinations. When bicycling facilities and sidewalks are in need of repair, are missing, or are not designed for people with disabilities, they limit employment and other options for engagement in the community. Facilities must safely connect suburban and low-income communities to jobs, amenities, and the region’s growing bicycle network.

Making sure that public rights of way provide safe pathways for people using active transportation and people with disabilities is an important strategy for inclusive economic growth. While the U.S. Access Board continues to finalize federal Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way (PROWAG) as proposed in 2011, U.S. Department of Transportation recognizes PROWAG as current best practice that some states have already begun incorporating into their own design manuals and other regulatory documents.

Action 1

Develop expertise in self-evaluations and transition plans for public right of way accessibility, and provide technical assistance to local communities.



Action 2

Ensure that sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and bicycling facilities are as available and maintained as adequately in low-income areas as in more affluent areas.


IDOT and local transportation agencies

Action 3

Work in consultation with people with disabilities and the public agencies and NGOs representing their interests to ensure appropriate, inclusive accommodations are provided in all projects.


Transportation agencies

Action 4

Measure benefits to low-income communities, people of color, and people with disabilities, as part of project evaluation for bike and pedestrian investments.


CMAP and other funding agencies

Action 5

Continue to make progress toward universal accessibility of stations and work with local governments and the state to ensure accessible pathways to transit.


Transit providers