[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 16-Jun-2006
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Contact: Lisa Katz
lisa_katz@unc.edu
919-962-2093
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Highway Safety Research Center gets $1.6 million to renew bicycle, pedestrian clearinghouse

CHAPEL HILL - The University of North Carolina's Highway Safety Research Center has received $1.6 million to renew the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Clearinghouse.

The clearinghouse is a leading source of information and technical assistance about safe walking and bicycling as a means of transportation and physical activity.

Part of the "Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users," the clearinghouse will be funded by the Federal Highway Administration for two years with an option for an additional 21 months. The research center has operated the clearinghouse for the past six years.

"We look forward to the opportunity to continue the work we've accomplished, to add new activities and to expand our reach through updated technology and programs targeted to a more diverse audience," said Charlie Zegeer, clearinghouse project manager.

The clearinghouse will continue to make bicycling and walking prominent transportation options and to respond to community needs, he said. Its efforts also involve analyzing bicycle and pedestrian programs, developing best practices reports and providing a mentor program for new transportation safety professionals.

"We have an interest in guiding and encouraging the development of young pedestrian and bicycle professionals," Zegeer said. "We hope to help expand the team of professionals who will be actively promoting safer bicycling and walking in the future."

The clearinghouse is available to transportation planners, engineers, educators, enforcement officers, advocates, the health community and any citizens interested in pedestrian and bicycle issues.

Multiple interactive and technical tools are available for transportation planners and engineers to assess local issues and concerns and receive tailored guidance. The clearinghouse responds to more than 6,000 questions a year by phone and email. Clearinghouse staff have developed seven Web sites, coordinated International Walk to School activities in every state and 37 countries, and developed training courses nationwide on bicycling and walking planning and facility design.

The clearinghouse is operated by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC), a unit of the research center that has maintained the clearinghouse for the past six years. The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals and a team of consultants are partners with the information center in many clearinghouse tasks and activities.

The clearinghouse Web site - www.pedbikeinfo.org - received an award this year from the planning and development network Planetizen for best planning, design and development. In May, the center received funding for the National Safe Routes to School Clearinghouse, a program independent from but closely coordinated with the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Clearinghouse.

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Highway Safety Research Center contact: Katy Jones, (919) 843-7007 or jones@hsrc.unc.edu
News Services contact: Lisa Katz, (919) 962-2093 or lisa_katz@unc.edu



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