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Thread: Bicycle and pedestrian planning

  1. #1

    Bicycle and pedestrian planning

    Are there any urban planning programs (masters level) that offer significant coursework in bicycle or pedestrian planning?

    I am very passionate about the subject and want to be in that field after graduation. As far as I can tell, having a concentration in transportation planning would be a good start. However, I am curious if certain schools have faculty, students, or institutes that focus on that subject.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Jul 2009
    Metro Detroit

    I would say (based on limited knowledge) MIT is one--ask them which universities have such a focus--I would value their input pesonally. You may get someone that is willing to share this with you, contacting them by phone and/or email.

    If you are currently enrolled, try searching around in databases and if it's a professor, see from which insitutions these publications' authors (articles and even books) that focus on this topic, are located.

    Try urban planning program overviews. Getting information from a student could definitely be helpful. It may be biased and limited though, and there are probably tradeoffs with either one.

    Maybe you're looking for which schools to focus on now, because the pool is so large--I would imagine there are dozens of programs.

    Good luck--this is also an interest of mine but transit planning is something I'm a little uncertain about in terms of my strengths but I'll have to look into it more.

    What is it that is drawing you into considering it?

  3. #3
    Nov 2009
    The Glass City
    I agree with DTownDave22's recommendation.

    The easiest way to find out where a specialized program would be taught at the graduate level is to do a literature review on the topic. Search peer-reviewed journals and books for authors who are publishing on this topic. The universities at which these authors are employed are probably your best starting points.

    From that list you can contact the graduate departments within those universities for a more clear picture of what they have to offer for a master's level education.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Transportation Planning will get you to where you want to be.

    Seriously, it is much more than just building roads and buses. People need to walk places TCMs and TDMs stress the development of non-motorized networks. Most places in the country are moving forward with complete streets legislation to incorporate the needs of the pedestrian in the overall corridor paln and ADA has also impacted transportation planning through accessibility issues for those who cannot drive.

  5. #5
    Big thank you to everyone for the recommendations!

    I will begin a literature review of the appropriate peer-reviewed journals and books. Hopefully, I will discover graduate programs and faculty that are as interested in bicycle and pedestrian planning as I am.

    To clarify my background, I have been a cyclist (recreational & racing) for most of my life as well as a member of the Active Transportation Alliance. It would be great to marry the two fields, cycling and urban planning, and build upon the current debate between cycletracks, bicycle lanes, and pedestrian safety. Again, I believe that understanding transportation planning (in a broad context) is vital to pursuing the career that I envision. I am simply looking for guidance and direction on how to accomplish this goal.

  6. #6
    Aug 2008
    St. Louis, MO
    Might be worth checking into the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation at Portland State University: http://www.ibpi.usp.pdx.edu/

    That's the only bike/ped specific program I've heard of. My bike/ped planning education has come primarily from on-the-job experience and a lot of reading!


  7. #7


    One of the best places, if not the best place, to be studying bicycle and transportation planning is Rutgers. Check out the transportation faculty. I think you'll be really happy with what you find.

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