Ensuring Cities Can Benefit from New Technologies to Focus on Human-Centered Mobility and Infrastructure

Adopted at the 86th Annual Meeting in 2018

  • WHEREAS, bicycling and walking are becoming increasingly popular as healthy ways not only to recreate, but also to travel to work, school, and other destinations, with increases occurring across demographic groups and in communities and municipalities of different sizes; and

    WHEREAS, the share of traffic fatalities for bicyclists and pedestrians has also increased, highlighting the need for safe, designated places for people to walk or bike; and

    WHEREAS, residents of cities of all sizes are increasingly demanding safe places to walk or bike as well as open public spaces for gathering, with studies showing that public space and safe places for walking and bicycling promote healthier communities and stronger economies; and

    WHEREAS, new technologies like autonomous vehicles offer local communities an opportunity to rethink existing uses of public space, with the potential for shared vehicles to limit the need for parking, enabling communities to dedicate more space toward human-centered uses; and

    WHEREAS, improved methods for data collection have increasingly demonstrated how connected and safe networks for walking and bicycling have increased use, and allow local governments to better meet the growing demand for this infrastructure; and

    WHEREAS, to convert existing public rights of way and public space into effective, human-centered places that are safe for all users, local governments require financial resources and tools that will allow them to make an investment in changes to public space and acquisition of new public space; and

    WHEREAS, people are most likely to bike and walk as a means of recreation or transportation when infrastructure for bicycling and walking is separate from traffic and not only minimizes risk of harm to bicyclists or pedestrians but also increases the perception of safety; and

    WHEREAS, to develop public space into appropriate, human-centered infrastructure, local governments require flexibility to regulate autonomous and shared vehicles in such a way to create safe spaces for pedestrians and bicyclists,

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports increased funding to enable municipalities to retrofit and reconstruct the public rights-of-way to create connected and safe walking and bicycling routes bothon separated rights-of-way and in proximity to automated vehicles; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports increased funding to allow municipalities to acquire and enhance public space for the benefit of local economies and quality of life; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages development of best practices for maximizing the opportunities available through development of new transportation technology to enhance and increase safe places for bicycling and walking and human-centered public space; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in order to limit injuries and fatalities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors opposes preemption of local regulations that might prevent local governments from controlling or restricting access of autonomous and shared vehicles in public spaces or the public right-of-way or otherwise limit measures by municipalities to ensure the safety of all users of the right-of-way.

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