Cities for Cycling

Cities, and the staff who power them, are the site of so much innovation, from the first protected bikeways in North America to current work with bike share and shared micromobility, low traffic streets, protected intersections, and planning for equity in bike networks.

The Cities for Cycling network gathers the planners, engineers, and practitioners working to make biking better in their cities and in the wider city transportation field. Through practice-informed publications and design guidance, peer network events like design charrettes, and technical conversation on our members-only listservs, NACTO creates a forum for city staff to engage with one another, and rapidly raise the state of practice for bikeway design in North America.

We’re Updating the Urban Bikeway Design Guide

In 2010, cities banded together to develop a first-of-its-kind document: bikeway design guidance developed by cities, for cities. This manual, the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide, sparked a design revolution in cities nationwide, where city ingenuity and values were elevated in service of safe and vibrant streets and transportation networks. In the decade since the Guide was first published, redesigned city streets, for many decades an afterthought, are now widely seen as key to stemming North America’s safety, equity, and climate crises.

Over 2022 and 2023, NACTO will be releasing the next chapters of bike design guidance for cities, by cities, including the long-awaited third edition of the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide. In the coming months, we’ll publish several working papers that cover the most critical gaps in vetted guidance for cities, including best practices for data collection, network design, equitable network design, and scaling success to better meet the challenges of our time. This work will feed into an even larger resource, with the first new edition of the Urban Bikeway Design Guide since 2014.

Below, check out the working papers we’ve published to date.

Read Making Bikes Count

Read Breaking the Cycle

Read Shared Micromobility

Design Guidance

NACTO’s bike design guides offer national-level guidance focused on the unique needs of urban areas, outlining city-approved engineering techniques to build safe, comfortable urban streets for the bicyclists that use them.

Read the Urban Bikeway Design Guide

Read Designing for All Ages & Abilities

Read Don’t Give Up at the Intersection

Cities for Cycling Events

Since NACTO started running the Cities for Cycling network in 2010 while developing the Urban Bikeway Design Guide, we have tailored spaces for peers to regularly meet to discuss experiences and lessons learned from their work, assist with the development of design guidance, and participate in highly-tailored programming opportunities. These have included in-person and virtual trainings, roundtables, and roadshows across North America, where we brought cutting-edge treatments from the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide to:


Roadshows & Roundtables

Additional Resources

Endorsement Campaign

66 cities, counties, and states have endorsed the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide. This unified endorsement enabled federal and state governments to recognize these best practices, and ultimately make it easier to build safe, active, and livable streets. Read about the campaign.

Bikeway Accelerators

NACTO’s City Accelerator program helps cities rapidly implement high-quality transit or bike corridors, from design to build out. The program was started in 2014 as a way to provide in-depth, on-the-ground support to member cities implementing new street design projects that may depart from existing practice.

Whether a red bus lane or protected bike lane, undertaking new projects requires changing business as usual. Under Accelerators, NACTO cities develop the new partnerships and pathways needed to implement these projects, bringing together the rich peer network to help cities move projects from idea to implementation through lasting programmatic change. Learn how NACTO cities accelerate high-quality bikeway implementation.

Blog Posts

Public Webinars & Workshops

Press Releases & Statements


Announcing the Next Stage of Growth for the Global Designing Cities Initiative, Mar 15, 2022

NACTO is proud to announce that in just seven years, the Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI) grew from a small startup incubated within NACTO to one of the most influential leaders on city streets around the world, and will now operate as an independent program. 

From the Global Street Design Guide, to Designing Streets for Kids, GDCI has transformed streets around the globe, working directly with 30+ cities, training over 5,000 practitioners, receiving over 100 endorsements from cities, organizations, and countries worldwide, and last year receiving the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.

GDCI will now be managed under the fiscal home of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors–a nonprofit organization and international thought leader specializing in the support of high-impact global projects and strategic philanthropic initiatives.

“This is an incredibly exciting moment in the history and journey of GDCI,” said Skye Duncan, Executive Director of GDCI. “We’re eager to further embrace the needs of our global partners who are working to fundamentally change the role of streets in their cities, and RPA is well-equipped to support this growth so that we can engage more local staff, infuse even more local contextual considerations into our on-the-ground projects, and help to enhance our existing international team.”

“People in cities everywhere deserve safe, sustainable, and joyful streets. NACTO is proud to have incubated the Global Designing Cities Initiative to where it is now: a program that improves the lives of people in hundreds of cities worldwide,” said Corinne Kisner, Executive Director of NACTO. “While GDCI is now an independent initiative, we are excited to continue our partnership, bringing street innovations and ideas from around the globe to NACTO’s network of 90 cities in North America.”

“In just seven years, GDCI has grown from a nimble startup into an elite team of global urban innovators, bringing new life to city streets everywhere,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, NACTO chair. “This new alignment with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors will help GDCI strengthen its influential and independent voice as it reclaims and reimagines streets for the billions of people who live, work, travel and play on them.”

“RPA is thrilled to become GDCI’s fiscal sponsor,” said Walter Sweet, Senior Vice President, Sponsored Projects & Funds at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. “We are very excited to partner with a talented team on this important work.

Read more on GDCI’s website →

State and Federal PolicyAbout NACTOUrban Street Design GuideDesigning Cities 2022: Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville