Walkable West Palm Beach

City Transportation Language Policy – 1996 memo

1 Comment

I was made aware of this document through some internet sleuthing, and was led to Jarrett Walker’s excellent blog, which has a copy of the document posted. Click on the link to his blog to read a good recap of this document.

“In 1996, the City Administrator of West Palm Beach, Florida, Michael J. Wright, issued a directive to his staff on how to avoid biased language in the descriptions of transportation investments and policies.  It’s four pages, sharply written, and may well be the smartest bureaucratic directive you’ll ever read.” – Jarrett Walker

Is this still policy, and if not, why not? Any readers who can shed some light would be appreciated.

Related: U.S. Conference of Mayors document on WPB transportation policy


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One thought on “City Transportation Language Policy – 1996 memo

  1. It’s my understanding (in many jurisdictions), if this is STILL city policy, and the city has NOT been following it, then they are legally liable for the results of not complying. For example, if they called a road widening project an “improvement” and this allowed it to be authorized and built, they could be legally required to remove it.

    This could be a big deal, and you should follow up with your city.


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