I would venture to guess that for most people, their first true feeling of limitless freedom was when they rode a bicycle for the first time. That feeling stayed with me through life every time I ride by bike and somehow I've turned it into my career. Being part of a movement that reminds people of this freedom and develops the resources and facilities to spread this feeling around to many more is extremely rewarding. Being part of Alta is being on the leading edge of bicycle and pedestrian innovation, I can see into the future, and the future is bright.
Joe Gilpin brings a diverse background, including international perspectives, in bicycle and pedestrian advocacy, education, design, and planning to Alta. Joe provides technical and analytical research and writing, fieldwork and site analysis, mapping, data analysis, facility design, and creative services to the firm.
Joe is one of Alta’s experts in bicycle facility design and has worked both as a project designer on numerous projects, and as a planner analyzing network connectivity and corridor planning. Joe currently manages projects in the Rocky Mountain States including Utah, Colorado, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska.
National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) - Cities for Cycling Urban Bikeway Design Guide
Joe worked as project manager to develop the second module for the Urban Bikeway Design Guide for NACTO. The guide was a groundbreaking effort to create a new toolbox of America’s best bicycle infrastructure solutions, and serves as an urban version of the federal and state processes by creating solutions developed by cities, for cities. The website version of the guide allows a close look at experience gained to date, with regular content updates created collaboratively with NACTO bicycle program professionals. As part of the NACTO guide, Joe helped develop design guidelines for cycle track facilities based on numerous existing installations. These guidelines are the first resource on cycle track design in the United States for urban practitioners.
Chicago Bicycle Plan 2020 Update, IL
Alta was a key partner in the 2020 update of Chicago’s highly-regarded 2015 bicycle plan, with the goal of identifying 100 miles of protected bike lanes and 250 miles of bicycle boulevards. Joe managed the development of the 'Bicycle Facilities Guide' section of the plan. This component provided a visual overview of each of the bicycle facility types and several of the unique treatments that are appearing on Chicago streets with increasing frequency. The guide provides detailed information on what each element is and how both a bicyclist and a motorist should behave while using a street with those features. The guide utilized customized 3-D renderings which emulated the Chicago street environment.
As a part of the Winston Associates team, Joe worked with the Town of Frederick to plan a comprehensive interconnected trail network that will link the town to regional attractions, town and county schools, sports fields, and other facilities.
Joe managed this project for the City of Billings to update the 2004 Heritage Trail Plan. Billings is already rated a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists; with completion of the Heritage Trail Plan Update, the city can target resources to achieve its goals through prioritized project lists, policy guidance, education and encouragement programs, wayfinding signage, and new facility innovations.
Selected Presentations & Trainings
“NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide”, 2011, ITE Webinar, APBP Webinar, JEC Montana Conference
“Planning for Pedestrians and Bicycles” May 2008, IES-APA Conference, Priest Lake, ID
“Walkable Places - Creating Thriving Downtowns and Neighborhoods” June 2006, Arizona Historic Preservation Conference, Phoenix, AZ
“A Bike Runs Through It” October 2005, APA Conference, Yosemite, CA
“Bike Trails for Planners - a mobile workshop” October 2005, APA Conference, Yosemite, CA
“Take a Walk on the Wild Side! Exploring New Techniques in Walkable Communities” September 2005 California Downtown Association Conference, Palm Springs, CA
“Bike First Incentive Program” September 2005 Walk & Roll California (CBC), Ventura, CA