Is Your Community Active Transportation-Friendly?

walktoschool2Today is International Walk to School Day, a yearly event that encourages school children to walk and bike to school to instill healthy habits, help the environment, promote safety, and create a stronger sense of community.

Whether it’s Walk to School Day, Bike to Work Day or some other initiative to encourage active transportation, communities are continuing to promote and appreciate alternatives to motor vehicle travel. To improve overall quality of life in the communities they impact, many of these initiatives are geared toward promoting safety, health and environmentally-friendly transportation options.  They can also deliver economic benefits for the community.

While your community may participate in these short-term initiatives, is it really prepared to support active transportation lifestyles? Are your roadways friendly to pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders?

Citizens are beginning to clamor for this benefit in their communities, and many municipalities are taking notice. We are actively working with the City of Lima, City of Piqua, City of Riverside, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to improve active transportation in communities across the state.

Active transportation, or “complete streets,” continues to be a hot topic in the public works industry, as more communities are looking for creative ways to provide these benefits for their citizens. If you want to learn more, I will be co-presenting “The Benefits of Planning for Active Transportation” with MVRPC at the Miami-Valley Planning and Zoning Workshop in Dayton in early December. The presentation will cover the benefits of including active transportation elements in the public space, which can be realized at three different levels: to individuals, to government agencies and to developers.

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