The Summer 2015 MACOG newsletter, the “MACOGazetter” includes an article on the Regional Active Transportation Connectivity Plan. This plan came out of a desire to give greater visibility to bicycle and pedestrian needs this year than would be possible in the major planning process called “Michiana on the Move: 2040 Transportation Plan.”
What is significant about this plan is that it gives major emphasis to cycling and walking as valid modes of transportation, and it asks for input from the community for the plan.
“This plan will build upon the work each local public agency has done to develop a comprehensive active transportation (bicycle and pedestrian network. Much like the 2040 Transportation Plan, this plan will look at long-term goals and projects.”
“This plan will analyze existing active transportation networks in order to assess the quality of the facilities and identify gaps. Many parts of the region have access to quality active transportation options, while other areas are missing this key transportation option. Through outreach and working with stakeholders, the plan will create a vision for active transportation in the region and suggest implementatiion strategies for communities.
If you are interested in being involved in the planning process, please send an email to email@example.com with the subject line Active Transportation Connectivity Plan.”
The article goes on to explain what active transportation is. Note how they link healthy people with healthy places:
“Active transportation is the means of getting around that is powered by human energy, primarily walking and bicycling. Active transportation offer the promise of improving the health of our people and places we live.
- Healthy People: America faces n obesity crisis, with more than two-thirds of American adults either overweight or obese. By making walking and biking safe and convenient, we can make it much easier for people to build routine physical activities into their daily lives.
- Healthy Environment: Enabling people to walk or bike for some of their short trips can go a long way in helping our communities efficiently address numerous environmental challenges, from air pollution to climate change.
- Healthy economy: Active transportation systems also foster economic health by creating dynamic connected communities with a high quality of life that catalyzes small business development, increases property values, sparks tourism and encourages corporate investment that attracts a talented, highly educated workforce. Active transportation also offers economic benefits to families by providing transportation options that don’t require consuming gasoline at $3 per gallon.
- Mobility for all: Near–universal reliance on the automobile for transportation leaves many people out of the equation, stuck with no way to get around. Children, the elderly, the visually impaired or otherwise physically challenged, those with lower incomes, or those who simply choose to not have access to a car, are among the groups that benefit most when opportunities to safely walk or bicycle are improved.”