Building Healthy Places for Healthy People Through Active Transportation Networks4115","setting
Transportation connects people and places. It provides access to jobs, education, shopping and recreation. More than one-quarter of all trips we make are less than a mile — an easy walking distance — and nearly one-half of all trips are within three miles — an easy biking distance. Yet, we make more than 78 percent of these short trips by car.
Active transportation, with seamless connections to public transportation services, is the most neglected piece of our transportation system. Safe pathways for walking, bicycling or using a wheelchair work together with transit to provide access for all people regardless of whether they drive. The vast majority of trips taken by bus or train begin and end with a walk to or from homes, offices and other routine destinations; therefore, sidewalks and safe crossings are very low-cost means to maximize benefits of investments in transit. Active transportation also often replaces short driving trips.
To build healthy communities for healthy people, America needs to invest in safe active transportation routes to everywhere for everyone. Simple walking and biking pathways can provide the safest, healthiest connections to important destinations and are important to the many Americans who are dependent on other modes of travel aside from driving. When trails, sidewalks and on-street routes are linked, and homes are reasonably close to destinations, all people can travel safely through their communities.
The Partnership for Active Transportation calls for re-envisioning our transportation system to ensure it meets our need for healthy places for healthy people. Regular walking or bicycling helps prevent obesity, diabetes, depression and other chronic diseases that reduce our quality of life and are costly to treat. Active transportation also promotes healthy economies by encouraging development and enhancing community vitality. The Partnership’s principles address the importance of ensuring equitable access for all people, prioritizing active transportation networks, diversifying funding support adequate to the need and collaborating in planning.
Published February 11, 2014
This document is a best practices manual intended to give guidance and direction on minimizing risk and liability for persons with an interest in operating and maintaining trails. Specifically, it seeks to help trail operators, managers and owners, mitigate risk and reduce liability, that can arise from trail design, trail use and maintenance operations. The techniques discussed here are intended to be applied with prudence and due consideration of the particular circumstances of each trail.
Bicycling has exploded around California as people rediscover this enjoyable, healthy, convenient, environmentally friendly and inexpensive way to get around. Many communities are working to create bicycle networks to encourage further increases in bicycling and attract new riders, especially in urban areas. Toward that end, some cities — drawing from successful international models — have experimented with a variety of innovative bicycle facilities not even imagined a decade ago.
Transportation in communities across America is changing with the advent of many small and light personal mobility options, which typically run on electric motors, such as electric-assist bicycles (e-bikes), e-scooters (scooters) and hoverboards. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) offers this perspective to assist communities, trail managers and policy makers in making decisions about how best to manage these devices on nonmotorized multiuse trails.