The Two-Mile Trip: How to support a healthy community
When you moved into your house or apartment, it’s likely you looked at nearby amenities as a factor in your decision. How close is the nearest grocery store? Is there a bus stop nearby? Are local schools in walking distance?
Not only are these questions of transportation – 40% of all trips taken in Washington State are less than two miles – but they play a critical role in supporting healthy communities.
The way a community is designed and its proximity to destinations has an impact on the mode of transportation chosen by users. As a result, we can help further public health and environmental goals by using public transportation, walking, or bicycling, especially for short trips.
Land use decisions and community development affect the available non-motorized transportation options and the distance between destinations, and thus connect with public health goals to increase physical activity. We should encourage investments that support walking and bicycling for trips under two miles – in essence, the majority of daily errands and local commuting.
- Promote “Complete Streets” policies and implementation for arterials and collectors within Urban Growth Areas. Complete Streets policies are intended to improve safety and mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders.
- Promote bicycling and walking as viable transportation options, and as a strategy to improve public health and maintain environmental quality through identifying and addressing multi-modal system gaps, such as sidewalk or trail connections
- Support Washington State Ferries policies and fare structures that encourage walk-on passengers
- Consider transportation demand management policies as a core element of state and regional transportation planning
- Continue to develop and promote programs, such as Commute Trip Reduction, to reduce traffic congestion, reduce air pollution, and reduce petroleum consumption
How viable are walking or biking in your area? What, if anything, is needed to encourage more non-motorized transportation? Are there other strategies needed to foster healthy communities?
In addition to leaving comments on this blog, we encourage you to use the online public input tool to tell us about the transportation issues and priorities that are important to you.
You can also read the WTP plan and related documents online.
Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: .