The Two-Mile Trip: How to support a healthy community

October 6, 2010 at 12:00 am 1 comment

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.

WTP 2030 includes the following proposed strategies to help foster healthy communities:

  • 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.

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How would you improve mobility? The Environmental Impact of Transportation

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. SherlyUJest  |  October 6, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    I live in Seattle. I would never consider walking biking or taking transit here since I don’t work in the city.
    There are too many creeps around, so I’ll continue to drive everywhere I go. But thank you for your suggestions.


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Welcome to the WTP Blog 2030

The Washington Transportation Plan (WTP 2030) is issued by the State Transportation Commission and serves as the state’s comprehensive and balanced transportation plan. The WTP establishes a 20-year vision for the development of the statewide transportation system, from state highways and ferries to sidewalks and bike paths, county roads, city streets, public transit, air and rail. The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) provides a public forum for transportation policy development and has specifically established this blog to engage the general public and all other key stakeholders in a dialogue about statewide transportation priorities. The Commission encourages the sharing and discussing of information about the content and development of the WTP 2030. This is not a WSDOT blog; no comments on specific projects or traffic will be posted.



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