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Active Transportation is simply the act of getting from point A to point B under your own power. Simple concept, but in a nation with 330,000,000+ people moving around, it can get complicated, quickly.
Since active transportation and motorized transportation quite often share the same space, the active traveler is in inherently higher danger of becoming a statistic. Over the years, this danger has been dealt with in several ways; walking paths, boardwalks, paved sidewalks, “no motor vehicles” bike/hike trails, and other solutions have worked to separate motorized transport from active transport.
That’s the safest way to protect pedestrian and cyclists, but with the increased volume of vehicles and pedestrian/cyclists present on the roadways, new thinking has become necessary. There are just too many cars and trucks on too few roads and streets for them to safely accommodate the increased number of pedestrians and cyclists.
Enter “Complete Streets.” Complete streets is a transportation policy and design approach that requires streets to be planned, designed, operated and maintained to enable safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transportation.
Complete Streets allow for safe travel by those walking, cycling, driving automobiles, or delivering goods. The term is often used by transportation advocates, urban planners, traffic and highway engineers, public health practitioners, and community members in the United States and Canada. The policy promotes improved safety, health, economic, and environmental outcomes. Complete Streets emphasizes the importance of safe access for all users, not just automobiles. Since the mid-2000s, the federal and state governments have encouraged local governments to incorporate Complete Streets thinking into their maintenance, design, and construction planning.
To help finance these projects, Congress has passed laws that create funding opportunities that are then administered by states in the form of competitive grants. Future articles will explore how Active Transportation and Complete Streets relate to Christian County residents in the present time.