Published on March 12, 2008
Bicycling and Walking in our Community: Bicycling and Walking in our Community A Win / Win for Everyone Overview: Overview What is a livable community? What benefits do they offer? How can obstacles to creating livable communities be overcome? Why is your support important? What is a livable community?: What is a livable community? Attractive, secure, convenient Compact Unique identity: character Transportation is balanced Drive, ride transit, walk, ride bikes All ages, all abilities Economically viable / sustainable Environmentally sensitive A Win / Win: A Win / Win Designs for people who walk and bicycle also benefit: Local economy Health Safety Transportation System Environment Economic Benefits: Economic Benefits Livable communities prosper Attract tourists, investment, work forces New home buyers (72%) want sidewalks and places to walk* Home values higher where vehicle traffic is low *American Community Survey 2004 Health and Safety Benefits: Health and Safety Benefits Livable communities encourage safe and healthy lifestyles More active, less obesity More socially engaged Safety in numbers: more people walking lowers crash risk Transportation System Benefits: Transportation System Benefits More choices helps reduce congestion Signs of Livable Communities: Signs of Livable Communities People….. Walking Using canes, wheelchairs Bicycling At transit stops Lingering Youth Seniors Signs of Livable Communities: Signs of Livable Communities Business is booming Downtown or in neighborhood retail areas Accessible by foot Few empty buildings Businesses want to locate there Workers want to live there Victoria, B.C. Signs of Livable Communities: Signs of Livable Communities Holland, Michigan Livable Downtown Case Study: Silver Spring, MD: Case Study: Silver Spring, MD Revitalization guidelines included: Create attractive pedestrian environment short blocks define streets with buildings open spaces streetscaping at “human scale” connections between residential/commercial areas Create formal and informal civic spaces Implement Trails “For Silver Spring to become a thriving downtown it must also be inviting to the pedestrian.” Central Business District Sector Plan Residential, public space, groceries, transit, within walking distance : Residential, public space, groceries, transit, within walking distance Silver Spring Results: Silver Spring Results $1.6 billion to be invested 1999-2009 New $162 million mixed-use development at transit center New courthouse New home of Discovery Communications 1184 new jobs created Signs of Livable Communities: Signs of Livable Communities Trails and Walkways People are more active Trails are easy to access Annual expenditures by trail users in 3 study areas: over $1.2 million New home lots adjacent to trails sell for 9% more and sell faster Existing homes near a Seattle trail sell for 6% more Signs of Livable Communities: Signs of Livable Communities A mix of shops, housing, and services Accessible walkways Bikeway, bike parking Signs of Livable Communities: Signs of Livable Communities Environment Fewer miles driven = Reduced air pollution Less pavement needed Less runoff: reduced water pollution Compact development Less land used Less habitat fragmentation Less impact to fragile areas Easy walk / bike access to destinations * Source: Our Built and Natural Environments EPA, January 2001 Challenges: Transportation Myths: Challenges: Transportation Myths Decision makers must rely upon staff / citizen advice Hard to know…myth, current practice, or fact? Much current practice centers on car-oriented development Must be balanced with other needs to create a livable community Photo: Dan Burden Myth 1: We can’t afford it.Fact: Many funding options exist.: Myth 1: We can’t afford it. Fact: Many funding options exist. City of Reno Regional Transportation Commission Assessment District Office of Traffic Safety (Planning Grant) TEA21: Enhancement Grant Reconstruction funding obtained from multiple sources Sometimes, you can’t afford not to.: Sometimes, you can’t afford not to. The City of Sacramento must dedicate 20% of transportation funds to curb cuts and sidewalks until compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Myth 2: Adding lanes will solve our transportation problems.: Myth 2: Adding lanes will solve our transportation problems. Facts: It may increase speeds It will lengthen pedestrian crossings New signals may be needed for cross traffic Congestion relief is usually temporary; lanes fill up Myth 3: Crosswalks shouldn’t be marked.: Myth 3: Crosswalks shouldn’t be marked. Facts: Intersections are legal crosswalks unless barricaded to pedestrians Drivers seldom yield at unmarked crosswalks Pedestrians need convenient, highly visible places to cross streets There are appropriate places to mark crosswalks Photo: Charlie Zegeer, University of North Carolina Challenges: Liability Issues: Challenges: Liability Issues Doing nothing does not avoid liability Work with risk management when considering bicycle and pedestrian issues Avoid community tragedies If there is one, respond…do not ignore. Case Study: Fontana, California: Case Study: Fontana, California 14-year old girl walking home from school killed by unlicensed driver City held liable for 75% of $37.5 million award City failed to act on reports that lack of sidewalks was a hazard Parents held responsible for 25% www.verdictsearch.com/jv3_news/california/ Make Walking and Bicycling Your Agenda: Make Walking and Bicycling Your Agenda How?: How? Commitment to a proactive approach to walking and bicycling Develop a shared vision Anytown’s Vision: In twenty years, every day will find thousands of residents and visitors using our network of sidewalks and trails for transportation to parks, schools, downtown, and homes. Maximize Funding Opportunities: Maximize Funding Opportunities Local, regional, county, State, Federal $ Empower staff to explore all options Special improvement districts Grants Donations Dedicate Resources: Dedicate Resources Seek policy changes “Institutionalize” provision of facilities Dedicated funding for bicycle/pedestrian projects Line item in budget Support compact, mixed-use development Designated staff for bicycle/pedestrian program Position(s) make bike/pedestrians 1st priority Summary: Summary Including pedestrians and bicyclists in community improvements leads to a more livable place for everyone Livable communities bring many benefits Economic Health Safety Balanced Transportation There are challenges to overcome Your commitment would make a difference Are you interested?: Are you interested?