Walking to school is not a new concept - up until the 1970s, most schools were located in residential neighborhoods, and communities were built with pedestrian traffic in mind. Unlike many suburban and rural areas, this still holds true in urban communities, where sidewalks are present and homes are clustered around schools.
People don’t know I wear an “S” on my chest, because that’s how effective I believe shared use practices can be. Yep I said it “I’m a Shared Use –Super Hero." And like any super hero, we work with other caped crusaders. That’s why the spotlight this month is on Ohio’s efforts in the shared use world.
One of the biggest challenges to making communities more walkable and bikeable is that there’s often only enough funding to build one stretch of pathways or sidewalks at a time—meaning that there aren’t complete networks from homes to schools, workplaces or other destinations.
Over the past decades bicycle safety education has developed into its own field, ultimately being implemented in a variety of ways, depending primarily on the amount of time and resources available to convey important concepts. These choices are not easy and inevitably we, as educators, must make informed compromises.
The Portland, Oregon region, in many regards, is ahead of the curve when it comes to active transportation. The “Bike Bill” (ORS 366.514), passed more than 40 years ago by the Oregon Legislature in 1971, requires the inclusion of facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists wherever a road, street or highway is built or rebuilt.
Around the country, more than 600 communities and states have adopted local Complete Streets policies—helping ensure that transportation plans and projects address the needs of all users.