Walking and Bicycling
A good walking and bicycling environment is essential for our region. Prosperity depends on mobility, and this means not only our ability to travel across the country and around the world, but to get to local commerce, schools, health facilities, parks, government buildings, family, friends, and colleagues.
While autos or transit are appropriate for many of these trips, most also involve walking or bicycling part of the way. Barriers to pedestrians, bicyclists, and pedestrians with disabilities can discourage mobility, require expensive auto trips, or even prevent trips.
CMAP is working with its partners to improve conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists throughout the region. We strive to make travel by foot and bicycle safe. We are working to make the region accessible to people with disabilities, including people who use wheelchairs, walkers, and white canes. We are helping government agencies to plan and build sidewalks and bikeways -- both local bikeways and regional trails. We're helping communities get the technical information they need to build vibrant, walkable business districts. CMAP is encouraging subdivision design that provides connectivity between jobs, housing, schools, and parks. And we are promoting walking and bicycling as efficient, healthy, and fun ways to travel.
As GO TO 2040 states, the region's transportation system has, throughout our history, been a foundation of our success. The plan goes on to point out, however, that the majority of this system's infrastructure was built decades ago and is in need of repair and modernization. This modernization is seen as essential to our region's future prosperity.
While the need for modernization extends to many elements and aspects of the transportation system, providing safe and convenient accommodation for bicyclists and pedestrians on the region's network of roads is an important part of modernization. Creating "Complete Streets," which serve all anticipated users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, persons with mobility impairments, and transit riders, is an important goal if we hope to achieve a modern, efficient, and sustainable transportation system. So too is the development of a region-wide, network of trails and other off-road facilities, which provide both transportation and recreational opportunities on the local and regional scales.
CMAP's Bicycle and Pedestrian program is dedicated to helping make safe, accessible, and well-designed bicycle and pedestrian networks a reality in communities across the region. The program is equally dedicated to helping create and advance the skills, knowledge, long-term commitments, and cultural shifts that are needed to envision and build these networks, and to fully activate them with users. We seek to achieve these ends:
- through collaboration and interaction with our partners and stakeholders (most notably through the Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force);
- through the development and dissemination of information, data, analysis, tools, and other resources designed to help communities, agencies, organizations, and individuals envision, plan, and create pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly communities;
- through development of, sponsorship, and participation in public programming and training events; and
- through the development and management of the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement and Transportation Alternatives (TAP) programs, and through participation in sub-regional and state programming activities, which fund bicycle and pedestrian projects.