Non-Motorized Transportation

Non-Motorized Transportation

Update: The Non-Motorized Transportation ON TO 2050 report is now available and your feedback is welcome. Send your thoughts, ideas, or questions to

Enabling safe, convenient, and comfortable non-motorized transportation options for all our region's residents will help to create vibrant communities, improve equity and public health, and support local economies.

Walkable communities and safe, connected networks for bicycling can reduce the number of automobile trips, ease congestion, and improve the overall performance of the transportation system. Trips of three miles or less—an easy distance by bicycle—compose approximately 40 percent of all trips[1].  Since nearly 85 percent of car and fuel expenses leave the local economy, communities may retain significant money to spend locally when people drive less and own fewer cars. The health benefits of an active community include reduced likelihood of obesity and chronic disease, and the ability to better support an aging population that will not always be able to drive. Knowing what steps local communities have successfully taken to improve conditions for walking and bicycling will provide insight for other communities working to encourage non-motorized travel.

As more and more pedestrians and bicyclists take to the streets, ensuring their safety is of the utmost importance. 

Areas with concentrations of low-income minority populations and limited English speaking populations have higher serious and fatal crash rates than communities without such concentrations. Pedestrians are more than twice as likely to be hit by cars in places without sidewalks. Many of our current transportation challenges are a result of past policies that have prioritized motor vehicle travel and throughput over other modes. Understanding where crashes are happening, at what times of day, and on what types of roadways can provide insight into needed improvements. 
The emphasis on walking and bicycling in GO TO 2040 was primarily in regards to creating livable communities where the land use and supportive municipal infrastructure encouraged multimodal travel. This snapshot provides information and analysis that will help formulate specific strategies and recommendations related to non-motorized transportation for the region's next comprehensive plan, ON TO 2050. 

[1]According to the 2009 National Household Travel Survey, approximately 53 percent of all trips made in urban areas are 3 miles or less; in non-urban areas, 37 percent are 3 miles or shorter.