Walking and cycling in corporate plans

Why this is important?

People have a reason to walk and cycle if there are destinations of interest or need within walking and cycling distances. Residents have been found to be more physically active when travel routes are direct and pedestrian and bicycle friendly infrastructure links to destinations of interest. (1)  Similarly, the physical activity levels of residents are boosted in communities that have cycling and walking trails, physical activity programs and public areas — such as parks and footpaths. (2)

In fact, people are 50 per cent more likely to walk for recreation or transport if they have a footpath in their street, twice as likely to walk if they have a pleasant physical environment, and more than twice as likely to walk if they have friends or social influences encouraging them to walk. (3) While advancing technology and modern conveniences have reduced the need for physical activity as part of everyday life, it is now more important to encourage walking in the community.

Increasing physical activity through walking and cycling can be successful. This is because both activities can be integrated into the routine of daily living and are available and accessible to almost everyone. These activities are also easy to perform, economical and environmental friendly.

Strategies

  • Implement an Active Transport Infrastructure Code into the planning scheme.
  • Develop and implement a walk and cycle network plan
  • Adopt an ongoing maintenance plan of walk and cycle facilities
  • Implement walk and cycle networks as part of all other works programs
  • Implement best practice, safe and convenient walk and cycle infrastructure
  • Undertake regular audits with the community on existing walk and cycle infrastructure
  • Improve the safety, convenience and attractiveness of active transport infrastructure through support facilities — such as seating, drinking fountains, exercise stations, signage, way finding, bicycle parking
  • Make the streets more convenient and attractive places to walk and cycle. The quality of the urban environment is a key aspect to improving facilities for walking and cycling. This involves providing active streets with public spaces, public art and landscaping (see Places for People: City of  Melbourne improving active transport access)
  • Reduce traffic speeds in the vicinity of active transport facilities
  • Monitor bicycle facilities regularly to determine the volumes of bicycles using the facilities

Case Studies

References

  1. Transportation Research Board. 2005, Does the built environment influence physical activity? Examining the evidence. Washington DC: Transportation Research Board.
  2. Saelens B., Sallis J., Frank L. 2003, ‘Environmental Correlates of Walking and Cycling: Findings From the Transportation, Urban Design, and Planning Literatures’, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 80-91
  3. City of Fremantle 2005, Fremantle Physical Activity Strategic Plan 2005-2009