Benefits of Walking and Biking in Your Community

Streets are often the largest public spaces in our communities - in addition to being used for transportation, they are also places for celebration and recreation that belong to all of us. When communities have inviting streets, local businesses benefit from increased foot traffic, people engage in healthy habits like walking, and there are fewer crashes because vehicles are moving at safe speeds. Finally, in Vermont, transportation accounts for the largest category of energy use. When people walk and bike more (and drive less) it means that our energy use is more efficient.

 

Economic development

People want to live in and visit walkable downtowns. Providing a pleasant place for riders to stop, keeps money in the local economy. Bike lanes installed next to businesses experience increased sales (even when parking is removed!). This in turn frees up money for other projects that can be used to enhance downtowns.


Health benefits

More activity will make us healthier and decrease our health care costs (10,000 steps). Walking and biking are lifelong habits. Obesity rates among Vermonters in the US have been climbing in past decades.

 


Safety benefits

Key Facts:

The more people share the road, the safer it is for everyone. As bike use grows, crashes go down.

Bike and pedestrian infrastructure signals “slow down” to motorists.

Someone hit at 20 mph is nine times more likely to survive than if hit at 40 mph

Energy benefits

Key Facts:

VT’s biggest energy use category is transportation (37%)

67% of Vermonters’ trips are less than two miles but 87% are made by car.

Active transportation can help move the dial with in-town trips (parking and walking to destinations).

 


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