Physical Activity - Active Transportation
Walking and bicycling for daily transportation or recreation are important sources of physical activity. Communities that adopt “Complete Streets” as a framework for their transportation facilities can help get more people walking and biking. Complete Streets are roadways that are designed and maintained to be safe and accessible to users of all ages and abilities, including pedestrians, cyclists, and people with disabilities.
The growing obesity epidemic coincides with a national decline in walking and biking. Many Americans lead a sedentary lifestyle, partly because the condition of our community infrastructure does not always encourage active transportation. The number of children who walk and bike to school has declined significantly over the past few decades. Complete Streets projects can help reverse this disturbing trend.
In a recent phone survey of Essex, Franklin & Hamilton County residents, over half of the respondents felt that more safe places to walk would help them get more physical activity and 87% responded that they would support public investment in sidewalks. The Heart Network works with local partners on planning and policy initiatives to promote ‘Complete Streets’ in small towns throughout Essex & Franklin Counties.