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Planning Commission

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Aug 11

Active Transportation

Posted on August 11, 2016 at 9:55 AM by Michael Stokes

Active transportation is a way to get around when the traveler is actually putting a little bit of sweat into the effort.  As opposed to punching the pedal and flying down the highway, the active traveler puts some shoe leather to the sidewalk or pedals along a trail or bike lane to get to their destination.   Over a century ago, active transportation was the only way to get around.  With the dawn of the automobile in the early part of the twentieth century, we conveniently forgot about active transportation.  Yet today there seems to be growing interest in returning to active modes of travel.  Certainly there are many good reasons for this including personal health and environmental impact among others.

Today, walkability is a high priority in deciding where to live.  Communities which are walkable and bike friendly have been able to attract young knowledge-based business workers and the companies that employ them.  Walking is something that many people value making it a big part of their lives for a variety of reasons including physical and mental health benefits.   Our recent Walk Montco Plan explored strategies for transforming our county into a more hospitable place for walkers.  We are actively assisting municipalities in obtaining funding for pedestrian improvements.  Our planners also advise local planning commissions on how to make new proposed developments more pedestrian friendly. 

In the next few months, we will launch a bicycle planning initiative to make it possible for all types of bikers to safely travel through our county.  This effort will include a special look at bicycle accessibility to transit stations, parks, and large institutions such as colleges.  We will also focus on how to make biking more friendly in the communities in the county that are more heavily developed and where several residents may not have access to a vehicle to get to work or to perform errands.  We hope that you will join is in making our Bike Montco Plan a success.

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Moving about on foot or on bike can be a social experience

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People of all ages can take to the street on a bike

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Pedestrians engaged in shopping in Lansdale

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Bicycling can be great exercise

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