Everybody walks. Whether you drive, ride your bike or take the bus, think about how walking connects you to the places you want to go.
Do you walk with your family to the park? Do you walk to the bus stop to connect with the ferry? Do you stroll along Winslow with your partner to grab a cup of coffee? Perhaps you enjoy walking with your child to the playground or taking advantage hiking on the more than 40 miles of trails on the island.
Walking is often overlooked as a foundational piece of our transportation system. To create a walkable community, we must be more intentional in our planning.
Bainbridge GreenWays works to create more safe, accessible and inviting places to walk.
Do you feel safe walking?
Whether the place you are walking is safe or not, if you don’t feel safe to walk there, you most likely won’t walk. Ask yourself why you feel unsafe to walk in a particular area? Do cars go too fast? Is it dark? Knowing why you won’t walk will help you advocate important changes that will lead you and others to walk more.
We work to create places that are safe for people to walk.
Is where you want to walk accessible?
To create convenient places for people to walk, we must think about how someone might use the transportation system. Whether you use a wheelchair or you push your daughter in her stroller, you need to have a curb ramp that allows you to easily and safely cross the road. Universal Design means creating a full range of choices for people of all ages, abilities and needs to choose from.
We support more connected places that provide choices to make a person’s walking experience seamless.
Are you invited to walk there?
Small, simple ways to make you feel welcomed can make your walking experience much more enjoyable. One way is appropriate wayfinding signs; another is markers indicating the time to get to your destination by foot. Lighting for the person walking needs to be incorporated into project design.
We support universal design that incorporates the needs of people walking in all transportation projects.
Walking is an in inexpensive way to get around that has numerous physical, social and mental benefits. Hippocrates (c. 460 – c. 370 BC), known as the “Father of Western Medicine.” said it clearly: “Walking Is the best medicine.”
Walking is a low impact exercise that improves your overall health. If you walk just 30 minutes every day, you will increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. You’ll most likely also reduce your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.
Walking provides face-to-face contact, which develops and sustains our personal relationships. In their classic study Appleyard and Lintell described how as traffic volumes increased walking decreased; that in turn reduced social interaction and weakened the community social fabric. Take a look at how Streetfilms interprets the key findings of the study.
Being physically active plays a role in improving the quality of life of people experiencing mental stress. You can find more about the research here.
You’ll see, experience and be rewarded when you go 3 mph rather than 30 mph. The surprise and delight that comes from walking will create and inform your experience and provide you valuable memories.
We believe that people of all ages, economic levels, and abilities on Bainbridge deserve safe, accessible and inviting places to walk. Join Bainbridge GreenWays and lend your voice to create great places for people to walk. Because everybody walks.