Thursday, November 17, 2011

Making Pedestrians and Bicyclists a Priority

(Salt Lake City, UT) – Sharing roads with pedestrians and bicyclists is the focus of the new Utah Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan Design Guide. Representatives from the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRA), and Utah Transit Authority (UTA), among other partners, worked together to create the guide.
“This tool will help city planners and engineers design healthy transportation choices based on community-identified needs and goals,” said Brett McIff, UDOH Physical Activity Coordinator. “The bottom line is, everyone is a pedestrian at some point in their day, and we believe these plans will improve their quality of life by building environments that facilitate walking and biking,” said McIff.
Some cities around the state have already implemented or are developing similar plans. Orem and Salt Lake City have comprehensive plans focusing on bicycle and pedestrian transportation. Salt Lake City has received national attention because of its efforts, which include Complete Streets ordinances that encourage consideration of all modes of transportation for users of all ages and abilities.
“Active transportation like walking and cycling provides many benefits, including less traffic congestion, fewer road repair needs, an increase in community economic development, and a cleaner environment,” said McIff.  “But the real benefit is that people who are active tend to be healthier than people who are inactive.”
The Utah Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan Design Guide was made possible by funding from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Utah Department of Health. 
Media Contacts:
Tania J. Charette. MPH, CHES
Media Coordinator
(801) 538-6423 (office)
Brett McIff, PhD
PA Coordinator
(801) 915-9942 (cell)