Walking and cycling helps build active communities. It reduces dependence on vehicles and the associated infrastructure costs, air quality, safety and congestion problems. With the increasing focus on the health costs of our sedentary lifestyles, daily walking and cycling are seen as essential components of a healthy lifestyle. We facilitate non-motorized travel by:
- Providing walkways and bikeways that accommodate and encourage non-motorized travel, rather than only designing communities around the automobile
- Managing traffic and road design to allow pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to use the roads. Features that facilitate automobile use such as wide roads and intersections, large parking lots and drive-through businesses can create an uncomfortable and unsafe environment for non-motorists
- Encouraging walking and cycling within and between communities by managing the shape of urban growth and promoting more compact development
The City’s Downtown Transportation Master Plan has recommendations to improve the environment in downtown Hamilton including:
- Identifying crucial pedestrian corridors and connections that should be upgraded with wider sidewalks, improved lighting and other features to make walking more attractive.
- Introducing bicycle lanes on specific downtown streets to make cycling easier and safer.
- Introducing two-way streets, which are generally friendlier for walking and cycling.
Resources for promoting walking
- Health Canada – Stairway to Health
- Metrolinx – Stepping It Up
- Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care – Physical Activity
- Walk This Way self-help program materials for starting a walking routine
- Walking: The Activity of a Lifetime booklet for how to start a walking program
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