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Ideas for Action: Transportation Planning and Community Design

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A strong link exists between how a community is designed and the transportation choices people make.29 For example, most Americans generally consider a 10-minute or quarter-mile walk a reasonable distance to reach a transit stop, public park, neighborhood shop or other nearby destination.30

Older neighborhoods tend to have shorter blocks and streets laid out in a grid that are convenient for pedestrians and encourage walking. New developments can be designed with similar features.

Long distances and traffic hazards are the top two barriers that prevent children from walking or biking to school.31 Cities and counties can work with school districts to site schools within walking distance of most students’ homes. Local agencies can also partner with schools to participate in state and federal Safe Routes to School funding opportunities and programs.32

Complete streets that include sidewalk improvements and bike lanes are among the most effective policy options for encouraging bicycling and walking.33  Sidewalk improvements or additions, well-designed crosswalks and measures that reduce traffic speeds and volumes can make active commutes to school, work and shopping safer and more attractive for families.34

Bike storage and parking is essential to aid commuters on multimodal trips that include biking and walking or transit. Just as secure and convenient parking is necessary for vehicles, cyclists require similar facilities to support their trips.

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