Move Utah: The intersection of transportation choices, including biking and walking, and healthy communities
By Heidi Goedhart
Utah is experiencing significant growth. We have the fastest growing economy in the country, with low unemployment and a high rate of job creation. We are doubling in population, with analysts projecting that we will add a city the size of Taylorsville to our state every year for the next forty years.
While our growth is impressive, equally important to our state’s continued success is howwe grow. With close collaboration between local communities and transportation partners, we can see that how our communities are planned, designed, and built has a direct impact on communities’ health and well-being. As we plan for this future growth, transportation choices are needed to meet communities’ needs. In transportation, Utah is shifting its focus to measure success by moving people, not cars, which expands the conversation about transportation to include transit, walking and biking.
In support of this shift in focus, UDOT has developed the Move Utah program. The program provides local communities across the state with support and guidance as they plan, develop policies, and build infrastructure that supports biking and walking. UDOT has strong partnerships with the Wasatch Front Regional Council, the Mountainland Association of Governments, the Utah Department of Health, the Department of Public Safety, Bike Utah, the Utah Highway Patrol, and many others. Together, these agencies are looking at ways to make transportation part of a healthy lifestyle and thriving communities.
Move Utah is supported by a team of active transportation experts to provide technical support, resources, and funding opportunities at no cost to local communities to help them build a solid foundation for biking and walking. The program focuses on a context sensitive planning approach that includes engaging with diverse stakeholders through the following strategies:
- Emphasize integrated transportation planning
- Identify benefits of health and activity
- Improve quality of life for communities
- Support law enforcement through education
- Encourage respect between roadway users
UDOT, in conjunction with several program partners, is hosting the inaugural Move Utah Summit to provide the only event in the state that brings together health and transportation experts, local and state officials, community leaders, and others to discuss the (literal and figurative) intersection of health and well-being with transportation choices.
The event is being held on Wednesday, September 26th at the Little America hotel from 7:30am to 4:00pm.Register at moveut.org to participate in a unique opportunity to learn from industry experts and local officials regarding how you can make a difference in your own community and Keep Utah Moving.