The Wasatch Front Regional Council through its Regional Growth Committee (RGC) is creating an Active Transportation Committee comprised of elected officials and other interested parties. This new committee, chaired by Davis County Commissioner Louenda Downs, will focus on needs and policy recommendations for pedestrian and bicycle facilities and other alternative transportation modes across the Wasatch Front. These policy recommendations will be made to the RGC and the full Regional Council as it considers future updates to the Transportation Improvement Program and the long range Regional Transportation Plan.
Commissioner Downs noted that there is increasing concern across the country that there are negative health consequences arising from inactivity. Active transportation opportunities such as bicycle lanes and trails, pedestrian walkways and other such amenities make it more likely that many of us will make those short trips in other ways besides driving and, at the same time, enjoy the benefits that walking and biking can bring.
“More and more, our constituents across the Wasatch Front are looking for safe and fun options such as biking or walking, and they want their neighborhoods and communities to have these choices,” said Commissioner Downs. “But until now, there has been no organized forum at the regional level to discuss these issues and needs, and proactively work to make them a reality. That’s what WFRC’s Active Transportation Committee intends to do.”
Providing options for biking and walking, and offering tools to local communities who want to design their streets and neighborhoods to accommodate diverse users will have many benefits. Active transportation provides personal health benefits; traffic safety is enhanced if the needs of multiple users are considered in the design and construction of streets; and traffic congestion can be reduced and air quality improved if people have other options than driving.
The new Active Transportation Committee will be studying the need for alternative transportation facilities and policies over the coming year. All interested parties are invited to contact the Regional Council for further information or visit the website at www.wfrc.org.