“Almost one in four adults
in the United States report that they do not engage in any physical activity outside of their jobs. Sedentary lifestyles are an important reason that two of every three adults in the United States are overweight or obese.” [US Department of Transportation]
There are huge benefits for communities where there is good investment in bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Not only does it provide an opportunity to get to work or school without a car, but also offers a chance for people to exercise—reducing the risk of obesity and heart disease, to name just a few. Bicycle and pedestrian facilities offer an important means to people who live in low-income areas, have little access to automobiles or who are not able to access public transit. Bike lanes, bike paths, multi-use trails, and sidewalks are a crucial part of our transportation infrastructure and they have implications that go well outside the realm of mobility. Every community needs to consider investing in this type of infrastructure. As a return on this investment, we experience more productive, healthier individuals.
“Active transportation facilities are particularly important in low-income and minority communities, or communities with high percentages of new immigrants. People in those communities are less likely to own vehicles, and unsafe streets might pose a barrier to using active transportation.” [US Department of Transportation]
Public transit access is difficult for many communities to provide and with less appropriations coming from various levels of state and federal government, as well as the growing costs to maintain the existing automobile infrastructure, it is as important as ever to provide alternatives to the single occupant vehicle, especially when there is no transit service provided.
Bike Fitchburg has adopted, as part of its mission, to promote and partner with local government for better bicycling access and to improve safety for people who bike and walk. Bike Fitchburg works with the City of Fitchburg engineering and planning staff to research opportunities for creating new infrastructure or finding ways of improving the existing network for people to ride safely, efficiently, and often to work, school, or to play. Creating or enhancing bike paths, separated and buffered bike lanes, sidewalks and side paths, and off-road mountain bike facilities are some examples of the infrastructure and bike amenities Bike Fitchburg actively promotes.