Walkable Communities: Families

Building a Walkable Community: Families

“Active Transportation” is a bit of a “buzz term” in the world of Parks and Recreation and Community Development, but what it really means is human-powered modes of transportation. For years, the suburbs centered around the automobile as a mode of transportation. Communities built a lot of roads, but few sidewalks, bike lanes and infrastructure for other modes of transportation.

Fast forward to 2015 and many families are interested in active transportation, meaning they want to live somewhere that allows for walking, bicycling and even roller skating as a mode of transportation. Bike lanes, sidewalks and trails become an important part of the community landscape when thinking about active transportation, which not only offers recreational opportunities but transportation options that are safe. With the right infrastructure, active transportation can be safely used to get to the store, work or any other area of town. Trails and sidewalks also allow families to travel to sports activities, school, the library or a friend’s house. Aside from the practicality of walking or biking to where you need to go, it’s also an affordable mode of transportation!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDD) recommends children get moderate intensity physical activity for 60 minutes a day and adults get 150 minutes per week. Incorporating moderate intensity activity with the practicality of getting from point A to point B can offer added health benefits as compared to simply riding in a car.

The City of Coon Rapids continues to focus on its trails and sidewalks. With the assistance of a voter approved Park Bond passed in 2013, the focus is to first build out the regional trail system that can get you to all areas of the city. Once the regional trails are completed, the focus will then shift to constructing connections to and from these regional trails into neighborhoods, parks, schools, government facilities and business areas. More trails, sidewalks and connections will mean more active transportation options for the whole family to enjoy.

Some content provided (in exerpt) from the National Recreation and Park Association.