There are so many different avenues to hop on board a pedestrian plan, regardless of your age, your ability on a bicycle, or your level of earth-friendliness.

 

We need to support active, healthy communities that include safe places to ride for everyone from our children to our active older adults. Pedestrian friendly plans make the community accessible to everyone.

 

We need to reduce our carbon footprint, individually, and as a whole community. I actually received extra credit (in beach volleyball class) for riding my bicycle to class rather than driving.

 

Pedestrian communities have strong bonds. Why? Because people get to know each other and their community! Walkers & bikers tend to stop & talk and notice things. They also tend to spend more money locally.

 

The buzzword for pedestrian plan these days is “liveable”. Communities that support improvements such as sidewalks, bikeable shoulders, wide curb lanes and multi use paths are considered up-to-date, with-it, top-notch forward-thinking communities. People want to buy homes in communities that have usable sidewalks and bike paths.

 

Yes, we’ll need to invest and it will cost money. Take a look at this article about creative young urban designers who are reminding us that it’s OUR public space…so how do WE want it enjoy it. Regarding the cost, take a look around…we have money in Westport. Let’s invest in making our community “liveable” for us and for the next generation.

 

I know there’s a pedestrian plan under way and we do have some bike lanes already, but let’s keep the ball rolling.  Small changes – like bike racks Downtown, seasonal pop-up protected bike lanes, crosswalk education, and enforcing slower driving speeds in town and along the beach roads- can help us commit to our pedestrian lifestyle and make room for the plan.

 

bike to work day
Bike-to-work day in downtown Westport, CT

Did you know it was Bike-To –Work Day on Friday, May 20th? Sadly, the only bike that I saw Downtown was on display in Athleta.  It’s the perfect event for the community to come together to showcase what pedestrian-friendly would look like. Maybe next year, Westport?

 

BTW, don’t take “Bike-To-Work so literally…you could bike to do your errands, bike to the gym, bike to community events, or create your own event by biking to the beach for a family picnic or bbq.

 

The first 3 things that come to my mind, when I hear pedestrian-friendly: vibrant Downtown that’s easy to get to via safe bike lanes that connect you to people and places. That sounds like fun! I won’t be in my car for an entire day- wonderful!

 

That’s my vision. What’s yours?