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Definition and Benefits

Definition

Rcreational Trail

The term “Active Transportation” refers to any form of travel that is self-propelled, usually walking, cycling, in-line skating, using a wheelchair, or riding a skateboard.  Active Transportation also includes cross-country skiing, canoeing and kayaking.

Benefits

There are social, economic and environmental benefits to engaging in Active Transportation:

Social:

  • Reduced vehicle maintenance costs, such as fuel, maintenance and insurance costs
  • Reduced vehicle traffic on the road, resulting in safer streets for everyone
  • Reduced incidence of cardiac disease as a result of physical activity
  • Increased overall physical health, which results in fewer sick days taken by employees
  • Reduced stress and increased emotional health, resulting in higher productivity in the workplace

Economic:

  • Reduced traffic congestion and wear on roads and other transportation infrastructure, which reduces the costs associated with repair and maintenance
  • Reduced health care costs associated with treating cardiac diseases, the incidence of which goes down with increased physical activity
  • Increased bicycle tourism and bicycle sales and manufacturing, which has a positive economic impact
  • Increased property value and retail sales along trails and in pedestrian friendly areas
  • Reduced costs associated with treating air and water pollution

Environmental:

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduced toxic run-off and water pollution
  • Reduced noise and air pollution


Getting Around Actively Everyday

  • Think about the trips you make daily to go to work or school, or for leisure.  Which ones can you make without a vehicle?  For trips of 5 km or less, it is actually more efficient to use your bicycle.
  • Tune your bicycle and invest in the proper clothing and footwear to make active transportation more enjoyable, comfortable, and safer.
  • Invest in a backpack or bicycle panniers and use active transportation to run errands or go shopping.
  • Schedule days during your work week that you will use active transportation to get to work
  • Choose leisure activities that you can access using active transportation.
  • Incorporate active transportation into family activities.  Instead of driving to a park for a family outing, why not bicycle or walk?