Source: Soapbox Cincinnati
Green Umbrella’s Tri-State Trails Initiative and the OKI Regional Council of Governments have collaborated to put bicyclists and pedestrians at the forefront of the region’s transportation policy.
With an update to its 2040 Plan, OKI and its board of directors recently voted to unanimously increase the number of prioritized bike and pedestrian-related projects from just 3 to 17.
What was once a $2.5 million project has now become a $191 million project, which Frank Henson, chair of Tri-State Trails and president of Queen City Bike, says is well worth it, as it will help elevate the region as a more walkable and bike-friendly city.
“We applaud OKI for their leadership to include the voice of bicyclists and pedestrians in the 2040 Plan update,” Henson says. “The Tri-State needs a comprehensive, active transportation network to remain economically competitive with peer regions.”
While the new plan is significantly more expensive, the cost of implementing new trails, protected bike lanes, and even sidewalks, pales in comparison to the cost of a highway, and it serves a more inclusive population.
“Our region needs more active transportation infrastructure to encourage new users to commute by walking or biking,” says Kristin Weiss, executive director at Green Umbrella. “Collectively, this can have a profound impact on air quality, congestion and public health.”
Interact for Health, which also weighed in on the matter, is excited to see the updated plan as well, as public health and the drive to make Greater Cincinnati one of the healthiest regions in the country is of prime focus.
“Physical activity is a key factor in a person’s overall health, and having access to a safe, robust trail system enables people to incorporate exercise into their daily routines,” says Megan Folkerth, program officer at Interact for Health. “Incorporating the trails system into OKI’s 2040 Plan paves the way for a healthier community for all of us in the future.”
• Go for a walk or bike ride to increase your activity level and overall health.
• Support or join organizations like Green Umbrella that work to advocate for active transportation options.
• Connect with the organizations on Facebook: Green Umbrella, OKI, Interact for Health.