What is Active Transportation?
- Active transportation refers to any form of non-polluting, human-powered transportation
- There are many modes and methods of travels that involve active transportation
- In-line Skating
- The Canadian Automobile Association estimates the cost of owning and operating a car to be $8945 a year. The cost of owning and operating a bicycle is a one-time cost of about $150.
- Canadians walk 13 kilometers less each day than our ancestors did 50 years ago
- The average Canadian makes 2,000 car trips annually of 3km of less
- 88% of the Grey Bruce labour force travels to work by car, truck, or van
- Most children in Grey Bruce are driven to school either by bus or car
What are the Benefits of Active Transportation?
- Health – active transportation provides the opportunity to be active on a regular basis and as part of your daily routine. Stronger bones and muscles, improved self-esteem and sense of well-being while reducing stress and risk of chronic disease all benefit those who use active transportation.
- Environmental – active transportation can improve air quality and water quality while reducing green house gas emissions and global climate change. Less roadways and parking lots saves valuable green space
- Economic – active transportation saves money on parking, fuel and health care costs
- Social – active transportation increases social interactions, provides calmer, safer streets and reduces crime, traffic noise and congestion
Active and Safe Routes to School
Travelling to school can be seen as a chore and traffic congestion around schools creates an unsafe environment for students and motorists alike. Active & Safe Routes to School promotes the use of active and efficient transportation for the daily trip to school, addressing health and traffic safety issues while taking action on air pollution and climate change.
Benefits for students actively transporting to school include:
• Improved health, fitness and general well being
• Better able to learn about road safety and personal safety
• Developed friendships and social interaction skills
• Arrival at school alert and motivated to learn
• Familiar with their surroundings and neighbourhood
• Develop a sense of independence, responsibility and self confidence
If just nine families participate regularly in a Walking School Bus over the course of a school year, they can collectively prevent almost 1,000 kg of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
(Active, Safe Routes to School)
Green Communities Canada iCANwalk initiative
iCANwalk promotes walking and community walkability across Ontario. The aim of this initiative is to encourage active transportation for short trips to help reduce green house gas emissions, improve air quality, and create a greener, healthier community.
Here’s how you can get involved.
Take the iCANwalk pledge! Use active transportation to get to work, school, shopping and for other short trips as often as possible.
Use the Walkability Checklist to find out how walkable your community is.
- If possible, use sidewalks. If not, face traffic while you walk - be alert.
- Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the season and weather conditions.
- Be sun savvy - wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen of at least SPF 30+
- Take note of any potential safety hazards (e.g. large holes/cracks in sidewalk, boulders on trails, crossing heavy traffic lanes, narrow or eroding shoulders)
- Use crosswalks if available. Only cross the street at designated crossing areas.
- Stay visible at night and in low-light situations. Wear bright colors or reflective clothing, and at night, carry a light source such as a flashlight or a bike light to make you visible to motorists.
- Keep children close. Teach kids about traffic safety, especially if they must walk on their own.
Staying Safe While Cycling
Cyclists on roadways assume the same rights and responsibilities as motorists and must abide by the same traffic laws. Cyclists do have a right to be on the roadway, but they must ride in a responsible and predictable manner.
Cyclist’s Code of Conduct:
- Wear a well fitted, standard approved helmet whenever you ride
- Ensure bicycles and related equipment are well maintained
- Carry identification with you when you ride
- Follow the same rules of the road as other motorists
- Know the accepted hand signals and use them
- Be predictable; look ahead and anticipate road hazards; ride far enough from the curb to maintain a straight line
- Stay off the sidewalk unless you are a very young rider
- Ride single file
- Make eye contact with motorists whenever possible
Bike lanes are specially marked areas that are permitted for cyclists use only. Typically 1.5m wide, striped and marked with a large diamond and bike symbol stenciled on the pavement. Bike lanes help make people feel safer about cycling on city streets and help motorists know where cyclists are expected to be traveling.