Towns and cities that provide safe places and access to parks, trails, bike options and sidewalks helps to improve the health of the community by providing space to be physically active. How we design and plan our community transportation systems does have a direct impact on an individual’s health. By building a comprehensive transportation system, one that includes all modes (car, walking, biking, transit and other) of transportation, is accessible to all users based on age and abilities, and is equitable for all users has a profound impact on individual and community health. In September of 2015, the Surgeon General released a Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities. Nebraska has answered that call through the Nebraska Walkable Communities Initiative. Nebraska communities are coming together to impact community design through local master planning efforts, promote key destinations through signage initiatives and targeting key venues to promote social support campaigns.
Additional Information and Resources
DHHS CDPC has been working on community design for walking and biking for the past four years to help create safe and equitable places for all Nebraskans to be healthy and active. The Nebraska Walkable Communities Initiative overall purpose is to:
1) Directly engaged and empower 10 communities to create strategic plans and multi-year initiatives to increase walkability;
2) Create on the ground successes that result in positive key health indicators, updated master plans, passage of policies including Complete Streets, or link together other tools and strategies to promote walkable communities;
3) Create a strong Steering Committee that provides a network of experts and technical assistance provides allowing Nebraska communities to achieve increased walkability and overall health.
The Nebraska Walkable Communities Steering Committee is comprised of different stakeholder groups, both local and statewide, that support the overall project, provide leadership on statewide initiatives, and provides technical assistance to local communities. Supporting the local community action includes work in communications, partnership engagement, statewide policy, and training and technical assistance.
NE Walkable Communities Project- Background and Overview – Coming soon!
Complete Streets Information
Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. They allow buses to run on time and make it safe for people to walk to and from train stations. (from Smart Growth America website)