Moving Toward Active Transportation: How Policies Can Encourage Walking and Bicycling

The research review shows that:

  • The health benefits of physical activity in general have been well-documented by hundreds of studies. More recently, a growing number of studies have confirmed such benefits specifically for walking and cycling.
  • The health benefits of active transportation exceed its risks of injury and exposure to air pollution.
  • Safety is a key consideration for promoting active travel. Importantly, places with higher levels of walking and cycling also have greater safety for pedestrians.
  • Provision of convenient, safe, and connected walking and cycling infrastructure is at the core of promoting active travel.
  • Aside from specific infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, the way neighborhoods and communities are built affects levels of active travel.
  • Walking or biking for daily travel needs can be promoted as a convenient and competitive option through programs that shift travel behavior.
  • Policies that improve public transport, or make car use less attractive, increase the competitiveness of active travel modes.
  • Policies to promote active travel will work best when implemented in comprehensive packages; these may include infrastructure and facility improvements, pricing policies, and education programs to achieve substantial shifts towards active modes.

The research review can be found here.