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Plan Spotlight: Engaging Communities In Active Transportation Planning

Plan Spotlight: Engaging Communities in Active Transportation Planning

UTAH (The Western Planner) – A functional bicycle and pedestrian network is only as good as its weakest link. In order to make a significant bicycling mode shift, riders and potential riders need to know that they are going to experience consistent, safe, and reliable infrastructure regardless of crossing community boundaries. Implementation of consistent infrastructure is aided by consistent planning.

The Wasatch Front metropolitan area holds 85 percent of the state’s population within a thin stretch of land 100 miles long between the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake. This area consists of Box Elder, Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, and Utah Counties with more than 70 municipalities. Multiple jurisdictions, a large population, and a desire for consistent bicycle planning led to the need for a broad-based effort to engage cities regarding how they can make their communities better for bicycling and walking.

In 2017, Bike Utah, Utah’s statewide bicycle advocacy organization, developed the Wasatch Bike Plan campaign with the goal of getting every community in the five-county region to adopt and implement an active transportation plan. However not all active transportation plans are created equal. An initial assessment of local plans across the Wasatch Front proved that there were a wide variety of “plans” adopted at the local level. These ranged from a simple ‘lines on a map document’ to text written in a general plan all the way up to stand alone plans with their own goals and strategies…

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