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Wednesday
Mar092011

Walking for transport -- and fun!

Walking for Mental and Physical Health 


 

Join hosts Ed Blakely and Rebecca Lehman as they talk to Peter McCue from the Heart Foundation’s Premier’s Council for Active Living about the on-going efforts to develop a state-wide Walking Strategy.

By Rebecca Lehman

Walking is an integral part of a liveable city. Like water from a tap or electricity at the switch, walking is taken for granted – particularly as a transport mode.

Rates of walking can be so commonplace or “incidental” that our national Census, which provides the data that is the basis for the allocation of transport funding, overlooks walking as a transport mode if combined with another mode like driving a car, taking the train or bus or bicycle. Yet, from each of these modes, our last steps to our destination are on foot! Sometimes a considerable distance at that.

Want to increase the use of this healthy, environmentally-friendly and space efficient transport mode in your city? Apply this process from the Premier’s Council for Active Living:

1.) Develop a robust data-based case for walking. There is no need to reinvent the wheel: use evidence from existing sources, the Census, the Household Travel Survey, pedestrian crash data, transport plans and master plans.

2.) Use the data to develop a cost-benefit framework to assess walking projects (infrastructure and encouragement programs)

3.) Prepare and fund a strategy or plan to add to the walking network and increase the rate of walking for short trips. Set “achievable” and “reach” targets based on the evidence.

4.) Develop an action plan for the delivery organisation to engage and maintain interest in the delivery of the walking strategy. Work closely with state and local stakeholders from Roads, Planning, Health, Education and Safety.

5.) Monitor and evaluate the progress on the strategy. If this means mapping your footpath network for the first time – get mapping! Use questionnaires and intercept surveys where counting walkers is not practical or cost effective. Remember, other transport networks monitor the performance of the network as part of an annual report – and budget request! Report on the progress of mapping, missing links construction and walking encouragement programs to identify areas where progress is sluggish or exceeding expectations.

6.) Report back to stakeholders regularly!

For more about the draft strategy, visit the PCAL website

 

Walking for transport show Mar 12 right click for downloads