COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new plan says boosting walking and biking opportunities for Ohioans could save billions of dollars.
The Walk.Bike.Ohio plan was developed over the past two years by the state Department of Transportation. The plan found that existing trips by foot or bike can save Ohioans $12.7 billion in transportation and environmental costs over 20 years and even more if such trips increase by just 1%.
“Nearly one out of every 10 Ohio households does not have access to a motor vehicle, meaning active transportation options like walking and bicycling are necessary to meet basic needs,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “When we ensure that walking and biking are safe, convenient, and accessible options – everybody wins. The Walk.Bike.Ohio plan puts us on the right path to do that.”
Caitlin Harley is the active transportation manager for the Transportation Department. She says the plan outlines what Ohio has to do to improve walking and biking as a transportation option.
While Ohio may boast the nation’s eighth largest roadway network, ODOT found there is a need for improvement at the state, regional, and local level to develop bicycle and pedestrian networks, close network gaps, and address unsafe crossings and deficient or failing sidewalks.