What is Walk Bike Ride?
We are at a turning point in transportation. We cannot sustain the financial, environmental and health costs of a transportation system that is overly reliant on automobiles. We need a new balanced approach that creates a transition. We are prepared to commit to that path by prioritizing walking, biking and transit in how we use our streets, how we spend our dollars, and how we collaborate with county, state and federal governments.
Walk Bike Ride will:
- Create an equitable transportation system for all by providing more affordable travel choices
- Focus on the places where people want to be and add qualities that make them want to stay
- Prioritize right-of-way space to emphasize walking, biking and riding
If we do this, we know that the benefits will be substantial.
We can create an environment where people can lead healthier lives in places that support people—their health, their neighborhoods, their businesses, and their families— regardless of who they are, how much they earn and where they come from.
We can help more Seattleites save money. The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimated this year that, excluding loan payments, a car-owner can expect to pay about $8,500 to drive the average car 15,000 miles a year. And the monetary cost of owning a car is only going up with rising fuel prices, tolls and parking fees. By making walking, biking and using transit the easiest ways to get around Seattle, we will be supporting infrastructure that everyone can afford, regardless of their income level.
We can improve the health of our communities. Our neighborhoods and the way they’re designed affect the way we get around in the city. Our lifestyles and activities have changed, and the obesity trend has hit an alarming trajectory in a very short time period. This is truly a dramatic change that has wide-ranging impacts. The generation of children born now is the first generation to have a lower life-expectancy than the previous one. By getting people walking, biking, and walking to transit every day, they can lead healthier lifestyles.
We can promote equity. Some communities are suffering more than others: in King County, African-Americans are 60 percent more likely to be obese. If your neighborhood has less open space, fewer or no sidewalks, and more traffic, these inequitable health outcomes begin to make sense. But what kind of place is Seattle if we allow whole communities to bear the brunt of these negative impacts?
By designing our communities in the context of health and equity trends, and by providing better walking, biking, and transit environments for all Seattleites, we can begin to reverse these negative impacts.
When a city can provide the kind of easy and convenient transportation that serves people both directly and indirectly, we’re preparing ourselves for a better future.
Now is the time to start.