Your input needed to make Columbus more active, healthier

Columbus has great parks, People Trails and other great features that help our community get outside and become more active. However, there is a lot that can be improved to make it safer, easier and more appealing to walk and bike outdoors.

Think of the street where you live, or the neighborhood around your workplace or children’s schools. What changes would need to be made for you and your family to get outside and move more?

Lower speed limits for cars or safer pedestrian crossings?

More sidewalks or protected bike lanes?

More shade trees?

There are many elements that can be considered. By making improvements to our city that make it more conducive to walking, biking and public transit, our community will become healthier. Active cities have been shown to have many economic, health, environmental, social and safety benefits.

With funding from the American Planning Association’s Plan4Health grant, Reach Healthy Communities and the City of Columbus Planning Department are working together to improve levels of daily physical activity in our community by building more walkable and bikeable places, improving connectivity and promoting healthier modes of transportation.

In particular, this grant will analyze and make an effort to improve pedestrian and bicycle crossings at several major intersections throughout the city. It will also provide public awareness of the importance of designing and building our community in a way that makes it fun, safe and easy to be physically active.

There will be many opportunities for the public to get involved. An open house will be 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Donner Center to collect community input on possible improvements to make biking and walking safer and easier between Noblitt and Lincoln Parks. If you’re unable to attend the open house, please take a few moments to provide input in a survey at the following link: surveymonkey.com/r/ColumbusIntersections.

If you would like to get even more involved, you can also attend Active Transportation Outreach Team meetings over lunch on the first Tuesday of each month.

By making improvements to our street network, we aim to make becoming more active and healthier an easier option for local residents. By showing how these improvements can increase levels of physical activity and that there is public support for these types of projects, we can provide an example that can be built upon when designing future improvements to our streets. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to help Columbus continue on its journey to becoming a more active and healthy city.

Laura Garrett is the community initiatives lead for Reach Healthy Communities. She can be reached by sending an email to lgarrett@crh.org or by calling 812-375-3994.

How to share your thouhts

Attend an open house 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Donner Center to to share your ideas on improvements to make biking and walking safer and easier between Noblitt and Lincoln Parks.

Take an online survey by going to the following link: surveymonkey.com/r/ColumbusIntersections