Make your voice heard on route upgrades

Columbus offers a variety of routes for pedestrians and bicycle riders to travel to reach points of interest, work or school, or to use for exercise — particularly with its People Trails system. However, there’s room for improvement, and you can have an important voice in making things better.

Reach Healthy Communities and the City-County Planning Department are working together on ways to make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, and improve the city’s overall health.

Reach Healthy Communities received a $125,000 Plan4Health grant from the American Planning Association to design a program that would enable residents to walk or bike around the city more often, helping reduce obesity and other weight-related issues.

An open house Aug. 27 introduced people to the initiative, presenting possible ways local pedestrian and bike crossings can be improved. A few examples include:

Colored/textured sidewalks

Flashing warning lights

Raised crosswalks to reduce vehicle speeds

At the open house, residents also were asked for their feedback on five key intersections:

17th and Washington streets

Central Avenue and 17th and 19th streets

Hawcreek Avenue and 17th and 19th streets

The grant and the designs that will result from it won’t be maximized unless a healthy amount of feedback from residents is received. Pedestrians and bicycle riders have a lot of benefits to gain from infrastructure improvements to the routes.

Your input is valuable in this process, and there’s still opportunity to provide it. Take a moment to contact the lead agencies and share your ideas for improvements.

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If you would like to share your thoughts about the Plan4health initiative and possible improvements, contact:

  • Emilie Pinkston, senior planner for city of Columbus, by calling 812-376-2550
  • Laura Garrett, community initiatives lead at Reach Healthy Communities, by calling 812-375-3994 or sending an email to [email protected]