Those who ride bicycles or do a lot of walking in Delaware County may want to participate in an Active Transportation Plan being produced by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.
MORPC said the plan, which goes the acronym ATP, helps communities “plan for and implement projects that include pedestrian, bicycle, and transit accommodations — or complete streets — on the region’s road network. Complete streets ensure all users, regardless of mode of travel, have a safer and more comfortable way to reach their destination.”
The ATP’s goals are safety, comfort, connectivity and access. More concretely, the plan proposes to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries resulting from crashes; reduce the number of very high-stress and high-stress road miles; and increase the amount of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in the planning area.
“The draft plan focuses on the transportation planning area of Delaware and Franklin counties, as well as parts of Fairfield, Licking and Union counties,” MORPC said.
The plan talks about traffic stress in relation to bicyclists. More than half of the area’s bicyclists (51-56%) are what MORPC calls interested-but-concerned, meaning they “would bike more often if they could reliably travel on a safe and connected network of bike-specific infrastructure. These riders have a low tolerance for interacting with vehicular traffic.”
The interested-but-concerned cyclists tend to ride on greenways, separated bike lanes and low speed/volume streets. To a lesser degree, they are also willing to ride on roads with bike lanes and on moderate speed/volume streets.
MORPC said 5-9% of the area’s cyclists call themselves somewhat confident dealing with traffic stress. These riders are willing to handle climbing lanes, 30 mph streets and high-volume streets. Only 4-7% of riders call themselves highly confident. These riders you’ll see on high-volume roads, wide streets, and without separation from vehicles.
“The safest and most comfortable way for pedestrians and bicyclists to travel is on sidewalks or protected bikeways that are separate from vehicle traffic,” the ATP introduction said. “When this infrastructure is missing or incomplete, it increases pedestrian and cyclist interaction with vehicle traffic, which in turn increases the risks and stress associated with the trip. A complete low-stress network of connected sidewalks and bikeways removes the uncertainty, reduces the risk, and provides a more comfortable experience for pedestrians and cyclists.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.