The Ohio Department of Transportation noted on July 12 that recent trends in safety, demographics, and demand are spurring it to develop its first-ever policy plan for walking and biking – a plan the agency hopes to craft with public input gleaned from a series of stakeholder meetings and online surveys.
[Above photo by the Ohio DOT.]
“We encourage Ohioans to use active transportation, so we want to make sure those modes of travel are as safe as possible,” explained Ohio DOT Director Jack Marchbanks in a statement. “We hope to get feedback from Ohioans living in all parts of our great state to help us do that.”
He explained that the Walk.Bike.Ohio plan will guide Ohio’s bike and pedestrian transportation policies and investments in infrastructure, as well as examining how “new mobility” and its associated technologies will impact how Ohioans walk and bike in the future.
The Ohio DOT added that bicyclist and pedestrian safety will be a key cornerstone of its new Walk.Bike.Ohio plan as the state witnessed a 60 percent increase in pedestrian-related fatalities between 2009 and 2018, with bicycle fatalities up 22 percent over that same nine-year span. The agency said that in 2018 alone, 135 pedestrians and 22 bicyclists were killed in Ohio.
[To improve bicyclist safety in Washington D.C., the District Department of Transportation is installing a new type of ‘intermittent’ protected bicycle lane device called DezignLine BikeRail in part to discourage tour buses from parking and blocking heavily-traveled city bike routes.]
The Ohio DOT noted that its active transportation plan should be complete by the end of 2020 and it will include not just bicycle/pedestrian policy recommendations but an implementation plan as to how to achieve the recommendations as well.