Ohio launches plan to increase walking, biking statewide

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The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) recently launched Walk.Bike.Ohio, a plan to increase walking and biking in communities statewide by making it safer, more accessible, and more convenient.

The state has the nation’s eighth-largest roadway network, but improvement is needed at the state, regional, and local level, ODOT discovered, to address unsafe crossings and deficient or failing sidewalks; develop bicycle and pedestrian networks; and close network gaps.

One out of 10 Ohio households does not have access to a motor vehicle, and walkers and bicyclists make up approximately14 percent of all traffic deaths. Pedestrian deaths increased 30 percent from 2019 to 2020.

“The development of Walk.Bike.Ohio has helped us to establish a statewide vision for walking and biking, informed by practitioners and the public,” Caitlin Harley, ODOT active transportation manager, said. “This plan outlines what ODOT will seek to advance over the next 5 years in order to improve walking and biking as a transportation option in Ohio.”

The plan introduces a framework for identifying roles and responsibilities of various partners,
advancing active transportation by documenting existing conditions and outlining critical actions for ODOT to focus on over the next five years.

According to the economic impact analysis, existing foot or bike trips can save Ohioans $12.7 billion in transportation and environmental costs over 20 years.