Active Transportation

What is Active Transportation?

Active transportation involves any way an individual can travel to and from desired locations by using the body as the primary means of locomotion. Simply put, if you ride a bike, walk, skate, or skip to go somewhere, you are using active transportation. This is much more than providing bike lanes, but a systematic approach to placing people at the same level of priority as cars.

Why does HEAL focus so much on Active Transportation?

Not everyone has the ability or desire to go to a gym, join a dance class, or spend time outdoors for recreation. Knowing that over 80% of people who utilize mass transit get the recommended amount of physical activity demonstrates that there are many ways a person can be physically active. By supporting physical activity routes within a neighborhood and community that are safe, attractive, and efficient, we are helping more people become physically active without all the expectations found in other approaches.

Also, knowing that more people being active in a community increases safety and “eyes on the street,” crime and other issues are decreased. An active community is a safer community for people of all ages, from older adults to kids walking to and from school. When more people are seen in a community, the sense of community is stronger and more resilient.

What have we been doing to promote Active Transportation?

HEAL works closely with UDOT, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Local Health Departments, and communities to connect people to everyday destinations through activity-friendly routes. This means making the healthy choice the easy choice when people choose to walk and ride bicycles to school, work, shopping, and more.

We help develop resources, tools, and datasets that help communities develop their neighborhoods into places where people want to walk, bike, or roll. We can’t do any of this on our own. We rely on local communities seeing the trends that people want activity friendly communities, and partners who provide expertise in making this a reality.  See the 1,000 miles campaign at Bike Utah as an example of how Utah is doing to support Utah communities.

Activity-Friendly Routes

Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Transit Transportation Systems

  • An activity-friendly route is one that is a direct and convenient connection with everyday destinations, offering physical protection from cars, and making it easy to cross the street.
  • Components to consider for intervention include:
  • Street pattern design and connectivity.
  • Pedestrian infrastructure.
  • Bicycle infrastructure.
  • Public transit infrastructure and access.

Everyday Destinations

Land Use and Environmental Design

  • Everyday destinations are places people can get to from where they live by walking, bicycling, or public transit. This can include grocery stores, schools, worksites, libraries, parks, restaurants, cultural and natural landmarks, or healthcare facilities. They are often desirable, useful, and attractive.
  • Components to consider for intervention include:
  • Mixed land use.
  • Increased residential density.
  • Community or neighborhood proximity.
  • Parks and recreational facility access.


Utah Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Design Guide

Active Transportation Study Literature Review, Best Practices, and Final Report

Active Transportation Standards

Wasatch Front Regional Council Active Transportation

Active Transportation GIS Data Resources Interactive Map

Mountainland Association of Governments Active Transportation Planning

Cache County MPO Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee

Move Your Way

Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

Physical Activity