Active transportation is a viable mode for many trips. A 2009 U.S. Department of Transportation survey reported that 40 percent of all trips we take are less than two miles long. Replacing a chunk of those trips by cycling or walking would put a dent in regional air pollution.
Cycling is recommended in safe areas for distances less than two miles. (Many cyclists regularly commute much longer distances, however.) Walking is recommended for distances of a half-mile or less. (Again, many walk commuters will extend that.) Active transportation is also a great connector for another clean transportation mode: transit. You may not be able to walk 5 miles to the office, but you can probably walk a quarter-mile to your nearest bus stop.
Cost Savings Abound
Active transportation is typically the cheapest mode available. Walking requires no special equipment, though comfortable shoes are recommended. Bicycles built for errands or commuting can be purchased new for the equivalent of a monthly car payment, and with proper maintenance can last years and years. Used bikes can be purchased even more cheaply. Local groups also hold bike donation drives regularly to help get bikes to low-income residents.
In addition, refueling after an active transportation trip means grabbing a snack — not forking over money for gasoline.
Making Active Transportation Safer
A key barrier to bicycling and walking for some residents is safety. Regional planners work to improve active transportation infrastructure and create Complete Streets that incorporate sidewalks, bike lanes and roadways.
See an area that needs improvement to make active transportation safer? Send us a note and we’ll direct it to the appropriate local agency.
Local Bike Maps
One of the best things about the strong local bicycle community is the prevalence of excellent bike maps. Here are links to local bike maps.
- Solano-Yolo BikeLinks Map. This is a stellar product of Solano Napa Commuter Information and its partner agencies (including Yolo-Solano AQMD). It’s a wonderful, current reference on the safest, most scenic ways to get between the cities of Yolo and Solano Counties.
- Davis Bike Map. Come for the detailed cartography, stay for the safety-related cartoons.
- Woodland Bike Map. Produced by the Woodland Bike Campaign, SACOG, the City of Woodland and Yolo-Solano AQMD.
- Vacaville Bike Map. The city has some excellent Class I paths, including the Alamo Creek Bike Path that runs from east of Alamo Drive all the way to Leisure Town Road.
- West Sacramento Bike Map. Note that this map includes paths and lanes still to be constructed. West Sacramento has adopted an innovative plan for a “low-stress bike network.”