Impact Sciences is proud to have sponsored the 2018 Walk N’ Roll Air Quality Art Contest hosted by the Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG). The contest challenged local students (K-12) to share their creative ideas on how to improve air quality and promote active transportation. The goal of the contest was to engage youth in making a conscious decision to choose active transportation and consider how they can contribute to a healthier community. So what is active transportation and what are the benefits?
Active transportation is human-powered transportation such as walking, bicycling, using wheelchairs/mobility devices, skateboarding, and more. Safe active transportation communities are places where it is easy and comfortable to make an active trip. The streets are connected through a network of walking/biking trails and paths; crossings are safe even at busy streets; signs make it easy to navigate; and routes connect to desired locations. There are a number of benefits to active transportation which fall under five broad categories: health, mobility, neighborhood livability, economy, and environment.
Active transportation allows people to be physically active in everyday life by enabling them to walk or bike to their destinations. Even a moderate amount of daily exercise can improve both physical and mental health. Important benefits include lowering the risk of heart disease, reducing high blood pressure, and relieving stress.
The Mobility Factor
Active transportation also gives people who cannot drive more options for getting around independently. Those who benefit most include children (particularly for travel to and from school), seniors and those with disabilities, and people with low income. Increasing transportation options also benefits drivers by decreasing congestion and demand for parking, as people choose to walk or bike instead.
Neighborhood livability can also be improved through active transportation. When residents are out on foot or bike, they interact more with their neighbors. Streets become safer, not just in terms of traffic but crime as well since there are more eyes on the street from pedestrians and cyclists. Active transportation can build community and create social capital.
A Thriving Economy
There are also important economic benefits for individuals and their communities. Economic benefits include lower transportation costs for individuals and families; increased property values; savings for cities from less wear and tear of streets; and a potential boost to tourism.
Active transportation can help address many environmental challenges. Some of the most important benefits are reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Other environmental benefits include energy savings, less noise pollution, less water pollution, and more.
Impact Sciences’ sponsorship for TCAG’s Walk ‘N Roll Air Quality Art Contest helped support the purchase of bikes and helmets for the winning students. These young artists even had their work displayed in the ImagineU Interactive Children’s Museum in downtown Visalia. Remaining funds from Impact Sciences’ donation were allocated to TCAG’s Bike Safety Workshops and additional bike purchases for parents and young children in predominately disadvantaged communities. In our effort to help improve people’s daily lives, Impact Sciences is proud to be part of informing communities of the many benefits that active transportation offers.