COVID-19 has created a huge increase in walking activity. Walking SA, together with BISA, Bike SA and the Heart Foundation, calls on all local governments to prioritise projects that enable walking and cycling.
During COVID-19, more people have chosen to be active every day in local neighbourhoods. Participation in walking and cycling has significantly increased. The provision of footpaths and safe crossings, open space and access to roads in our neighbourhoods is more important than ever. Walking SA encourages prioritisation of projects that enable active, safe and connected communities.
11 May 2020
Dear Mayor, Councillors and CEO,
In these difficult and unprecedented times, we would like to congratulate you on your continued support of your community.
During COVID-19, more people are choosing to be active every day in local neighbourhoods. Participation in walking and cycling has significantly increased. The provision of footpaths and safe crossings, open space, and access to roads in our neighbourhoods are more important than ever.
We recognise that council budgets have been impacted both by a reduction in some forms of revenue, and by additional expenditure required due to the current situation. As you are re-assessing your budgets for the upcoming cycle, we encourage you to prioritise projects that enable active, safe, and connected communities.
We call on you for your commitment to:
- Shovel-ready walking and cycling projects. Increased budgets and commitment to delivering basic, safe and innovative walking infrastructure with construction and maintenance of: footpaths, safe pedestrian crossings and refuges, wider kerb ramps, signalised crossings with a shorter cycle and phasing to suit seniors, vision impaired, people with disabilities and children to safely cross the road
- Temporary street closures or shared zones to allow for people to safely walk and ride on local streets during COVID-19
- Slower designed streets and speed limit reduction for all people to walk and cycle safely
- Wider, connected and safe footpaths (which also allows for essential physical distancing)
- Better shading of all paths through tree planting and shading structures
- Local mixed used and multi-generational parks, playgrounds, nature play and green space that create community hubs and destinations within walking/cycling distance of homes
- Separated walking pathways from bicycles, e-bikes and e- scooters in high traffic or commuter routes
- Removal of slip lanes that cause unnecessary risk to walkers and riders, or an addition of zebra crossings until slip lanes have been removed
- Commitment to implement your local walking and cycling strategies, preferably integrated into an overall active transport and recreation strategy. Develop strategies if
- Liveable and active streets designed for all: children and our more vulnerable walking or wheeling residents
- Investment in walking programs (10,000 Steps, Heart Foundation Walking, parkrun and local bushwalking groups) through local funding, resources and supportive
We know how important a safe and healthy community is to you. Walking and cycling facilities are one of the lowest cost services that you can provide to your residents to improve their health and wellbeing, generate better community cohesion and create benefits for local business.
Thank you for your interest in supportive active communities. We would be happy to talk to you about how you can support our organisations and the localised active travel and recreation of neighbourhoods for your residents, businesses, and visitors.
For any further queries, contact Helen Donovan, Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org or 0457 006 620 on behalf of Walking SA, the Bicycle Institute of South Australia, Bike SA and the National Heart Foundation of Australia.
On behalf of Walking SA, Heart Foundation, Bicycle Institute of South Australia and Bike SA.