Pedestrian and Bike
There are many great reasons to pay attention to walking, cycling, and experiential considerations in planning our transportation system. As we look at options to accommodate growing traffic, bicycling and walking are air-pollution-free, healthy, and common sense for short trips. Consistently, the public feedback received by the MPO from the Long Range Transportation Planning workshops, reveal the public's desire for more bike lanes, trails, and continuous sidewalks. Martin County enjoys beautiful weather, which is conducive to non-vehicular travel such as walking and cycling, as well as driving and other modes of transport.
Bike and Pedestrian Plans
The Martin MPO is committed to providing a multi-modal transportation system. Through public involvement, comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans are developed and updated to coincide with the MPO's Long Range Transportation Plan. The 2012 Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan is a living document that is currently undergoing biannual updates. The Action Plan seeks to make Martin County a place where walking and riding a bicycle are safe, convenient, enjoyable, and an accepted modes of travel. In order to integrate walking and bicycling into the existing transportation network requires a mixture of engineering and infrastructure, education for motorists and non-motorists, law enforcement, and outreach and encouragement. Further, the Action Plan includes prioritized corridors for trails, bike lanes, sidewalks, and pedestrian safety and comfort improvements
All trips begin and end with walking. Providing access for a pedestrian to walk to stores, schools, parks, and bus stops is crucial. Sidewalks need to be constructed, connected, and well maintained. In addition, benches, shade trees, and curb-cut ramps are important.
Many of the trips people make are shorter than five miles, and cycling is an option for these trips, if there are safe facilities available. One of the biggest impediments to bicycling is the lack of marked bicycle lanes with signs. Identifying a space specifically for bicycling increases safety and reduces uncertainty, letting both the cyclist and the motorist know where to expect a cyclist to be on the road.
Another type of facility for bicycling, walking, skating, and a host of other non-motorized travel forms is the multi-use trail. Trails serve many purposes: recreation, exercise, and travel. Recent studies have confirmed that many people on trails are making utilitarian trips, not just recreating. Trails also play a role in teaching cycling skills; once skills are refined on a trail, cyclists may feel comfortable taking short trips on roads.