Did you know about 40% of car trips in Melbourne are less than 2km? And nearly 80% of children who live less than 2km from their school are driven both ways every day? Funnily enough, it’s the children who actually stand to benefit the most from communities walking more.
Walking keeps them active, reduces the pollution they breathe and helps them feel connected with and aware of the community they live in. Walking and cycling to work, school or the shops (active transport) is not only good for our environment, but it’s also a simple way of fighting health problems like obesity, diabetes and heart disease. It helps you feel fitter, healthier and more energetic.
Local businesses also benefit enormously when people walk around their neighborhoods because people who walk:
In 2015, the Andrews Government pledged to invest more than $100 million for cycling in its Victorian Cycling Strategy. While a great start, road building still gets the lion’s share of transport money – a trend that must be reversed.
Walking and cycling need to be given the attention they deserve, making it easier to get to the train or bus without needing to drive. Bicycle and pedestrian routes must integrate into the established public transport network, making it more accessible to more people and reducing parking problems around suburban train stations. And with the right infrastructure we could even be like the Netherlands where almost 40% of train passengers cycle to their train station.
Learn more about how to green your transport choices, including car sharing and more efficient driving.