Latest Walking News
Walking is Green Transportation
Walking leaves behind no carbon footprint. Walking to work, school, or shopping is also an easy way to integrate exercise into your daily life, while conserving fuel and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Short car trips emit a lot of harmful tailpipe exhaust, since vehicles are usually not warmed up. Walking is a great way to reduce these “cold starts”, since many car trips can be replaced by walking.
511 Contra Costa is offering a $25 incentive to qualified commuters who make the switch to walking to work. Learn more and be a part of the movement!
Interpark Regional Trails
Interpark Regional Trails are the more than 150 miles of paved trails that connect various Regional Parks. These linking trails, which go through cities and along major streams and channels, can help you get around town as well as to and from Regional Parks on foot or by bike. You can also use these trails to skate from Concord to Pleasanton and beyond (Iron Horse Regional Trail), practice for a marathon by running from Niles Canyon in Fremont to the San Francisco Bay (Alameda Creek Trail), or ride your bike from Antioch to the west side of the Willow Pass in Concord (Delta de Anza Regional Trail).
For more information on specific Interpark Regional Trails, explore the links below:
- Alameda Creek Regional Trail
- Briones to Mt. Diablo Regional Trail
- California Riding and Hiking Trail
- Contra Costa Canal Trail
- Delta de Anza Regional Trail
- Iron Horse Regional Trail
- Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail
- Marsh Creek Regional Trail
- San Francisco Bay Trail
- Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
Responsible Multiple-use Trail Rules
Safe use of multiple-use trails requires everyone’s cooperation. Each trail user is asked to exercise common courtesy. Bicycles yield to horses and hikers.* Hikers yield to horses. Stay to the right of the trail except when passing. No motorized vehicles are permitted on the trail, wheelchairs excepted.
*Bicycles always yield to pedestrians. Before passing, slow down, ring bell and establish verbal contact. When approaching equestrians, call out, ring bell and stop, whether you are seen or not. Ask for instructions on how to pass safely.
Transit and Trails: Take Transit to Great Walks & Hikes
Transit and Trails was created by the Bay Area Open Space Council. Since 1990, the Council has been working regionally to protect the land, connect people to land, and convene efforts to steward parks, trails, and agricultural lands.
Transit and Trails connects you to parks and open spaces by helping you find, plan and share your outdoor adventures. You can locate trailheads near you (or any location) and find out how to get there by public transportation. You might try one of the many existing trips on the site or make a new one. You can then share your plans with a link for an email, or post the trip to Facebook or Twitter. After your hike, share pictures and your experience on Transit and Trails and join the community of people who care about and love exploring parks, trails and open spaces.
The Bay Bridge Bike/Pedestrian Path
The bicycle and pedestrian path along the new East Bay span of the Bay Bridge has proved incredibly popular, even though one still can’t completely reach San Francisco by bicycle or foot. People just really like recreating outdoors, enjoying breath-taking views in one of the most beautiful parts of California – who knew?
Have yet to go for a walk or ride? Enjoy a virtual tour of ascending and descending the bicycle-pedestrian path by bike, courtesy of KQED SCIENCE:
Once completed all the way to San Francisco, popularity of the bicycle-pedestrian path will surely soar, for both commuting and recreational purposes. However, until then, the completed East Bay span still provides some unique and fantastic views worth seeing. If you’d like to check out the new path, be sure to get details about how to access the path (helpful map included) and its winter hours from the bridge’s website.
Caltrans Report: Walking, Biking, Transit on the Rise
In March 2014, Caltrans released the results from its latest California Household Travel Survey (CHTS), which looks at how we in California travel. The primary finding echoes what many suspect– Californians are driving less. The percentage of California residents walking, biking, or using public transportation more than doubled since 2000; the three modes increased in mode-share, collectively, from 11 percent to 23 percent.
Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty notes of the survey’s findings, “Based on this research, we can make good decisions about transportation that will improve mobility, air quality, and travel choices for all Californians and make our state a better place to live and work.”
The table below from the recent CHTS shows the exact breakdown of travel mode distribution, and how it compares to the 2000 survey:
Single-occupancy cars remain the most prevalent travel mode. However it now makes up less than half of all trips, having plummeted from 60.2% to 49.3% of trips.
Interestingly, despite frequently hearing about today’s public transit and bicycling booms, the fastest growing travel mode in the Golden State over the last decade was walking, which more than doubled from 8.4% of trips to 16.6% trips. This is not to say that reports of increased levels of public transit use and bicycling are misleading, in fact the two modes doubled their respective mode-share since Caltrans’ 2000 CHTS.
The results from the survey mark a dramatic shift in the state’s travel patterns and show no signs of reversing. Looking at the numbers one can’t help but to wonder– what will the next California Household Travel Survey look like?
Active Transportation to get $360 Million
In 2014, Caltrans, regional transportation agencies and the federal government combined funds to provide $360 million in grants for the Active Transportation Program (ATP). Active Transportation is a term used to describe walking, biking, and transit. The funds for ATP will be targeted at projects like bike lanes, safer intersections for pedestrians, safety improvements leading to and around transit stops, and non-infrastructure programs like Safe Routes To School safety education outreach.
Jeanie Ward-Waller is the California advocacy organizer for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. She said this is the most money by far that has been offered to improve walk/bike routes. But she said that it is also unique because the priorities for awarding the money are not just about transportation. Part of the decision about awarding the money will be based on potential boosts to public health. Some money is earmarked for projects in disadvantaged communities. “It’s watershed in terms of supporting walking and biking, but it’s also a watershed in how it is being targeted,” Ward-Waller said. “I think it’s a new standard about how we are approaching transportation and prioritizing things like public health and sustainability and making sure equity is a lens.” Read the full article in California Report.