by Phil Nelson, City of Ventura Director of Public Works
The City of Ventura is undertaking a planning process for what is known as active transportation.
Think of it simply as any movement from point A to point B without using a vehicle. The Active Transportation Plan includes the Venturans who walk their dog, bike to a coffee shop, skateboard to class, walk to a carpool, hike Arroyo Verde Park, jog along the Pier for fitness, stroll with family to dinner on Main Street, or take a bus to work. Importantly, it includes every person who exits a car or truck when moving to a destination.
The Active Transportation Plan examines the quality, safety, and connectivity of existing networks for people walking, biking, and taking transit. As we embark on creating this ambitious roadmap, we need the community’s help in prioritizing projects and programs that will make walking, bicycling, and taking transit great choices for all people who live, work, or visit Ventura.
There are so many reasons why the timing is right for Ventura to get moving. Nationwide, many active transportation efforts are underway.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has made it one of his department’s top priorities. A bipartisan infrastructure bill was recently passed by the Senate that provides money to cities to complete street systems for walkers and cyclists, and enhance transportation services.
The latest U.S. report on greenhouse gasses emphasizes the need for every person to enhance efforts to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide pollution we each create.
And each year, the American Medical Association reinforces its message that “sitting is the new smoking.” We rely heavily on cars for transportation and waste countless hours a year sitting in vehicles when we could be walking or biking to a local destination.
The City wants everyone to get involved. Such planning efforts rely on broad community support and meaningful participation from the public. In support of this effort, we are also working hard to connect with our low-income and minority households, homebound seniors, youth, young parents, and people who are familiar with what it’s like to walk and bike in Ventura.
We want the public to tell us where they like to bike. Tell us where we need more sidewalks. Tell us what intersections are avoided while walking. Tell us what is important as we plan for Ventura’s future walking and biking networks and transportation policies.
Sharing where active transportation improvements are needed will help the City develop a plan and complete projects that enhance public safety, mobility, health, environmental sustainability, and economic vitality. The benefits are endless!
Visit www.ActivePlanVentura.com to get involved, take a community survey, and register for email updates.