Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California home
Log In
Engineering

Study: Good Bike and Ped Infrastructure Actually Makes Neighbors Healthier

Living near safe, high-quality biking and walking facilities actually improves people's health, according to a new study that found a direct link between urban active transportation infrastructure and increased exercise.

The study, published in the journal of Preventative Medicine, examined a random group in Vancouver, British Columbia, before and after the construction of the Comox-Helmcken Greenway, a 1.2-mile protected biking and walking facility.

The study found that people who lived with .2 miles — a few blocks — of the new greenway were twice as likely to get the recommended 20 minutes of physical activity daily. The effect declined as the distance from the greenway increased.

"The message is pretty clear," said Andy Hong, a health scientist at the University of Oxford and co-author of the study. "Well-designed and well-thought-out greenways, like the Comox-Helmcken Greenway, can promote health by encouraging people to be more active and spend less time sitting."

He noted that the Comox-Helmcken Greenway includes many features of high-quality on-street biking and walking infrastructure, including green paint, landscaping and traffic calming measures.

Map: Vancouver
Map: Vancouver
false

The project was completed in 2013 for about $5 million, according to the Vancouver Sun. It is part of a larger greenway system for the city.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog California

Register Your Bike. It’s Easy, It’s Free, and It Helps Everyone

Bike Index, a free national bike registry, just launched an iOS app to make it even easier

May 23, 2024

No Driver, Mo’ Problems: Advocates Demand AV Regulations

And federal probes into self-driving vehicles after crashes and fires are not making a great case for the future of autonomous vehicles.

May 23, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines

Newsom's budget proposal puts corporate profits over people; Big deadline tomorrow; Transit agencies need lots of new maintenance workers; More

May 23, 2024
See all posts