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Planning for Active Transportation

Throughout the state, communities are making it easier for people of all ages and abilities to walk, bike or paddle. These changes are supported by good planning to ensure that work on sidewalks, walking trails and bike baths leads to “connectivity” and enhanced accessibility and safety.

The National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program provides technical assistance to jurisdictions in their local trail and outdoor recreational planning. The NPS is currently accepting applications from communities that seek planning help in 2011. While the deadline for application is August 1, 2011, Alexandra Stone recommends that community representatives contact her to discuss projects well before the deadline.

Examples of NPS supported projects:

  • The City of Port Orchard and partners will create a 1.25 mile Black Jack Creek Blackjack Creek on its way to Puget Sound. Photo credit: City of Port Orchard 'wilderness' trail along a natural, heavily vegetated salmon-bearing stream that flows through Port Orchard to Puget Sound. With RTCA assistance, the city held workshops and meetings to prepare a concept plan for the trail and finalize details for the constructing the trail. The multi-phased project will involve two ADA-accessible viewpoints. There will also be a hiking trail along one bank that will connect with a community center.
  • In Cowlitz County, the NPS is providing funding and technical assistance to advance the planning of the South Cowlitz River Trail. The cities of Longview and Kelso partnered with Cowlitz County. The cities and RTCA worked with the Cowlitz Health Department, non-profit health advocates and partners to conceptualize a loop trail connecting with the North Cowlitz Loop Trail, resulting in nearly 32-miles, generally paralleling the Cowlitz River.
  • The City of Moses Lake has to date built 30 miles of trails including a set of water trails for travel via kayak or canoe. Read more about the Moses Lake Trails Planning Team.

James Kissee is the Physical Activity Specialist for the Nutrition and Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention Program for the Washington State Department of Health. Kissee is available for technical assistance for agencies planning to improve physical activity options in their regions.

Partners

Washington State Department of Health, National Park Service.

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