The Creating Healthy Communities coalition is working to promote active transportation not just for health and recreation but as a mode of transportation to get to and from destinations. Active transportation includes any form of human- powered transportation, including walking, biking, skating, etc. Active transportation is ideal to take short trips, such as running quick errands or commuting short distances to work.
In efforts to promote an active lifestyle, the Creating Healthy Communities Program recently hosted Yay Bikes! in Meigs County for Professional Development Bicycle Rides. Two separate bike rides took place that traveled through several villages within the county. The goal of the ride was to experience first-hand the atmosphere for bicycling in Meigs County.
To begin, riders were educated on bicycle safety when traveling on a roadway. Per the Ohio Revised Code, bicycles, if in the roadway, are recognized as a vehicle and are expected to follow the same laws as automobiles. This includes, for example, signaling to turn, stopping at all stop signs and lights, among other things. Additionally, riders were informed about the safe passing laws that require motor vehicles to allow 3 feet or greater when passing a bicyclist in the roadway.
After the education, all riders were fitted and required to wear helmets. It is encouraged for all cyclists whether riding for fun, exercise or transportation to wear helmets that fit appropriately. Participating cyclists biked the local roadways, discussing the opportunities available to promote, encourage and educate community residents about biking as a means of transportation. Personally, one thing I was reminded of was how beautiful Meigs County is, especially at the speed of bike.
To join the conversation, contact Laura Cleland, Creating Healthy Communities Project Director at (740) 992-6626 or firstname.lastname@example.org The Creating Healthy Communities coalition will continue their assessment of the walking and biking infrastructure within the county to strengthen and promote active transportation.
Laura Cleland is Creating Healthy Communities Project director, for the Meigs County Health Department.