Walking or Biking
Walking is our most basic and natural form of transportation. It's a relaxing and enjoyable way to improve your health and experience your community. Walking and bicycling are both great ways to improve our air quality.
Walking is the least expensive, yet the most beneficial mode of transportation. Walking is an easy form of exercise that can help combat the rapid increase in obesity among both adults and children due to our sedentary lifestyles. The repetitive motion of walking calms the body and eases stress.
For information on the benefits to your health, see the Arizona Department of Health Services.
In addition to providing benefits in terms of personal health and pleasure, walking also protects the environment-no emissions from a vehicle tailpipe, no fossil fuel consumption, no emissions of "greenhouse gases" that contribute to global climate change. Walking can play an important role in improving our air quality.
Even short motor vehicle trips are a significant source of emissions due to the "cold start" problem. There's a high rate of emissions during the first few miles of driving because the catalytic converter does not function well when a car is first started. Walking for short trips helps to reduce these "cold start" vehicle emissions.
Bikes are a very environmentally friendly means of transportation-no tailpipe emissions, no evaporative emissions, no emissions from gasoline pumping or oil refining, and zero carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.
Bicycling also means less water pollution (many people don't realize that motor vehicles are a significant source of water pollution as well as air pollution). And, bikes are quiet, so they don't contribute to noise pollution.
Environmental Benefits of Cycling
Fewer people cycle per capita in the U.S. than in many other parts of the world, and the U.S. is a leader in petroleum consumption. These high levels of consumption are leading to many negative effects on the environment, such as increased emissions of harmful gases including:
- Carbon Dioxide
- Carbon Monoxide
- Nitrous Oxide
- Volatile Organic Compounds
These emissions are believed to be causing warming through the "greenhouse effect", depletion of the ozone layer, and a reduction in general air quality. Vehicles also cause noise pollution.
Bicycling / Pedestrian Resources
- Arizona Bicycle and Pedestrian Program: Tips and Resources
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Pedestrian Safety Tips
- AZ Department of Transportation Share the Road
- The League of American Bicyclists
- BikeGuard - a free bike registry for bike tags to help with the return of a bike if lost or stolen.
- Arizona Trail: Mountain Biking
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
- Maricopa Association of Governments: Active Transportation
US Bicycle Route System Info
The U.S. Bicycle Route System is a developing national network of bicycle routes that connect urban to suburban and rural areas using existing roads and shared paths.