Physical Activity

In many parts of suburban Cook County, getting around without a car is impossible. To complicate matters, many schools have significantly decreased physical activity for their children, leading to a sedentary culture that’s taught and, worse, reinforced. Making it possible to run daily errands by foot or bicycle (for example) would add practical opportunities for daily exercise.

If your organization is interested in helping make physical activity easy and convenient, here are some good places to start:

  1. Helping your community build complete streets

    • About: Started in Sweden, Complete Streets is an internationally acclaimed process for evaluating/building roadways that accommodate all users, be they pedestrian, motorized, or non-motorized. It is typically done at the city/town level.
    • Resources to help you create this in your community:
      Complete Streets – Policies, procedures, training and outreach plans available
      Active Transportation Alliance – Has the experience and connections to get you started on your Complete Streets project.
      Active Living by Design – Works to increase physical activity and healthy eating through community planning.
  2. Protecting, planning, and funding for non-motorized transportation

    • About: Funding for transportation systems heavily favors car travel. With the right preparation, you can get funding that accounts more equally for all travelers.
    • Resources to help you create this in your community:
      Active Transportation Alliance – Has the experience, knowledge and resources to help you address non-motorized transportation planning in your community.
      Complete Streets – Policies, procedures, training and outreach plans available.
      Active Living by Design – Works to increase physical activity and healthy eating through community planning.
  3. Assessing the effect all new transportation projects will have on community health.

    • About: How a community is planned and built can promote active transportation or make it all but impossible. Communities can create health standards by which they can clearly see whether a new transportation supports healthy living.
    • Resources to help you create this in your community:
      Complete Streets – Policies, procedures, training and outreach plans available
      Active Transportation Alliance – Has the experience and connections to get you started on your Complete Streets project.
      Active Living by Design – Works to increase physical activity and healthy eating through community planning.
  4. Planning and create bike paths throughout suburban Cook County.

    • About: Creating bike paths throughout suburban areas makes active travel more feasible. This is typically done at a regional level.
    • Resources to help you create this in your community:
      Active Transportation Alliance – Has the experience, knowledge and resources to help you address non-motorized transportation planning in your community.
  5. Ensuring bike signage placement, land use planning and the creation of safe park zones.

    • About: Active transportation is hard when the environment doesn’t support it. By placing bike signage and planning for active spaces, you can encourage activity.
    • Resources to help you create this in your community:
      Rails to Trails – Owner of research that will help you make the case for increased funding for bicycling and walking
      Active Transportation Alliance – Has the experience, knowledge and resources to help you address non-motorized transportation planning in your community.
      Alliance for Biking and Walking - Owner of benchmarking research that indicates exactly how much people are walking and biking right now.
      Public Health Law and Policy – Clarifies and demystifies the law, helps develop ready-to-go model policies as well as "train the trainers" around public health issues.

Make the connections and get support to make this vision a reality - join our Alliance!