Walking or biking can do more than kick-starting a healthy New Year's resolution


The start of a new year is the time when many people resolve to practice healthier habits, often dedicating to eat better, exercise more, and improve overall personal health.

For many, this New Year’s resolution can mean starting a new workout program and spending long hours at the gym.

Not considered by many are other opportunities to help you achieve your healthier goals, such as walking to work or to complete an errand. Walking or bicycling to a destination, also known as active transportation, can help increase your activity levels and provide multiple benefits to both you and the community.

Benefits of active transportation

Walking and bicycling as mobility choices can lead to multiple co-benefits:

  • Health benefits: Increases opportunities to be physically active on a regular basis that may lead to reduced cardiovascular, respiratory, and obesity-related diseases.
  • Environmental Benefits: Reduces reliance on automobiles, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.
  • Transportation Benefits: Reduces road congestion, repair, and maintenance costs.
  • Economic Benefits: Benefits the individual through savings associated with automobile maintenance, fuel, and parking; and can also increase patronage at local businesses accessible by foot or bike.
  • Social Benefits: Increases opportunities for social interactions.
  • Recreational Benefits: Provides opportunities to spend time outdoors and in nature.

How is the County helping to create an environment that makes active transportation an option?

As part of the County of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan, Measure T-2.1 – Improve Roadway Segments as Multi-Modal – seeks to reduce vehicle miles driven and increase opportunities for walking and bicycling by creating a more comfortable and safer experience for pedestrians and bicyclists. Known as “Complete Streets”, the County is implementing multi-modal roadway enhancements, such as intersection, roadway, and bikeway improvements, as part of road resurfacing projects funded by the increased gas tax generated by Senate Bill 1 to ensure people of all ages and abilities have opportunities to be active and safe regardless of their mode of transportation.

In October 2018, the County of San Diego adopted an Active Transportation Plan, General Plan Mobility Element amendment, and Complete Streets Policy to support efforts to promote active and safe mobility options through pedestrian and bicycle improvements in the unincorporated county.

Plan your active commute

For tips on how to be an active commuter in San Diego, visit iCommute and Live Well San Diego.

Here’s to a healthy, active 2020!