Sections

Weather Forecast

Close
Advertisement

Here's to You/Active Living Bemidji: A different kind of New Year's 'resolution'

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Active Living Bemidji has been working behind the scenes in the past few years to help frame the issue of Active Living from a variety of perspectives.

Advertisement
Advertisement

A key goal has been to incorporate Active Living principles into plans and policies for the city of Bemidji and the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board. The rationale for this goal is based on the desire to develop a culture where all modes of transportation (walking, bicycling, transit, and motor vehicles) are treated equitably.

Over the past few months, Active Living Resolutions have been adopted by, respectively, the city of Bemidji, Bemidji Township and Northern Township. Along with the resolutions, the three entities also approved Active Living edits to the Land Use and Transportation Plans for the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board.

So what exactly does that mean for the Bemidji area? The following describes key features of The Policy.

A first step

The resolutions will not necessarily lead immediately to more trails, sidewalks or bicycle lanes. It is, however, a good first step. Active Living is about creating a community where it is safe and convenient for everyone to move around the community to destinations. The resolutions create an opportunity to be thoughtful and systematic about transportation funding decisions, particularly when considering non-motorized modes.

Active Living vision

The Resolutions will ideally help make the Active Living Vision for a healthy and active community a reality. Through deliberate, collective action, the Bemidji Area will be a place:

E Where there exists a mutual respect among all modes of transportation.

E That has been recognized nationally as a safe and healthy place to live.

E That is as accessible for bicyclists and pedestrians as it is for motor vehicles.

E Where physical activity is safe, easy, accessible and a common occurrence for residents.

E That has strong connections, allowing people to comfortably navigate to and from destinations in the community.

E Where children can safely walk and bicycle to school.

Take a moment to visualize what the vision described above looks like. What are you picturing? Are there more sidewalks, bicycle lanes and separated trails? Are families with children, active adults and senior citizens enjoying the outdoors? Are there places specifically designed for families with children or senior citizens to rest and enjoy a nice view of the lake? Is there signage and maps that help people find their favorite destination? Are there other features?

Incremental

and opportunistic

The Active Living Resolutions are not intended to be an overly restrictive mandate for the city of Bemidji or the townships. Implementation of Active Living principles should be incremental and opportunistic over time. Each transportation project is an opportunity to consider and evaluate the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists and make accommodations that are feasible based on available resources.

Developing plans and policies for active living now eliminates the need to advocate for bicycle and pedestrian needs later and encourages the community to be proactive, systematic and thoughtful as opportunities for implementation occur. These resolutions are an excellent first step for the Bemidji Area to explore what active living means for the community and identify potential opportunities for partnerships on future projects.

For more information on Active Living Bemidji, and to view the Active Living Resolutions, please visit: www.activelivingbemidji.com

Matthew Dyrdahl is the project manager for Active Living Bemidji.

Active Living Bemidji has been working behind the scenes in the past few years to help frame the issue of Active Living from a variety of perspectives.

A key goal has been to incorporate Active Living principles into plans and policies for the city of Bemidji and the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board. The rationale for this goal is based on the desire to develop a culture where all modes of transportation (walking, bicycling, transit, and motor vehicles) are treated equitably.

Over the past few months, Active Living Resolutions have been adopted by, respectively, the city of Bemidji, Bemidji Township and Northern Township. Along with the resolutions, the three entities also approved Active Living edits to the Land Use and Transportation Plans for the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board.

So what exactly does that mean for the Bemidji area? The following describes key features of The Policy.

A first step

The resolutions will not necessarily lead immediately to more trails, sidewalks or bicycle lanes. It is, however, a good first step. Active Living is about creating a community where it is safe and convenient for everyone to move around the community to destinations. The resolutions create an opportunity to be thoughtful and systematic about transportation funding decisions, particularly when considering non-motorized modes.

Active Living vision

The Resolutions will ideally help make the Active Living Vision for a healthy and active community a reality. Through deliberate, collective action, the Bemidji Area will be a place:

- Where there exists a mutual respect among all modes of transportation.

- That has been recognized nationally as a safe and healthy place to live.

- That is as accessible for bicyclists and pedestrians as it is for motor vehicles.

- Where physical activity is safe, easy, accessible and a common occurrence for residents.

- That has strong connections, allowing people to comfortably navigate to and from destinations in the community.

- Where children can safely walk and bicycle to school.

Take a moment to visualize what the vision described above looks like. What are you picturing? Are there more sidewalks, bicycle lanes and separated trails? Are families with children, active adults and senior citizens enjoying the outdoors? Are there places specifically designed for families with children or senior citizens to rest and enjoy a nice view of the lake? Is there signage and maps that help people find their favorite destination? Are there other features?

Incremental

and opportunistic

The Active Living Resolutions are not intended to be an overly restrictive mandate for the city of Bemidji or the townships. Implementation of Active Living principles should be incremental and opportunistic over time. Each transportation project is an opportunity to consider and evaluate the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists and make accommodations that are feasible based on available resources.

Developing plans and policies for active living now eliminates the need to advocate for bicycle and pedestrian needs later and encourages the community to be proactive, systematic and thoughtful as opportunities for implementation occur. These resolutions are an excellent first step for the Bemidji Area to explore what active living means for the community and identify potential opportunities for partnerships on future projects.

For more information on Active Living Bemidji, and to view the Active Living Resolutions, please visit: www.activelivingbemidji.com

--

Matthew Dyrdahl is the project manager for Active Living Bemidji.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
randomness