Sidewalks are a critical component of healthy and sustainable communities as they:
- Increase mobility and accessibility options for everyone especially for pedestrians, transit users, and cyclists. Sidewalks help move people, allowing young, old, and those with mobility issues to travel safely and easily within our city.
- Encourage active and safe travel for children, youth, seniors, people with disabilities and other members of the community as a whole, and in doing so, promote
healthier lifestyles. Offering ways for people to engage with the outdoors (such as by strolling, learning to ride a bike, playing hopscotch and walking to work, school, or a friend’s home) are ways we can get active, improve our wellbeing and enjoy our communities more.
- Facilitate and enhance neighbourhood and community cohesion through better connections to public spaces such as parks, playgrounds, schools and community centres, and opportunities for social interactions. We all want to be able to enjoy our public spaces – wouldn’t it be nice if we could get there by bike or a short walk, rather than our car?
- Encourage less and slower traffic on city streets. An inviting pedestrian environment naturally encourages less driving and more walking. Meanwhile, increased pedestrian activities on sidewalks also provide visual cues that draw motorists’ attention – leading to a higher sense of awareness and tendencies to slow down.