Bicycles in a rack

Cincinnati has found success with its ride-share program.

COLUMBUS - Recent trends in safety, demographics, and demand have spurred the Ohio Department of Transportation to develop its first-ever policy plan for walking and biking.

Stakeholder and public engagement will help ensure that policies and investments meet the needs of people walking and biking.

The Walk.Bike.Ohio plan will guide Ohio's bike and pedestrian transportation policies and investments in infrastructure and programs. It is looking at current and potential programs and policies, not at specific projects.

ODOT is engaging Ohioans through a series of stakeholder meetings and online surveys. These opportunities will help ODOT collect feedback on vision and goals of the plan as well as barriers and needs for walking and biking. It will also look at how new mobility and its associated technologies will impact how Ohioans walk and bike in the future.

"We encourage Ohioans to use active transportation, so we want to make sure those modes of travel are as safe as possible," said ODOT Director Dr. Jack Marchbanks. "We hope to get feedback from Ohioans living in all parts of our great state to help us do that."

Between 2009-2018, Ohio saw a 60 percent increase in pedestrian-related fatalities. Bicycle fatalities are up 22 percent over the same time frame. In 2018, 135 pedestrians and 22 bicyclists were killed in Ohio.

Ohio has over 1,800 miles of off-road, shared use paths. Ohio's state parks offer more than 250 miles of bike trails. There are also 3,000 miles of proposed State and U.S. Bike Routes in Ohio.

Work on the plan is expected to be complete by the end of 2020. The final report will include policy recommendations as well as an implementation plan as to how to achieve the recommendations.