People walk for many different reasons. Some walk for recreation and others walk to commute to school or work. Some choose to walk and some are forced to walk. Some walk for health benefits and others walk for environmental reasons. However, in all situations, the built environment impacts the choices people make on where to walk and whether to walk at all.
Ultimately, each individual makes a personal choice whether to walk or drive. However, the built environment should not be the factor that deters a decision to walk. Walkability, or the level that a space or community accommodates walking, is an important characteristic of the built environment. Studies cite the benefits of a walkable environment including:
Higher property values.
Lower obesity rates and cardiovascular disease.
Fewer vehicle trips and emissions.
Increased equity in transportation modes and choices.
Increased community image and safety.
As Derby grows, there are opportunities to make places that invite walking and allow people to choose walking or biking. This plan recognizes that automobiles as a form of transportation are still, and will continue to be, vital to Derby. However, walkable development and efficient vehicular traffic movement can co-exist. The goals of this plan are to:
Ensure that future development areas are comfortably accessible by a network of pedestrian facilities.
Create good linkages between residential neighborhoods and walking distance destinations, especially schools.
Reduce barriers that discourage walking through investment, policy, and regulations.
Guide how to identify retrofits of existing environments that will have the greatest walkability benefits.