July 2018 – The MPO-led Garden Steps collaboration helps neighborhoods in “food desert” areas expand community gardens and walk, bike, and transit access to them. Thanks to our partner, the City of Tampa, active transportation has been given another boost with the installation of five new pedestrian and bicycle wayfinding signs pointing the way to Tampa Heights Community Garden.
These signs give value to pedestrian and bicycle travel. Traditionally, the transportation world has measured and valued moving vehicles with all sorts of published data about our roads. Pedestrian and bicycle wayfinding is a concept started by a graduate student in Raleigh, NC that helps pedestrians find or discover nearby destinations, enhancing the pedestrian circulation network, and building a strong sense of place and connection.
The health benefits of regular physical activity are far reaching. Physical activity reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Recent studies have also revealed that walking or cycling improves our well-being by controlling anxiety and boosting our mood. Access to healthy food and the benefits of physical activity are a winning combination for Garden Steps and the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge.