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How Cities Can Encourage Pedestrians to Walk More

Walking is one of the best modes of transport to reduce our impact on the earth’s environment as it eliminates the emission of harmful gases into the air, and reduces our need to consume non-renewable resources such as oil in the form of petrol or diesel.

With 276.1 million registered vehicles in the US in 2018, 35% of which are cars, we are using an unnerving amount of non-renewable fuel to get ourselves from A to B. Convenience is the number one reason we  choose to drive as it’s faster, more flexible and generally more comfortable. However, with climate change a global concern, there’s a huge push across many towns and cities for more environmentally-friendly methods of getting around. Mayors across many US cities are already taking steps towards a greener community by planning ways in which they can encourage pedestrians to walk more.

Improving the pedestrian infrastructure through the implementation of a variety of equipment is the best way to make your city pedestrian-friendly.

Wayfinding signage and fingerposts

A lack of proper signage is a good reason to choose not to walk. Roads have an abundance of signs and signals, helping cars to find the easiest way to their destination. On the other hand, a pedestrian using the same system is likely going to walk a lot further than they need to. Introducing wayfinding signage in the form of wall-mounted directions and simple fingerposts can help pedestrians find the quickest route.

Many wayfinding signage solutions include distance and travel times for pedestrians which also helps them to make informed decisions on whether they can complete the journey on foot. Pointing the way to the nearest subway or bus station can also encourage the use of public transport too.

Wayfinding totems

In addition to simple fingerposts and signs, wayfinding totems provide a whole range of information for pedestrians. With the ability to include digital and touchscreens, pedestrians can search for nearby restaurants, subways and other public facilities without having to rely on their own cell phone signal.

With many totems using solar-powered technology, they are also an environmentally-friendly way of providing wayfinding information. Suitable for use during the day and at night, wayfinding totems are a 24-hour helpline for anyone choosing to walk.

Covered walkways

Unpredictable weather across many US states can also put people off from walking. No one enjoys getting caught in the rain so providing sheltered areas for pedestrians to use is a great way to encourage more people to take to the streets. Glazed walkways can be used to connect popular destinations such as between train stations and bus stops, or between subways and nearby shopping centers.

Providing small areas of salvation from the weather will help to make walking more desirable in any city and when designed appropriately, will fit seamlessly into the city’s existing infrastructure.

For more information on how to make your city pedestrian-friendly or to take your project one step further, contact Future Systems. We can cover all your mass transit needs.

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