The Regional Nonmotorized Transportation System Plan is one element of the larger Regional Transportation Plan. Its primary focus is to establish a regional bicycle and pedestrian transportation network that encourages more people to safely and comfortably use nonmotorized transportation modes throughout the region.
Improving the health of a community through encouraging active transportation (e.g. cycling or walking) yields significant social and economic benefits. Increasing levels of cycling or walking have been reported to improve performance at both work and school. Inducing a mode shift from the personal vehicle to active modes can result in cleaner air, lower obesity rates, and increased physical activity, in addition to a number of other benefits. The relationship between health and transportation is further explored in Chapter 13 of the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan.
Improving cycling and pedestrian infrastructure also creates a safer environment for all people; nonmotorized infrastructure also improves the mobility of those members of the Pikes Peak community that do not own a motorized vehicle.
Cycling not only has significant social and health benefits, there are also economic benefits that come with an investment in nonmotorized infrastructure, as detailed in a 2015 report, The Economic Impact of Cycling in the Pikes Peak Region. This study was developed as a collaborative effort between PPACG and the Trails and Open Space Coalition.
This study showed that bicycling activities in the region result in close to $28M in direct economic impacts to the Pikes Peak region. Each dollar invested in cycling in the region results in a yield of between $1.80 and $2.70 back in direct economic benefits. The study, along with others nationwide, shows that investment in cycling can yield significant economic impacts to the local area.