The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) has begun a new campaign which seeks to rebrand the word “pedestrian” to “people walking.” The new campaign also seeks to use the term “walking” to be an inclusive term for all kinds of human powered mobility involving people of all abilities.
The new campaign makes perfect sense given that “pedestrian” in it’s original meaning alluded to drab or dull or plain. Traveling by foot or walking these days are anything but pedestrian. In a complete street environment, there are wide sidewalks, street furniture, cycle tracks, parklets and shade trees to create pleasant walking experiences.
As cities and development teams move towards more housing density with mixed use projects and walkable destinations, the walking experience should be further enhanced with outdoor fitness trails, community gathering spaces and more nature. We’ve already seen an explosion of bike sharing programs, bike parking and cycle tracks because of renewed interest in mobility and health.
With neighborhoods becoming attached to bus and rail connections and retail district filled with sidewalk café’s and parklets, walking has become a lot more fashionable. And a lot healthier for everyone and anyone regardless of age and ability interested in physical activity.
This new campaign also seeks to redefine walking since movement may be propelled by any combination of arms, legs, feet and hands along with other support devices like canes, sticks, walkers, and skateboards.
Moving forward, we should experience more people walking since walking is good for us in so many ways.