walkON Forum Discusses Benefits of Greater Biking and Walking

THUNDER BAY – This morning, community leaders participating in the walkON forum at the Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel & Suites learned from an urban form expert about the benefits of making Thunder Bay a more walking and biking friendly community, and how that could be done. The event is one of several taking place as part of Thunder Bay’s participation in the walkON initiative – a provincially funded program that promotes community collaboration and engagement to help make cities more walkable. Thunder Bay is one of only 12 regions in Ontario selected to participate in the program.

Gil Penalosa, executive director of Canada-based 8-80 Cities and former commissioner of parks and recreation for the City of Bogota, Columbia, passionately spoke from experience about improving quality of life through the promotion of walking and bicycling as life-long activities. He discussed the importance of parks, trails and other public spaces that foster healthier communities with happier residents.

“Thunder Bay is taking an important step toward championing walkability, which will surely lead to a healthier and more vibrant region,” says Penalosa. “Bringing people together to share their ideas and experiences of walking in their own communities is a fantastic way to motivate change.”

This morning’s forum builds on the work that is already being done in Thunder Bay to develop a sustainable human transportation system that promotes a healthier population, discourages crime, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and attracts professionals to our city.

“One of this Council’s major goals is to improve the quality of life for every resident, regardless of age or income,” says Mayor Keith Hobbs. “Helping to create a safe, more walkable community will help us meet that goal.”

Following the walkON forum, conversations about active transportation will be continuing throughout the day.

This evening, the public is invited to participate in a community forum on making Thunder Bay a more walkable and bikeable community, taking place at 6:30 pm at the Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel & Suites. For more information, call 625-5900.

This evening’s meeting will be live-streamed on NetNewsledger.com as well.