Making the case for walking and biking

Resources, fact sheets, and presentation templates

Fact sheets



Presentations and talking points


Key talking points highlighting the benefits of walking and biking

  • Health and wellness
    • Increased traffic means that more people are spending more time in their cars, and less time getting the exercise they need. In walkable, bikeable communities, every trip taken is an opportunity for physical activity.
    • Walking and biking contribute to improved cardiovascular health and reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Traveling to everyday destinations on foot or by bike can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen muscle, and promote overall well-being.


  • Improved mental health
    • Walking and biking have been linked to improved mental health, reduced stress, and enhanced mood.


  • Safety improvements
    • Well-designed streets built for all road users enhance the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers alike.
    • Sidewalks, crosswalks, side paths, dedicated bike lanes, refuge islands, curb extensions, and other traffic calming treatments provide designated space and safer environments for vulnerable road users – this prevents speeding and reduces the risk of conflicts with motorized vehicles.


  • Environmental sustainability
    • The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Illinois.
    • Walking and biking are sustainable and low-impact transportation choices, contributing to cleaner air and a reduced carbon footprint.


  • Economic benefits
    • Attracts businesses, increases tourism, improves property values, and enhances the local economy.
      • When people choose more cost-effective travel modes, they have more money to spend on other essentials, as well as in the local economy.
      • Walkable and bikeable communities have stronger real estate markets. Homes located near bicycle, pedestrian, and transit facilities are worth more and maintain their value.


  • Cost-effectiveness
    • AAA estimates that in 2023 it costs $12,182 a year to own and operate a new car. Investing in all transportation modes helps people save money on transportation.
    • Transportation costs are one of the largest expenses for an individual or family. Bicycling, walking, and transit provide cheaper options to travel to where people live, work, learn, shop, and play.
    • Walking and biking are cost-effective means of travel for individuals compared to motorized vehicles.


  • Community connection
    • Walking and biking foster a sense of community by encouraging social interaction and a more vibrant neighborhood atmosphere. They create spaces where residents can connect and interact.


  • Accessibility and inclusivity
    • Not everyone can drive a car. Not everyone can afford to drive a car. Not everyone wants to drive a car.
    • One-third of Americans don’t drive automobiles. This includes older adults, youth under 16, people with disabilities, and people who can’t afford a car. Pedestrian and bicycle friendly infrastructure ensures greater accessibility for people of all ages and abilities.
    • Walking and biking infrastructure allows older adults to age in place by preserving their mobility.


  • Reduced traffic congestion:
    • Pedestrian and bicycle-friendly areas reduce dependence on cars, easing traffic congestion in urban and suburban environments.


  • Quality of life
    • Bike and pedestrian friendly communities contribute to a higher quality of life through improved health, reduced pollution, vibrant local economies, a strong sense of community, and a more enjoyable living environment. Communities that invest in walking and biking THRIVE!