The pandemic certainly changed a lot with the ways we live, work, and play. Our lives were seemingly halted; we experienced social isolation; our work environments were trial and error, flexible, and different; our favorite gyms and restaurants were closed or modified; we had to get creative with how we spent our time; and many of us sought some refuge for mental health by getting outside. It was a hard season for many us, but also an opportunity to take a step back to see what needed to be changed – like a restart. We’ve talked in previous newsletters about some of our pandemic observations, most notably (for this topic) the increase in people walking, biking, and running. Maybe you noticed that too, and maybe you were one of those people who laced up your shoes to get some fresh air (if so, way to go!). In a season when there wasn’t much open or much to do, the need to exercise – for both mental and physical health – became all the more prevalent.
While there’s a push to get back to normal as soon as possible, some things just don’t need to go back to normal. Perhaps some of our pre-pandemic daily habits and lifestyles were in fact in need of change in order to bring us greater health and work-life balance. And one change that we hope is here to stay, is the increase of people recreating around Bowling Green (and across the globe). The need for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements is noticed and our community leaders are seeking to take action. However, we also must note that while feeling safe, comfortable, and confident when walking, riding, or running is greatly increased by the type of infrastructure available for non-motorists, the perceptions and level of awareness by all road users is also imperative as Bowling Green and Warren County grow to become more bike- and walk-friendly.
On a final note of encouragement, the MPO along with the City-County Planning Commission, is in progress of updating our community’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan. This Plan will outline our existing system, identify our needs, and provide recommendations for future bicycle and pedestrian improvements – both big and small. If you’d like to be involved in our planning process, our Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public and we’re always willing to welcome new perspectives and ideas. Email email@example.com for more information and follow along on our social media @BikeWalkBG.
You can view our existing infrastructure and funded, not-yet constructed projects on our interactive GIS map. Toggle between layers to view proposed trails, parks, schools, and common points of interest.