Local effort promotes being more active, and pedestrian-friendly routes

By: 
Eden Jones

A combined effort from the City of Livingston and Livingston organizations may soon result in rewarding the active Livingston community with more pedestrian-friendly routes, according to Park County Planning Director Mike Inman, who is working with the city’s Active Transportation Committee. 

“We’re still in the education and outreach stages right now,” Inman commented, “but the ultimate goal is to make Livingston a healthier, more active place to live and work.” 

The Active Transportation Committee put together a demonstration at the Farmers Market Wednesday to highlight the different ways a community could plan events with safe transportation in mind. The committee set up a roundabout, a bike/pedestrian lane, and several demonstration booths and classes within the market to educate the public. One of the featured booths was an obstacle course put together by the Livingston Recreation Department, which was a “test run” for the obstacle course as part of their Parks Rx Race Aug. 13, according to Maggie Tarr, Livingston Recreation Department manager. 

“We’re trying to think of ways to design a community to promote both vehicular transportation and alternative, more active transportation,” Inman said. 

He went on to say that one of the committee’s goals is to reward people for making the choice to provide more active transportation for themselves while also accommodating people of all abilities. 

“We also want to get the City Commission and the County Commission thinking about this, to consider policies from every transportation perspective and not just the vehicular,” Inman added.

The response to the bike/pedestrian lane as part of the Farmers Market demonstration was mostly positive, with a few concerns, he said.

“Some people were concerned because they weren’t sure what was going on,” Inman explained. “Some were concerned because they had to walk farther to get to the market. But many people loved the (demonstration). We got a really positive response from walkers and bikers — they had safe passage to the market, without having to worry about the interface of cars. It was really popular with parents, too.” 

Inman went on to say that the Active Transportation Committee probably got other people thinking about what could be done to encourage other changes to some of the recreation site in Livingston. Some were saying that changes could be made to the city pool area, maybe providing a snack area for parents with picnic tables and shade, and other people were looking at the roundabout and thinking it could be great for after-school traffic, according to Inman. 

“We would love to see people navigating through the community in a safe way,” Inman said. “Our goal is to consider active transportation as we design and continue to build in the future.”