Active transportation offers the promise of improving the health of our residents as well as the city of Hudson.

"Active transportation" is a means of getting around that is powered by human energy, primarily walking and bicycling. Often called "non-motorized transportation," the term "active transportation" is a more positive statement that expresses the key connection between healthy, active living and our transportation choices.

The following are some benefits of active transportation, according to the Partnership for Active Participation:

- Healthy People: America faces an obesity crisis, with more than two-thirds of American adults either overweight or obese. By making walking and biking safe and convenient, we can make it much easier for people to build routine physical activity into their daily lives.

- Healthy Environment: Enabling people to walk or bike for some of their short trips can go a long way in helping our communities efficiently address numerous environmental challenges, from air pollution to climate change to traffic congestion.

- Healthy Economy: Active transportation systems also foster economic health by creating dynamic, connected communities with a high quality of life that catalyzes small business development, increases property values, sparks tourism and encourages corporate investment that attracts a talented, highly educated workforce.

What does it take for something to be considered an "essential" part of what defines a community? Nearly all agree that basic infrastructure like roads, water, sewer systems and schools are integral pieces of the community. Most would also cite community assets like libraries and parks as essential to a vibrant community.

Additionally, safe places for people to walk and bike are universally understood to be necessary for a successful 21st Century community.

Kathy Battaglia, Hudson