Bicycling and Walking are important elements to a complete transportation system.  With the help of some good planning, many short trips can efficiently be completed using non-motorized means.  The “Complete Streets” approach to building, operating, and maintaining streets includes all users of the roadway and is an effective way to incorporate non-motorized transportation options in our communities.

Bicycling and walking also have clear environmental, health, and economic benefits.  With such a broad range of impacts on your community, bicycling and walking can be part of a strategy for multiple community goals.

How can my community better incorporate non-motorized transportation?

  1. Incorporate bicycling and walking into your community’s Master Plan in the transportation chapter or in a standalone document. Chances are, bicycling and walking are already mentioned in your community’s master plan.  Perhaps it’s time for a fresh look and an update.
  2. Take a Complete Streets approach or adopt a Complete Streets Policy. Complete streets is an approach, not a prescriptive set requirements.  It is thinking about the needs of all road users, including bicycles and pedestrians.  In many CNHRPC communities, it may mean a simple adjustment of lane widths and pavement markings, or changing the turning radius at intersections.  In other locations, sidewalks, street trees, and bike lanes might be appropriate.
  3. Safe Routes to School is a popular way to get kids out and about. Safe Routes to School can involve road safety audits, mapping out safe walking routes, holding events and activities, and educating kids about safe bicycling and walking.
  4. Develop a trails plan. Many communities have a formal or informal network of hiking and walking trails, and others are even developing rail-trails and shared use paths.  An established community trail system is a great way to get people out and about.
  5. Engage local volunteers and advocates in your community. Local volunteers and advocates can be a great resource and can help your community implement some of its goals.

How is CNHRPC planning for bicycling and walking?

NH DOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Advisory Committee:  CNHRPC assists the NH BPTAC in its work and various projects.  The BPTAC advises the commissioner of the DOT on bicycle and pedestrian issues.  More information on the BPTAC can be found here.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Counting: CNHRPC is leading statewide efforts to establish a state-wide bicycle and pedestrian counting program, and has conducted multiple counts in the CNHRPC region.  Planners have been counting car and truck traffic for decades, but quantifying bicycle and pedestrian traffic is relatively new.  Good data is an important part of making good planning decisions.  A draft counting plan can be found here.

Concord Pedestrian Master Plan:  CNHRPC is assisting the City of Concord develop a pedestrian master plan.  The work is being done through the Bicycle and Pedestrian subcommittee of the Transportation Policy Advisory Committee.  The project webpage can be found here.

Concord Bicycle Master Plan:  CNHRPC assisted the City of Concord develop the first Bicycle Master Plan in the state.  A copy of the plan can be found below:
Concord Bicycle Master Plan Document
Concord Bicycle Master Plan Appendices
Concord Bicycle Master Plan Maps

Merrimack River Greenway Trail:  CNHRPC provides technical assistance to the Friends of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail and helps coordinate the FMRGT, the City of Concord, and NHDOT towards achieving the vision of a paved multi-use facility along the Merrimack River in Concord.

Regional Trails Coordinating Council:  CNHRPC has teamed up with Southern NH Regional Planning Commission to coordinate multiple trail organizations along the Salem to Concord corridor in the RTCC.  Each of these trail groups are building rail trails or shared-use paths that can serve This group of local trail groups plans for future connections, shares best practices, and engages in public outreach as part of a larger, coordinated effort.  Products of the RTCC include the Granite State Rail Trail concept and the Regional Trails Plan 2012.

For additional information, please contact Craig Tufts at