ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION IN FRESNO COUNTY

Active transportation is any self-propelled, human-powered mode of transportation, such as walking or biking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends active transportation as one way to improve health and prevent disease. 

Many residents of Fresno County view walking and bicycling within their communities as unsafe due to heavy traffic (in urban communities) or vehicles traveling at high speeds (in rural communities), and lack of sidewalks, crosswalks, and bicycle facilities. Improving these elements could encourage residents to use active transportation, like children biking to school or employees walking to work. Safe and convenient opportunities for physically active travel also expand access to transportation networks for people without cars and may also inspire investment in infrastructure. 

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Participants...expressed feeling on “high alert” and having a “sense of fear” when walking along and crossing Kings Canyon Road.

—Fresno Walkability Assessment Participant

The percentage of adults (18 years and older) who are obese is higher in Fresno County than in California overall. The percentage of Latino adults who are obese is higher than the percentage of white adults who are obese in Fresno County and in California.

A major cause of obesity is lack of safe opportunities for physical activity. 

About 3% of adults (16 years and older) commute to work by bicycle or walking in Fresno County. The percentage of adults who commute to work by bicycle or walking is similar in California overall (4%) and the United States (3%).

In the United States, Boston, MA and Washington, DC tie for the highest percentage of adults (16 years and older) who commute to work by bicycle or walking (16.7%), followed by San Francisco, CA (13.9%). Read the report here

Communities in South and West Fresno County have the highest percentage of Latino residents.

The map below shows census tracts in Fresno County. The greener the census tract, the higher the percentage of Latino residents who live there. The majority (52%) of residents in Fresno County are Latino. Most of these residents live outside North Fresno.

The percentage of obese adults is highest in the south and west areas of the city of Fresno.

The map below shows the rates of obese adults (18 and older) in zip codes in the city of Fresno. Obesity rates are higher in zip codes in the south and west areas of the city of Fresno. Some zip codes are not displayed due to small sample size.

Click the plus button on the upper left side of the map to see data for the city of Fresno.  

Learn more about factors that affect active transportation in Fresno County by clicking on the Go to Data boxes below.

Not all Fresno County communities are walkable or bikeable.

Loose dogs threaten Fresno residents' perceptions of safety while walking or biking.

Transportation challenges create barriers to health in Fresno County.

We can make it better.

Community-Based Solutions

Solutions to improve health in Fresno County should involve increasing active transportation in communities throughout the county, including those designated as disadvantaged communities according to the California Environmental Protection Agency's criteria for environmental exposures such as pesticides and air pollution. 

Collect data

Conduct counts of bicyclists and pedestrians in communities designated as disadvantaged communities. These data are necessary to qualify for funding to improve active transportation, such as the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program and the Active Transportation Program.

Teach

Teach residents about biking safety. Click here to learn more from the League of American Bicyclists.

Allocate funding to improve infrastructure 

Funding should focus on the following infrastructure improvements:

Ensure sidewalk continuity and prioritize filling sidewalk gaps. 

Prioritize sidewalk repair and maintenance. 

Install additional pedestrian crossings with accompanying signals/beacons at midblock locations. 

Upgrade to high-visibility crosswalk markings upon repaving. 

Install lighting, including pedestrian-scale lighting. 

Improve the City of Fresno's Active Transportation Plan by implementing the following recommendations: 

Include a system to consider priority projects in disadvantaged neighborhoods (i.e., zero automobile households, free or reduced price meal eligibility, CalEnviroScreen 2.0 score percentile, or household median income) to help create more equitable infrastructure. 

Align active infrastructure projects to public transportation infrastructure. Alignment means improving road safety through strategies listed on pages 145-152 along corridors that connect to public transportation stops. 

Adopt a clear implementation timeline for the first few projects. 

Include programs that support the use of new infrastructure and facilities (e.g. programs that increase access to affordable bikes and repair, Cumbia Rides, walking school buses, crossing guard programs, bicycle safety, and pedestrian safety education) in the plan. 

Clarify funding and implementation strategies for recommended programs in the plan. 

Clarify who is leading the efforts to create a Safe Routes to School Plan and provide a clear planning and implementation timeline. 

Data Sources

US Census 2010, Summary File 1, and American Community Survey, 2010-2014 (5-year estimates). Retrieved from: https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml

County of Fresno, Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Division. Dog Bite Counts 2015. 

Fresno Council of Governments, 2014 Fresno-Clovis Bikeways Map. Retrieved from: http://www.fresnocog.org/sites/default/files/publications/Bikeway_and_Trails/2014_Fresno-Clovis_Bikeways_Map_Final.pdf

Recommendations to improve pedestrian safety in the City of Fresno: Walkability Assessment. September 2015. Authors: Tony Dang, Jaime Fearer, Caro Jauregui, Wendy Alfsen, and Jill Cooper. California Walks and UC Berkeley SafeTREC. 

HealthNet Provider Search. Retrieved from: https://www.healthnet.com/

Fresno Area Express (FAX). FAX GTFS. Retrieved 10/24/16 from TransitFeed: http://transitfeeds.com/p/fresno-area-express

Fresno County Rural Transit Agency. FCRTA GTFS. Retrieved 10/24/16 from TransitFeed: http://transitfeeds.com/p/fresno-county-rural-transit-agency

This project is a collaboration between Cultiva la Salud and the Public Health Institute.