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Cyclists get to help design future bike routes as part of new Welsh law

With rapidly expanding use of bike paths and trails, Wales is making sure that the cyclists’ demands aren’t ignored

Given that car-centric streets in the U.S. are killing some 35,000 people a year, there’s a thing or two we could learn from bike-friendly legislation across the pond. A law in Wales—the Active Travel (Wales) Act—charges Welsh counties with the responsibility of not only mapping and improving their pedestrian and bicycling paths every year, but paying attention to anyone who wants to add their input on how to make routes better.

"I am very proud of Wales’ Active Travel Act," wrote Rebecca Evans, Welsh Minister for Social Services and Public Health. "It’s a ground-breaking piece of legislation which clearly shows the importance we place on improving people’s health and wellbeing through active travel."

The Act originated in 2013 as a petition from Welsh schoolchildren and took effect in the fall of 2014. The project’s initial mapping stage for charting existing routes is complete. Now comes the period of community input, where any Wales resident can offer suggestions or describe their dreams for better pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. Every proposed route will be documented and taken into account as local planners plot out the next generation of the region’s paths.

The region has dedicated £14 million (roughly $18.6 million) to building out the new routes and improving old ones, with the hope that the first strategic round of enhancements will make the case for more.

Source: The Guardian