Building a Walkable Community

Most of us can’t imagine life without our cars, but some people live, work and recreate where they never have to use a car at all! Walkable communities are becoming a goal for many cities; meaning you can live, work and go out to dinner…all within a fairly short distance.

As the suburbs grew over the past 50 years, Coon Rapids included, transportation relied heavily on cars to help people get from point A to B. But that philosophy is changing as communities continue to build more sidewalks, trails, and housing options near bus stops and rail stations. By creating a diverse transportation plan, it allows for a variety of mobility options for everyone.

In recent years, the City of Coon Rapids has put more emphasis on walkability. Studies show that more people (especially millennials ages 18-33) are looking for communities with a variety of transportation options, as well as housing, employment and recreational options. Coon Rapids is known for its 40 miles of trails, extensive park system and beauty along the Mississippi River. Walkability is an important factor as it relates to transportation options and physical activity, which provides benefits for everyone. The City looks to incorporate sidewalk and trail improvements/connections with every opportunity, whether it is a park project, street reconstruction project or new development.

The Park Bond approved by voters in 2013 allows for funding of trail connections. The City is also committed to finishing the sidewalk gaps around town using money from the Park Improvement Fund. Improving the city’s walkability will continue to be a topic of discussion as park and trail enhancements continue over the coming years.