The citizens of Wellborn, Texas — much like the majority of Americans — prefer walkability and bikeability over highway and road expansions. But, unlike the majority of Americans, these Texans may actually be getting what they want.
The City of College Station has released a Wellborn District Plan outlining the changes it wants to make over the next decade. The plan includes goals that reflect the desires of the citizens, as reported by KBTX.
Some of the included objectives are to “preserve the core rural character of Wellborn with small-scale growth that enhances the uniqueness and history of the area,” as well as “promote a safe, efﬁcient, and connected mobility system that encourages transportation options while recognizing the lower density of the district.”
Previous surveys of residents indicated that Wellbornians were focused on preserving the town’s rural, natural, and historical features while opposing the Texas Department of Transportation’s plan to widen Wellborn Road.
“In terms of there being some kind of downtown or nice little walking area in Wellborn on this side of town, I think [the Wellborn District Plan] is wonderful,” Peter Madden, a small business owner, told KBTX. “The railroad track, kind of the rustic feel out here it fits and I think I like it, you know, and so I can’t wait for it to happen.”
Studies have shown that walkability makes a huge positive impact in terms of how people interact with their communities. It reduces transport costs while also lowering air pollution and encouraging people to spend more time outdoors, which helps improve both physical and mental health.
By contrast, increased driving times have been shown to make people more sleep-deprived, more stressed, and less mentally healthy overall.
Unfortunately, most areas of the United States have terrible conditions for pedestrians, favoring car travel above all else. However, with more forward-thinking urban planners like those in Wellborn, the future looks brighter for walkers and bikers.
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