Methods for investigating and advancing active transportation in New Hampshire

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Getts, Laura E.
Access to and use of active transportation opportunities are central to the creation of sustainable communities in the state of New Hampshire (NH). To further active transportation participation in the state, Plymouth State University partnered with NH's Department of Transportation and regional planning commissions to better understand barriers to bicycling throughout NH. Participatory GIS mapping (PPGIS) surveys in two case study regions of NH captured perceived barriers to bicycling, which validated Level of Traffic Stress (LTS) roads models. Additional community and regional accessibility assessments utilized a Level of Traffic Stress model to identify gaps in the state's bicycling network and prioritize roadways for improvement. The results of the PPGIS survey revealed few distinctions between regional perceptions of barriers to bikeability, supporting the application of bicycle prescriptions statewide. The survey also suggested that LTS-measured variables are among the most prominent barriers to bicycling engagement in NH. Planners can thus justify funding and prioritizing pro-bicycle roadway improvements informed by LTS model results, and, by extension, the accessibility analysis. This research provides planners, government officials, citizens, and advocacy groups with recommendations regarding the most effective processes for developing and implementing active transportation improvements throughout their communities.