What is active transportation?

Active transportation, or what we often call "people-powered transportation," describes getting from here to there using human-powered energy. Walking, biking, skateboarding – that's all active transportation.

Most cities, including Portland, are designed around single-occupant vehicles. Making bicycling and walking safe, convenient, and fun is an important step in shifting back to people-centered communities. Active transportation makes communities safer and healthier, is more economically equitable, and encourages environmental stewardship and community engagement.

What does our active transportation work look like?

In urban areas, trails are vital transportation resources. Portland is Maine’s largest urban center, and as the city continues to grow, so must our sustainable and healthy transportation and commuting options.

Portland Trails has been building trails that serve as transportation resources for over 30 years. We also advocate for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure like sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, and narrower auto-lanes throughout Greater Portland.

Portland Trails works with numerous organizations to ensure safe walking and biking routes in Portland including: the City of Portland, Bicycle Coalition of Maine, Safe Routes to School, and numerous local businesses. We are active in helping to implement Portland’s Complete Streets policy, and we frequently partner with other local organizations to ensure new developments incorporate resources for commuters who walk, bike, or use public transit.

In 2023, we led our latest active transportation project – and our first street demonstration! Learn more about the Gorham's Corner Streetscape Enhancement pilot project.