The Amazing Layers of Health Benefits of Off-Road Trails

Layers of Health BenefitsAn off-road trail has many human health benefits. Mental and physical health benefits accrue from just being in nature, from active transportation, and from having a pathway away from motorized traffic. To the extent that the path user is displacing motorized travel, additional health benefits accrue to others in the community as well as the surrounding ecosystems.

Bill BarkerBill Barker’s career in transportation started at the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center of the U.S. Department of Transportation. He then joined the North Central Texas Council of Governments (the Dallas–Fort Worth Metropolitan Planning Organization) and became the Director of Transportation and Energy there. He has been the Planning Director for VIA Metropolitan Transit, the Interim Planning Director at the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, the Vice President of Consulting for a transit management firm, and a Vice President of an urban transportation engineering firm.

As a consultant, Bill has helped public and private clients in seven states, Canada and Mexico as well as the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Agency for International Development. He has been engaged in “think tank” projects with the Houston Advanced Research Center, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Center for Urban Transportation Research. He has also served as the Executive Director of Solar San Antonio and a Project Manager in the City of San Antonio’s Office of Sustainability.

As an adjunct associate professor, Bill taught transportation, urban planning and sustainability courses in the graduate urban and regional planning program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He also taught an undergraduate urban transportation course at Trinity University.

Bill is the only professional in San Antonio that is recognized as a Fellow by both the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Bill’s volunteer work includes having been President of the Board of Directors of the Bexar Land Trust (now the Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas), an appointee of the County Judge to the San Antonio-Bexar County Transportation Task Force, an Advisory Board Member of the Hill Country Alliance, a member of the San Antonio Hemisfair Park Sustainability Committee, a member of the University of Texas at San Antonio Center for Urban and Regional Planning Research Advisory Committee, and a member of the Texas Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility Report Advisory Committee. For the Transportation Research Board (TRB) – a program unit of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine – he served as the Chairman of the Transportation Planning, Programming and System Evaluation Committee. For TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program, he chaired Project H-19, “Estimating the Benefits and Costs of Public Transit Projects: A Guidebook for Practitioners”

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