New Advocates

Walking College 2017 – Module #4 “Designing for People”

Monday, July 10 – Sunday, July 30

Learning Objectives

After completing this Module, Fellows will be able to:

  • Evaluate the built environment and identify features of walkable design
  • Describe the impact of land-use, zoning, place-making, and traffic calming on transportation choices and behaviors
  • Explain pedestrian safety best practices and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements
  • Engage transportation professionals in the ways walkability affects their priorities
  • Develop a draft Action Plan for walkable community projects
Archived Webinar: “Designing Places for People” 

View this archived webinar, which was first broadcast in 2016 (1 hour)

    • Speakers: Dan Burden and Samantha Thomas, Blue Zones
    • Summary: Join Dan Burden and Samantha Thomas on August 1st for a webinar titled “Designing Places for People.” Part of the Walking College series, but open to everyone, this webinar will illustrate specific features of the built environment that make a place walkable—people-and business-friendly. Learn how to survey existing conditions and visualize their transformation—from a desolate and abandoned downtown district to a modern, vibrant marketplace of human interaction, welcoming people of all ages, incomes, ethnicities, and religions. Dan and Samantha will provide an informative and entertaining demonstration of their work and recommend tools, such as the walking audit, for us to use to create change in our own communities.
    • To read some of the responses from Dan and Samantha to the discussion questions, click here. 
Study Materials

Read or view the following study materials (asterisked items*** are provided primarily as reference sources, and may be skim-read; total estimated time, 8-12 hours):

Discussion Forums

Make notes related to the following prompts and be prepared to share your thoughts during the discussion forum (estimated time, 4-6 hours):

July 10th – 14th: Review and discuss the articles about road diets, roundabouts, and traffic calming (Fellows only)

July 17th – 21st: Facilitated discussion (led by Mentors)

  • Prompt #1: What “aha moments” did you experience during your walk audit?
  • Prompt #2: What features of walkable design would you like to see installed in your community?
  • Prompt #3: How might you use tactical urbanism to improve walkability?

July 24th – 28thOpen-mic. and WAP discussion (Fellows only)

  • Prompt #1: Have you identified any specific streets/intersections in your community where you want to make changes?
  • Prompt #2: How can you connect these ideas for built environment changes with other aspects of your Walking Action Plan (WAP)?
  • Prompt #3: What strategies exist for actually making these changes happen?
Community Activities

Complete the following activities (estimated time, 3-5 hours):

      • Choose one of the walk audit tools listed above and conduct a walk audit in your community – if possible, include a neighbor, elected official, or City planner.
      • Research traffic volumes on streets in a particular area of your community (start by contacting your City or County Transportation Office) – if speed data are available, compare median and maximum measured speeds with posted speed limits.
      • Take a walk with a “vulnerable road user” (a young child, senior citizen, person who travels by wheelchair) – choose a destination about a half-mile away, try to walk to it by one route and return by another.