A new roundup of Walkability Wins. This week we’re showcasing the movement by highlighting more places across the country advancing pedestrian-friendly agendas.
Durham, North Carolina
Durham joined the National Association of City Transportation officials in 2020 and is taking advantage of the knowledge and examples peer cities have undertaken to improve pedestrian safety and infrastructure. The city will be implementing high-visibility crosswalks, such as leading pedestrian intervals, that improve yielding behavior from motorists, funding a pedestrian network with a focus on underserved communities. In addition, Durham is working on traffic-calming projects, providing buffered bike lanes, and extending the Durham Rail Trail.
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Through a collaboration between Vision Resource Center and Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation, the Braille Trail has opened up in Fayetteville. The trail is aimed at giving blind and visually impaired folks the opportunity to exercise, independently. Although the trail was originally launched in 2019, it did not meet all the needs of the community. Now, the new trail has ropes and tennis balls to guide walkers and let them know where they can rest. There is also an indication where the trail starts and ends. Phase two of the Braille Trail is being planned.
Knoxville has been working across neighborhoods on walkability infrastructure projects and investing more $6 million to fund these projects. These projects have included creating a 3,000-foot sidewalk along Atlantic Avenue, a 1,300 foot sidewalk connecting two pedestrian routes on Texas Avenue, and connecting businesses to new amenities on Lancaster Drive. More projects, including repairing sidewalks and planting street trees.
Dickerson Road is one of Nashville’s most deadly corridors and a segment is being reconsidered. The Civic Design Center and Walk Bike Nashville sought a grant from the Tennessee Department of Health. With this money, they embarked on a multi-year process to study a segment of Dickerson that had no sidewalks or bike lanes. Incorporating art into the project was essential so they partnered with the Nashville Youth Design Team. The team was chosen for Smart Growth America’s Complete Street Leadership Academy, which has led Tennessee DOT to make upgrades to Dickerson, including sidewalks, mobility lanes, and street trees.
Spokane is following the national trend as they join other cities in questioning minimum parking regulations. In July 2023, the City Council adopted an ordinance that make off-street parking optional for housing that’s within half a mile of a transit stop. Studies show that parking can make rents as much as 17% or $3,000 per year more, depending on location. This new policy aims at addressing the housing crisis. The new policy will be revisited next year.
To catch up on previous installments of Walkability Wins, visit our blog. Have a win? Send it to us: email@example.com.