Walkability Wins – Showcasing a Movement

Walking on sidewalk with three people

We’re back with another round of Walkability Wins. This week we’re showcasing the movement by highlighting more places across the country advancing pedestrian-friendly agendas.

Brunswick, GA

Thanks to a GDOT grant, there are plans in motion for installing a new pedestrian and bike bridge over the marsh along U.S. 17. This will be part of a three-year plan collaborating with committee members within environmental, archaeological, and hydrological levels to ensure any historical significance isn’t disturbed, ensuring there are no harsh impacts on the marsh, and that the bridge’s structure requires no maintenance with longevity against extreme weather conditions. Can’t wait to see what the project looks like in 2025!

State of Oregon

“Oregon just slashed parking mandates”! This officially makes this the largest rollback to parking mandates in modern US history. What does this mean for the future? There are five potential moves coming next that may include; vacant buildings coming back into use, businesses will start sharing underused parking lots, projects will start construction faster, cities taking action with crowded curbs, and more parking lots will get built. Lots of great things are coming for Oregon, stay tuned!

Keaukaha, HI

PATH People for Active Transportation Hawai’i documented their experience with the Keaukaha Quick Build Project 2022. These projects are typically low-cost and easy to implement in about 3-4 days. There’s a big emphasis on community uplift and bringing people together to make this happen. For the Keaukaha Quick Build, local kids contribute to the asphalt art with the art they’ve designed themselves to brighten up their neighborhoods. PATH used this opportunity to educate participants about Safe Routes to school, community safety, etc. If you’re in the area, be sure to check them out!

Denver, CO

Thanks to the Denver Streets Partnership, the Denver Deserves Sidewalks initiative gathered enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot this November. In total, they collected 19,197 signatures, and while only 10,464 were deemed valid, it still exceeds the number of signatures required to qualify. This initiative has been in the works for the past seven years and grew through the advocacy efforts on the ground by the Denver Streets Partnership. Jill Locantore, Executive Director of the Denver Streets Partnership stated, “We are excited that Denverites will have the opportunity to vote for a more equitable, fair, and safe city for everyone when they cast a vote for Denver Deserves Sidewalks.” We will be following this initiative through the election in November.

Community Submissions

Madison, Wisconsin: A community member brought some shortcomings in the community to the attention of city officials such as timed crosswalks not being long enough for her and her children to cross through since they move at slower speeds and a city park with no bike racks for her and her children to lock up their bikes. Upon reaching out and addressing these issues, they were resolved by the proper departments with little to no cost to the city, nor do they require new ordinances or study periods.

Millinocket, Maine: One of America Walks’ Maine State Walking College Fellows sent in before and after photos of crosswalks that had faded in her community. She expressed concern about the need to have them redone, especially with more foot traffic in the summer. This concern played a role in officials coming out to redo the crosswalks the days leading up to the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Walkability wins - before
Walkability wins - after

Community submissions similar to the ones above illustrate the importance of speaking up to advance small infrastructure updates that can be easily addressed to advance walkability. The same tactics can be used in other cities and towns across the country – and even the world – to make them more pedestrian friendly. You don’t have to be a professional organizer or part of a large coalition to create change in your community.

Send your Walkability Wins to kait@americawalks.org.