Walkability Wins: A New Series

America Walks prides itself on working alongside grassroots and community efforts across the country! There are countless organizations who put in the work on a daily basis to make advances for safe, equitable, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk and move. Our goal is to create a space to highlight wins related to the walkability & mobility movement and hopefully inspire others in the process. We look forward to regularly announcing “Walkability Wins” and uplifting the accomplishments of grassroots organizers in the community!

Do you know of a “win” happening near you? Send it our way so we can share the work and promote the movement.

Here are some of the recent wins across the country…

Flint, Michigan

The new normal over the course of the pandemic has led to changes for many communities, including transportation and ridership. The MTA (Mass Transportation Authority) in Flint, MI received $260k for a study to improve route designs in the Flint area. This allows them to better cater to the shifts that happened throughout the pandemic. Harmony Lloyd, Chief Operation Officer for Flint MTA, plans on meeting the community members where they are to receive feedback regarding what is needed to create an efficient transportation system with the additional funds made possible by the America Rescue Plan Act.

Culver City, California

The Culver City City Council voted 3-2 to eliminate parking minimums! Included in the vote were recommendations for parking maximums as well. It will be in effect when it comes time for the zoning update later this year. Excessive surface parking lots make it harder to build compact mixed-use communities where people can walk and move in.

York, Pennsylvania

“The City of York is a Bronze-level Walk Friendly Community due to excellent collaboration and partnerships, a built environment that supports walking, and excellent policy approaches.”

WalkFriendlyCommunities.org

The city collaborates with organizations like PennDOT, DPH, etc., to work on an assessment of walkability, a detailed public participation plan, developing WalkYork, and working to implement bus stop design standards. These efforts truly embody the teamwork it takes to create a walkable community. We’re also excited that it was started in York as an element of the Walking Action Plan by Walking College fellow, Nicole Smith. Smith is now working at America Walks.

Los Angeles, California

The Sixth Street Viaduct Bridge has been under construction as part of a $588 million project and is projected to open in the coming weeks. This multi-million dollar project replaces a bridge over a freeway that was only for cars.  It has the intention of reconnecting communities in the LA area, particularly the Arts District and the Boyle Heights neighborhood. It is complete with walking ramps to bring pedestrians and bikes to the ground level. Additionally, there are also protected bike paths, LED lights for pedestrians, and pedestrian sidewalks. Once the bridge is operational, a new PARC (Park, Arts, River, and Connectivity Improvements) project is set to begin underneath the bridge.

Houston, Texas

City Council member Letitia Plummer let their voice be heard in regards to the expansion project of Texas highway I-45. They stated that “these are federal funds and belong to the people. The people should decide how those dollars should be invested & they should have input on all aspects”. This came after funds were allocated to this expansion project – one they stated was “antagonistic” to the vision of Houston.


Be sure to send the wins happening in your community to kait@americawalks.org.