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Posted on September 30, 2014 at 5:42 PM by Michael Stokes
The Montgomery County Planning Commission hosted a community walkability audit on September 18 in Red Hill Borough. Following our successful walkability audit in Collegeville earlier this summer, everyone was excited to put on their walking shoes and explore this great Upper Perkiomen Valley borough.
Participants gathered at the Red Hill Borough Hall to learn about why walking and biking are important and how to make their community more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists. After learning about important concepts, participants were invited to take an hour-long walking tour of the borough. On the tour, residents and planners were able to point out strengths and weaknesses in the borough’s pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. Later, the group reconvened at the borough hall to take part in a mapping exercise. The results of the walkability audit will be published in a report that will be made available to the borough to inform future planning.
Walkability audits are a great tool for identifying ways to improve the safety and accessibility of the pedestrian environment. They have been conducted all over the country, and we’re excited to be using this great tool here in Montgomery County. Elsewhere, the results of walkability audits have already been used to help bolster communities’ cases when seeking state and federal funding for multi-modal improvements. We want Montgomery County communities to have that same advantage! As part of our professional services, our staff can complete a walkability audit for your community through our Community Planning Assistance Program.
MCPC has recently produced model ordinances for walkable development, created a walkability score for neighborhoods, mapped all sidewalks in the county, conducted two walkability audits, and developed the walkability primer, Walkability and Your Community - Health, Safety, and Economics.
We recently received a $49,600 TCDI grant from DVRPC to create a countywide walkability plan that would include four targeted walkability audits. A major goal of both the county’s existing comprehensive plan and our new draft plan—Montco 2040: A Shared Vision—is to improve walkability, which will provide more transportation choices, improve health, create better community connections, make the county more appealing for young workers, and improve the environment. To raise the profile of the plan, the county will hold a public workshop with a national speaker.
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