Planning Commission

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Apr 03

Announcing the Four Walk Montco Focus Areas!

Posted on April 3, 2015 at 9:42 AM by Rita McKelvey

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Montgomery County is pleased to announce the four community partners chosen as Focus Areas as part of Walk Montco, an exciting new county initiative aimed at making our communities more safe and attractive for walking. This initiative will ultimately result in the development of a countywide walkability plan, and the Focus Areas will be highlighted in the plan. The selected Focus Areas are:
  • Cheltenham Elementary School - Cheltenham Township (Safe Routes to School Category) 
  • Main Street - Hatfield Borough (Access to Downtowns Category) 
  • Noble Train Station - Abington Township (Access to Transit Category)
  • Germantown Pike - Whitemarsh Township (Suburban Commercial Category) 
The four areas were selected from outstanding submissions from 13 municipalities in four identified categories. They were chosen based on a variety of criteria including the density of the community, extent of infrastructure in need of improvement, local interest in walkability, and a walking demographic. Each area will have its own project team which will conduct walkability audits during late May and early June—the end result being four case studies published in a new countywide walkability plan. Project teams will be comprised of public and private sector stakeholders, including municipalities, school districts, SEPTA, PennDOT, local businesses, developers, and residents. Each area will receive a free walkability analysis, community walkability audit, and a brief report summarizing recommendations in return for their participation.  

Walk Montco is supported by a Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) grant and is part of the implementation of Montco 2040: A Shared Vision, the county’s nationally awarded new comprehensive plan. The new countywide walkability plan will focus on walkability opportunities and challenges throughout Montgomery County. It will recommend standards for improving walkability in general and will offer specific recommendations for four selected focus areas. The plan will also provide guidance on how to implement and fund walking improvements. 

A walkable community prioritizes people over cars and helps create vibrancy and connections that support local businesses and neighborhoods. Walkable communities are safer for everyone but especially for children, the elderly, and those with mobility limitations. Walkable streets also help decrease local traffic volumes, increase access to available public transit, and increase opportunities for healthier lifestyles and recreation.

The Walk Montco initiative includes a public workshop on October 26 in Ambler, which will feature national experts who will provide information about proven strategies that have been used around the country to enable more pedestrian mobility. The new countywide walkability plan will be released at this event. The workshop is part of Planning Smarter Montco 2015, a Montgomery County initiative offering planning education and outreach throughout the year. Register for the workshop and sign up for other exciting planning events in Montgomery County!

MCPC will be launching online walkability resources and an interactive map where county residents can identify areas with walkability challenges. Click here for more information about walkability in Montgomery County, and check out our newly released Collegeville walkability audit.


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