There are many components of our built world that can support or detract from a place’s walkability. Much of the public realm has been designed with a primary focus on automobile travel with pedestrian needs often secondary or even a complete afterthought. A walk audit is a way to analyze the existing infrastructure in order to develop a plan for improvements that will encourage more walking, biking and other non-motorized forms of transportation.

This Saturday, May 13th, I lead lead a walk audit in downtown Sebastopol to understand the good and bad of our local pedestrian infrastructure. We will use AARP’s Walk Audit Tool Kit to analyze the quality of the walking environment. This walk is part of the Sebastopol Walks series and will start with a presentation at 10:00 in the library meeting room about what makes a good walkable place and how to undertake a Walk Audit. We will then take about a 1/2 mile walk from the library north on Main Street and then down McKinley into The Barlow to identify the good and bad elements of walkability in the area. The techniques learned can be applied to other neighborhoods around town. The goal of the walk audit would be to help us understand our infrastructure needs and where we should invest our resources, educate our community on elements of the built environment that encourage walking, and enable community members to become agents of change when it comes to encouraging more walking.

If you are interested in participating, please join me Saturday, May 13th at 10AM at the Sebastopol library meeting room.