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Evanston Recognized with Gold 'Walk Friendly' Designation

Post Date:05/14/2020 2:54 PM

Walk Friendly CommunitiesThe Walk Friendly Communities program (WFC) has designated Evanston as a Gold Walk Friendly Community for its commitment to prioritize pedestrians and create safe, comfortable and inviting places to walk. 

Managed by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) and sponsored by FedEx, WFC is a national recognition program developed to encourage cities and towns across the United States to develop and support walking environments with an emphasis on safety, mobility, access and comfort. 

Evanston joins a select group of communities from across the nation to receive the Gold Level designation, including Boulder, CO, Charlottesville, VA, and Somerville, MA. 

WFC reviewed City programs and policies over the past five years in making the designation, commending Evanston for a variety of initiatives, including:

  • Having a full-time Transportation and Mobility Coordinator that supports projects across the City and ensures that pedestrian needs are captured in ongoing work by the City.
  • Neighborhood plans that prioritize pedestrian safety and comfort; and a multi-modal transportation plan that includes solid baseline data, a project prioritization method, and recommendations that focus on infrastructure as well as programs.
  • An ADA transition plan and self-evaluation that helps ensure Evanston’s streets are designed for all users. 
  • Complete and Green Streets Policy that commits the City to address the needs of all road users and meet its environmental stewardship goals with its transportation projects.
  • We’re Out Walking (WOW), a 12-week walking and health education campaign designed to encourage and educate participants on the health benefits of walking. (This program is currently postponed due to COVID-19.)
  • Evanston Streets Alive!, which is an Open Streets initiative of Citizens' Greener Evanston with the goal of increasing overall levels of active transportation and collectively reimagining and repurposing public spaces.
  • Land use policies that include tools to promote and maintain pedestrian friendly development. 
  • Excellent sidewalk coverage and detailed inventories for sidewalks and curb ramps.

For more information on Walk Friendly Communities and Evanston's Gold Level designation, please visit walkfriendly.org or call/text 847-448-4311.

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