Before freeways and cars made far flung subdivisions look like a good idea, transportation involved using your own two feet. Cities and towns were built for walking. There are plenty of older neighborhoods in Denver that retain their pedestrian-friendly layout. Walk Denver advocates for walkable neighborhoods that encourage residents to use their own two feet as much as possible.
Now Walk Denver wants Denver to be recognized for walkability. The Walk Friendly Communities program (WFC) recognizes US cities and towns that support walking. Every 6 months, municipalities can apply for designation in several categories of walkability, ranging from Gold (highest) to Honorable Mention. Fort Collins was awarded a Bronze recently, based on a number of criteria such as Safe Route maps for school students and a pedestrian focus in the transportation master plan. The goal for Walk Denver is to have the city submit an application to WFC this spring.
The application process involves completing a lengthy assessment questionnaire, with details on pedestrian infrastructure, census data on use of walking for transportation, population density and numerous other parameters. It's a very detailed form. If Denver had a designated pedestrian coordinator, that person would likely have all the necessary information. But there is no such person, so the data has to be tracked down. Walk Denver needs volunteers to track down answers the answers to those questions, interacting as necessary with Denver City government to get answers.
The deadline for submission is June 15th, but volunteers are needed at once. If you'd like to volunteer for this Walk Denver project, contact Diana Zinkl at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like your own community to be rated by WFC, you would need to work with your own city government to complete and submit the assessment form.
For more resources on human powered transportation, check out the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.
Walk Denver posted this essay on walking for health by Dr. Troy Long MD.