- Author: Guest Contributors - Cassidy Giampetro & Staci Sahoo
- Date: March 2, 2021
Source: King County Metro Transportation is essential to ensure the most vulnerable residents of King County receive vaccinations. Those without…
In late February, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) had the opportunity to connect with mobility managers across the country on an NCMM webinar focused on virtual engagement (webinar archived here).
MDH shared a developed resource which aims to make pedestrian transportation planning more inclusive of people with disabilities: The Inclusive Walk Audit Facilitator’s Guide.
Walk audits are a common public engagement activity used within pedestrian planning. During a walk audit, participants walk a predetermined route to identify issues that impact their ability to walk safely and comfortably. They provide their thoughts on questions like “Is it easy to cross streets?” and “Do you have enough room to walk?” as well as generate ideas for improvements. This feedback informs planning processes like city pedestrian plans, street redesigns, and maintenance strategies.
While people with disabilities are more likely to rely on walking for daily trips and may be more aware of and impacted by problems in the transportation network, walk audits often are not accessible to or inclusive of people with disabilities. Planning and street design processes benefit from incorporating the expertise of people with disabilities; when a street is accessible for people with disabilities, it is accessible for all people.
With extensive input from a working group of people with a variety of disabilities, we developed the Inclusive Walk Audit Facilitator’s Guide. The guide includes recommendations to plan a more inclusive meeting and to conduct a more inclusive walk audit. Recommendations are applicable to in-person and virtual engagement. The guide also discusses suggestions to create a virtual walk audit.
An example of a virtual walk audit is found via this link. To create this virtual walk audit, we used a GoPro to record a person’s experience walking along a street, then uploaded the videos to a Google map. Participants in the virtual walk audit watched the videos to experience walking along the street and filled out short surveys with their reactions.
The Inclusive Walk Audit Facilitator’s Guide can assist mobility managers in their day-to-day work by complementing their key roles:
Questions? Reach out to Emily Smoak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have more mobility news that we should be reading and sharing? Let us know! Reach out to Sage Kashner (email@example.com).