1000 Friends of Wisconsin was awarded a grant from COWS in partnership with three Green Tier Legacy Communities (GTLC) to improve community health by promoting pedestrian and bicycle access for children and families, specifically by addressing active transportation gaps to schools and parks. The three participating cities are Monona, Stevens Point, and Wisconsin Rapids. The project began in summer 2022 and will conclude at the end of the year with written reports that will be published here and on the 1000 Friends website. I have been collecting data and working with city staff in each community to identify areas with high pedestrian traffic in need of improvement so that we can plan a more thorough walk audit of each location this fall. By far the most fun part has been on-site visits to meet planners and park directors on their own turf, and to see with my own eyes the areas they want to address.
This is the second of a three-part series highlighting the Green Tier Legacy Communities who are participating in the safe routes project.
I’m working with our GIS specialist to pull together some maps showing demographics, crash data, and environmental hazards. Those will be included in a preliminary report I share with Wisconsin Rapids staff, which we will use to plan a more detailed walk audit early this fall using the new tool kit from AARP.