Texas YMCAs partnered with the City of Austin’s Active Transportation Division and StreetPlans Collaborative to conduct a Community Walk Audit to celebrate National Walking Day on April 6th. A Community Walk Audit is an effective tool for assessing the walking environment in neighborhoods. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2016 County Health Rankings listed Travis County as the 9th healthiest county in Texas. The Community Walk Audit builds upon existing strides of healthy living to promote wellness in a north Austin neighborhood.
“The Y is one of the leading nonprofit organizations committed to healthy living, supporting our neighbors and strengthening community,” said James Finck, CEO of the YMCA of Austin and Chair of the Texas State Alliance of YMCAs. “We are fortunate to have great community partners like the City of Austin who share our passion for people to be healthy, confident, connected, and secure. This Community Walk Audit is just one example of our collective commitment to improving lives in Texas.”
“We are very excited to partner with the YMCA on this event,” said Laura Dierenfield, Active Transportation Program Manager with the Austin Transportation Department. “Our goal is to help Austinites get the daily physical activity they need to be healthy by creating a safe and comfortable network for walking and bicycling.” The Community Walk Audit began with welcoming remarks from James Finck followed by an interactive activity. Afterwards, trained staff from the City of Austin provided a presentation on the essence of a community walk audit and then led a group of participants to conduct the audit in a north Austin neighborhood. After the audit, the group reconvened to share their learnings of the walk audit tool. The event concluded by discussing the vital role that liked minded organizations can play in potentially advancing environmental change.
For more information on how you can be involved with creating safer routes in your community, visit http://saferoutesinfo.org/