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02/15/2013 - 9:07pm
by ROBIN STEAD, Attorney at Law:
Our speaker at our Feb 20, 2013 Chamber Membership Networking Lunch is Jennifer Gooden, Director of the Office of Sustainability in Oklahoma City.
I met Jennifer at a Walkability Workshop in June 2012. The information below would be great for a blog to get our members excited about Walkability. When I went to the workshop, I had no idea what "walkability" meant. I came away from the workshop with a realization that Noble needs to understand and implement walkability principles.
Why does it matter and why should Noble Businesses be interested in improving the walkability of Noble? Because a walkable community increases economic development, supports local businesses, increases property values and brings a community together. We have spent the last four decades rebuilding our communities for automobile traffic. We now must take our communities back for the residents.
Get out and walk down the streets of Noble. Do you feel welcome? Does the street make you feel comfortable or do you fear for your safety? Are there sidewalks, do the homes and businesses welcome you or are you cut off by high fences that exclude you.
The following information from the Office of Sustainability provides good information about the walkability workshop and other things going on in the Metro Area. The following links are helpful to contect our businesses to resources.
Walkability at the City of OKC (bottom section of website)
In June 2012, the City hosted a walkability workshop featuring Dan Burden and Sarah Bowman of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute. Following the workshop, the institute prepared a report entitled A Vision for Active Living to convey findings and recommendations to the City. Watch a video and view the report here.
Walkability has become an increasingly important issue in Oklahoma City and other cities across the U.S., with many communities taking steps to encourage walking, biking, and other forms of active transport to promote public health and safety, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability.
Oklahoma City has significant challenges with walkability due to its size, land use patterns, and other factors; however, in recent years the City of Oklahoma City has made or planned for major investments in walkability, including:
- Streetscape improvements in Capitol Hill, the Plaza District, and Film Row;
- Installation of over 300 miles of sidewalks with GO Bond and other funding
(view the 2007 Bond Election page);
- 2008 Downtown Walkability Analysis (click here for the report);
- Downtown streetscape renovations in Project 180 area (more info);
- $1.2 million of community development funding to 104 improvement projects in 65 neighborhoods;
- MAPS 3 Sidewalk Master Plan, which recommends priority sidewalk locations for MAPS 3 sidewalks (view the report);
- Construction of MAPS 3 sidewalks and trails;
- PlanOKC Sidewalk Analysis, which focuses on sidewalk needs beyond the 2007 GO Bond and MAPS 3 projects;
- PlanOKC long range comprehensive plan, which includes many elements that affect walkability, such as SustainOKC (land use), ConnectOKC (transportation), and LiveOKC (community development)