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Category: Walk Audit

Upper Hill Neighborhood Walk Audit Springfield

Upper Hill Neighborhood Walk Audit Springfield

On June 10, 2021, WalkBoston and Way Finders conducted a walk assessment with Springfield community members as part of the Mass in Motion grant program in the Upper Hill neighborhood. The goal of the walk audit was to identify areas of improvement in the built environment, with special focus on ADA compliance issues. Residents voiced concerns about making Upper Hill a safer, more welcoming neighborhood for all people, especially for the elderly, children, and people with mobility issues.

Read the full report here.

Hybrid virtual and in-person walk audits expand engagement opportunities in Haverhill

Hybrid virtual and in-person walk audits expand engagement opportunities in Haverhill

As pandemic restrictions ease and we resume in-person activities, WalkBoston is bringing back our traditional in-person group walk audits while keeping many of the new tools we’ve developed over the last year. 

Haverhill was the first of our Gateway Cities walk audits to benefit from this hybrid approach. Starting in late May, the hybrid walk audit gave participants the option to walk through Downtown Haverhill with us in a group or – using the self-guided walk audit process developed for pandemic walk audits –  to walk on their own at a time that worked better for their schedule. Hybrid walk audits like this one can help us make the process more accessible to a broader range of participants. 

Haverhill residents discuss lighting conditions under the Winter Street bridge during the in-person group walk of Downtown Haverhill.

The flexibility of the hybrid model also created an opportunity for the Haverhill walk audit to include an additional virtual element — a bilingual focus group organized with Haverhill’s Latino Coalition to ensure fuller representation of the community in this project. The focus group added 8 more residents’ voices to the walk audit and gave us new insight into how residents use and would like to change Section 2 of the walking route.

The Downtown Haverhill walk audit illustrates how the larger buffet of participation options we’ve developed over the past year have led to more inclusive and robust community engagement. Have an idea for other ways we can include people in the walk audit process? Let us know!

Downtown Haverhill Virtual Walk Audit

Downtown Haverhill Virtual Walk Audit

On May 27 and June 17, 2021, WalkBoston and MassINC conducted a virtual walk assessment with community members in the downtown Haverhill area as part of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Mass in Motion grant program, with support from the Solomon Foundation. The two main goals of the Gateway Cities walk audit project are to effect change at the local level to work towards safer, more enjoyable streets and to inform state policy and legislation to prioritize budgetary investment in Gateway Cities across the Commonwealth.

Read the full report here.

Blandford Village Center Walk Audit

Blandford Village Center Walk Audit

On April 30, 2021, WalkBoston and Blandford community members conducted a walk assessment of the village center area. The Hilltowns CDC, together with Healthy Hampshire and WalkBoston, are leading a 5-year grant project to promote Age-Friendly Walkability in the Hilltowns Village Centers. In partnership with community residents and leaders, the team will be conducting a series of walk audits in partnering Hilltowns villages. The goal of these walk audits is to identify infrastructure improvements and policy changes to make village-center walking safe and enjoyable for people of all ages in the Hilltowns. The town of Blandford is one of the partnering communities in this grant project.

Read the full report here.

Springfield Walk Audit in Upper Hill neighborhood with Way Finders

Springfield Walk Audit in Upper Hill neighborhood with Way Finders

On June 11, 2021 WalkBoston joined Way Finders and 15 local community members to complete an in-person walk audit of the Upper Hill neighborhood in Springfield, MA. Special emphasis was placed on accessibility and ADA compliance, as Springfield does not currently have an ADA transition plan. Residents are concerned about making Upper Hill a safer and more welcoming neighborhood for all people, especially the elderly, children, and people with mobility issues. 

The walk audit began at Celestial Praise Church of God and residents walked east on Wilbraham Road towards the intersection at Roosevelt Ave. Participants stopped along the way to identify areas for infrastructure improvements such as safer crosswalks, addition of benches for respite, and dangerous and uneven sidewalks. Participants are interested in improving the access to Adams Park, which currently is inaccessible from the southern side of Wilbraham street as there is no crosswalk.

The next steps include a walk audit debrief on July 1, with WalkBoston and Way Finders, to collect participants’ opinions and recommendations. WalkBoston will generate a summary report of the findings for Way Finders.

WalkBoston is a technical service provider to communities through the Mass in Motion program. Mass in Motion is a statewide movement that promotes opportunities for healthy eating and active living in cities and towns across the state of Massachusetts.