Feet First Walking Audits identify problems to get solutions

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announcing the new sidewalk on S. Horton near John Muir Elementary School 2012

Families and neighbors of John Muir Elementary School in Southeast Seattle are celebrating the repairs to a sidewalk that for years was a hazard and eyesore for children walking to school.  While neighbors have lived with the problem for years, the wheels of change starting rolling in the summer of 2009, when 19 neighbors aged 8 to adult gathered near the Southeast Seattle school for a Feet First walking audit.   

During the walking audit, this stretch of sidewalk was called out because of its cracked concrete, missing pieces and tendency to hold water after even just a bit of rain.  One neighbor noted:

It’s more than just overgrowth.  The cracks make dips that hold water and are hazards.  A couple of days ago a neighbor and I brought our kids to play at the Muir playground.  On the way back, her 3 year old’s bike wheel caught in a hole or rut in that portion of sidewalk and he fell over into the mud.  Next time there’s a good rain, I encourage you to check out the sidewalk.  It is impassable without boots.

Change can take a while, but when it comes as the result of collective hard work and persistence, the feeling of accomplishment makes the wait a distant memory.

S Horton before improvements circa 2010

S Horton after improvements

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put on neighborhood walks and provide walking resources

raise awareness throughout Washington about the benefits of walkable communities and rights of the pedestrians

host events and programs focused on improving walkability