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How to Conduct a Walk Audit Webinar

How to Conduct a Walk Audit Webinar

Whether you are a resident, community organizer, or decision-maker, you can use walk audits as a tool to document and address opportunities and challenges to creating a great walking and biking environment in your community. This webinar will explain what a walk audit is, how to conduct one, and provide tools and tips to keep the momentum going after the audit is complete.

- Molly Wagner, Project Manager, WALKSacramento
- Jarah Crowner, Policy & Program Analyst, UC Berkeley SafeTREC

This webinar is part of our Safe Routes to Parks and Healthy Retail webinar series.


June 25, 2020

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  1. WALKSacramento is a nonprofit planning and advocacy organization that improves

    quality of life and health equity through community-centered policy and systems change in land use, transportation, and community development. About WALK
  2. This webinar is part of our Safe Routes to Parks

    and Healthy Retail webinar series funded by the Sacramento County Public Health. Special Thanks to The California Department of Public Health, with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – USDA SNAP, produced this material. These institutions are equal opportunity providers and employers. For important nutrition information, visit www.CaChampionsForChange.net
  3. Isaí Palma Today's Speakers Project Assistant WALKSacramento Moderator Molly Wagner

    Project Manager WALKSacramento Speaker Jarah Crowner, MPH, CHES Policy & Program Analyst Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, UC Berkeley Speaker [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] u
  4. • Defining a Walk Audit • How to Conduct a

    Walk Audit ⚬ Preparing for a Walk Audit ⚬ What to Look For ⚬ Post-Audit Report Back • Additional Resources: Street Story Tool • Q&A Objectives
  5. A walk audit* identifies barriers to walking, biking, or rolling

    along a designated route or to a specific destination. Walk audits can: • Identify deficiencies in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure • Identify potential improvements • Identify features that would encourage more active travel • Be an effective strategy for community members to prioritize opportunities and challenges to active transportation in their community A Walk audit is not an official engineering study, but is a strong community tool to demonstrate the need for further engineering studies or serve as supporting information for grant applications. What is a Walk Audit? *Note: Walk Audits can have many focuses and can be referred to as Traffic Safety Audits, Bike Audits, ADA Audits, etc. For simplicity of this presentation we will refer to audits as walk audits.
  6. Who can conduct a Walk Audit? Short Answer: Everyone! Walk

    audits can be conducted by families, neighbors, community groups, transit advocates, health professionals, elected officials, etc. Walk audits are a powerful community tool used to bring residents and community stakeholders together to prioritize a community vision and develop action steps to reach that vision. It is critical that residents are involved and their voices remain centered throughout the process. As a group or individually? Typically, Walk Audits are organized as a community events, however due to COVID-19, social gatherings are limited. Walk audits can still be conducted by members of a household. Work with other interested participants to determine an effective method to collaborate and share findings while maintaining safe distances.
  7. Step 1: Identify Your Location • Identify specific location or

    destination that you want to observe. Example: Walking route to schools, parks, healthy food, employment center, etc. Step 2: Set Your Goals • What is your vision for the area you are observing? • Why are you doing the audit? • What do you want to observe? • What are the existing challenges? • What solutions have already been tried? • Brainstorm infrastructure and non-infrastructure elements that create a safe and inviting environment. Prioritize your top 5. Step 3: Plan Your Route • Use a printed map or digital map to plan your route • Include areas that you want to focus on (intersections, access to destinations, other pain points). • Be flexible! How to Conduct a Walk Audit
  8. Step 4: Gather Materials • Map of Route • Note

    taking tools: Clipboard, notebook, pens/pencils • Camera ⚬ Photos are really important to document observations. Remember to be respectful of privacy when taking photos of people (no photos of faces or children, unless given permission) • Water • Snacks • Safety Vests • Sun protection Step 5: Walk, Bike, Roll! • You've got everything you need. Now it's time to do the audit. • Try to assess the environment from multiple angles and viewpoints. A motorist sees the road differently than a bicycle or pedestrian. How to Conduct a Walk Audit
  9. What to Observe: 5 Key Elements Pedestrian Facilities Bicycle Facilities

    Land Use Vehicle Facilities Transit Facilities You don't need to be a trained expert in any of these elements to observe them around you. You are more of an expert than you know!
  10. What to Observe: Pedestrian Facilities What are Pedestrian Facilities? Pedestrian

    facilities include the presence and condition of sidewalks, crossings, and other amenities that support pedestrians. As streets increase in volume and speed of traffic they require wider sidewalks, greater separation of sidewalks from traffic, and high visibility stop-controlled crossings to help improve the pedestrian experience. Things to consider on your audit: • Are sidewalks wide enough for at least two people to walk comfortably? • Are there pedestrian amenities along this route (benches, art, wayfinding signage, shade)? • Do the current pedestrian facilities work for people with disabilities, those with a mobility device, or stroller? • Do crossings have adequate countdown signals?
  11. What to Observe: Bicycle Facilities What are Bicycle Facilities? Bicycle

    facilities include the presence and condition of bike lanes and bike parking. When assessing bicycle facilities, consider whether it feels safe and comfortable to bike along the street. Generally, as streets increase in volume and speed of traffic, greater separation of bike lanes from traffic is desirable for improving the biking experience. Things to consider on your audit: • Are there existing bicycle lanes? • Do the bicycle lanes feel comfortable to ride in based on the level and speed of traffic? • Is bicycle parking in plain sight and visible from well- trafficked pedestrian areas? • Is the available bike parking sufficient? Are the racks in good condition or disrepair? • Is there bicycle route signage indicating low stress routes?
  12. What to Observe: Transit Facilities What are Transit Facilities? Transit

    facilities include the presence and condition of bus stops, light rail stations, and bus travel lanes. Amenities such as shade, seating, and schedule information improves the transit rider experience. Transit facilities should be easy to access with safe crossings nearby. Things to consider on your audit: • Do buses have a dedicated bus lane? • Is there adequate space to load and unload passengers? • Is more space needed to maintain public health guidelines? • Are amenities such as shade structures, seating, or long-term bike parking provided? • Are there accessibility features such as braille, auditory assistance, or other features available to access important information? • Is the stop well lit? • Is the stop well maintained? / Does it feel safe?
  13. What to Observe: Vehicle Facilities What are Vehicle Facilities? Vehicle

    facilities include the number of travel lanes, width of lanes, and speed of traffic. Generally, a greater amount and width of travel lanes induce higher speeds, contributing to an unsafe and uncomfortable walking and biking experience. Things to consider on your audit: • What is the posted speed limit along the route and do drivers adhere to the speed limit? • How many lanes are dedicated to vehicles? • Do drivers adhere to stop controls?
  14. What to Observe: Land Use What is Land Use? Land

    use includes general destinations nearby and buildings along the route such as a mixture of housing and commercial retail. Destinations such as community centers, schools, and parks often attract pedestrian activity and should be considered when thinking about transportation barriers and safety concerns. Things to consider on your audit: • Do buildings have entrances that are close to the street? • What are the key destinations nearby that attract different types of users? • Are parking lots shaded? • Are windows covered by flyers and signage or open and welcoming? • Is there easy access to community centers, businesses, parks, libraries, or other community assets nearby? Image: Comstock's
  15. Once you have completed your audit, hold a post-audit meeting.

    This can be with your group or can be done using conference calls or video calls, and shared documentation tools (Google Docs). • Debrief what you observed • Share general ideas about infrastructure and non- infrastructure changes • Identify priorities that are: ⚬ High-cost ⚬ Low-cost ⚬ Short-term ⚬ Long-term • Identify a list of stakeholders you want to engage to share your findings with. • Develop a next steps plan to ensure that the ideas from your audit do not end there! Reporting Back After the Audit
  16. STREET STORY Transportation Safety Community Engagement Tool WALKSacramento: How to

    Conduct a Walk Audit June 25, 2020 Jarah Crowner UC Berkeley SafeTREC
  17. What is Street Story? • Street Story helps community groups

    and agencies collect and understand information that is important for transportation safety but is difficult to gather and analyze
  18. Street Story in the field - walk audit • Plan

    a short walk with a group of 5-15 members, and take notes on locations where people feel safe, unsafe or have experienced a crash or near-miss in the past • Convene at a location where group members can spend time recording information onto the Street Story website
  19. Street Story in the field - community meeting • Convene

    at a location where meeting attendees can spend time recording their experiences on the Street Story website • Review the input made with meeting attendees
  20. Street Story in the field - community events • Bring

    Street Story to existing community events, including farmers markets, Open Streets events, or health fairs • Ask attendees to provide input, or hand out flyers with Street Story information
  21. Additional Resources Tutorial video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ekhkOACub8&feature=yout u.be How communities are using

    the tool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqIIIzdDPYU New features: https://safetrec.berkeley.edu/news/new-features-added-street- story-tool
  22. Contact Information Funding for this program was provided by a

    grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. [email protected] [email protected]
  23. Upcoming Webinars • Healthy Design Toolkit, July 2020 • Supporting

    Public Safety Through Environmental Design strategies, August 2020 Stay tuned for official dates and registration information. To receive information about upcoming webinars and events, sign up for our email list here: https://bit.ly/walksacramentonews or contact us: [email protected]