WACO, Texas – New York City, Seattle, Oakland, and Boston all have the same thing in common – they are “walk-friendly cities,” and the City of Waco is working on a way to get their name on this list.
The Waco Walks organization has been tasked by city officials to begin assessing Waco’s “walkability.” Thursday night was the beginning of a data collection effort – gathering information about the city’s administrative structure to support walking, the type of infrastructure that promotes safe walking throughout Waco, and for the number of people walking to and from work.
Based on this data, the group sends it off and gets recommendations from other “walk-friendly cities with similar trends and data.”
Waco Walks has so far has engaged about 600 people who would like to seethe city become a more walk-friendly city.
Ashley Bean Thornton is the woman leading the group, who says the benefits of making Waco a walk-friendly city are endless.
“I think now, as people are more concerned about the environment and concerned about their physical and mental health, people are starting to see the value of being able to walk – and also just the cost, savings, if you really have a city where you can use walking as a form of transportation and not just a form of exercise,” says Thornton.
This movement started after some concern after a certain bridge was taken down in Waco last August.
“I think one thing that was kind of interesting, when they took down the pedestrian bridge on I-35 for the construction, I was really surprised at the amount of outcry that got. So maybe that’s a sign that people are getting more interested in it being a walkable community,” says Thornton.
The group is still early in their planning stages – so if you are interested, it is not too late to get involved with Waco Walks.