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Denver WALKS With And Award
The WFC designation was awarded by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, a national clearinghouse of pedestrian and bicycle information housed within the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center.
The WFC program awarded Denver a gold level designation for the work it has done to improve a wide range of conditions related to walking, including safety, mobility, access and comfort.
“Denver is thrilled to receive this designation today as it shows that we are a city that encourages community and brings people together,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock.“Being named a walk friendly community demonstrates that we are making significant strides toward building a healthy, livable and connected city,” he continued. “We look forward to advancing our efforts to further strengthen our pedestrian networks so that mobility and accessibility can continue to catalyze vibrant and connected neighborhoods.”
The WFC designation, awarded from bronze to platinum, is given to applicant communities that have demonstrated a commitment to improving and sustaining walkability and pedestrian safety through comprehensive programs, plans and policies. Applicants used a web-based program that asks a comprehensive set of questions and provides communities with feedback and ideas for promoting pedestrian safety and activity.Increasingly, Realtors use the walkability scores of neighborhoods as a selling point.
A report released last November by the National Association of Realtors, for example, found that 60 percent the respondents favor a neighborhood with a mix of houses and stores and other businesses that are easy to walk to, rather than neighborhoods that require more driving between home, work and recreation.
District One City Councilwoman Susan Shepherd has been a champion of making Denver a more walkable and bike-friendly city.“One of the many benefits we receive with the Gold Walk Friendly Community designation is recommendations on how to build on our successes,” Shepherd said.
A key contributor and partner on Denver’s application was the advocacy groupWalkDenver, which stresses that people are pedestrians by design and that walkability is the key to a happier, healthier and economically thriving future for our residents and businesses.
“The Gold Walk Friendly Community designation recognizes the high priority that city leaders have placed on creating a truly people-oriented city,” said Gosia Kung, Founder and Executive Director of WalkDenver.“We are excited about continuing the partnership between the city and citizen representatives established through the WFC evaluation process, growing the community’s involvement and identifying implementable next steps that build on the success of the Gold designation,” Kung said.
The Walk Friendly Communities program is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and FedEx.
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