Posts tagged Walking

Pedestrians: What Do We Know?

Cross walk sign for pedestrian road safety

The “Pedestrians: What Do We Know?” fact sheet, developed by Robyn D. Robertson, Traffic Injury Research Foundation, contains an overview of the pedestrian safety issues in Canada. It summarizes the latest statistics in relation to the number of pedestrians killed and injured each year, describes high-risk groups of pedestrians, and key factors that contribute to pedestrian collisions. It also reviews common characteristics associated with pedestrian collisions, the types of drivers involved in these collisions, and ways that pedestrians and drivers can better protect themselves on the road.

According to the report, almost 9,000 pedestrians were killed and hundreds of thousands were injured in Canada in road collisions between 1989 and 2009 – slightly more than 300 pedestrians per year. Transport Canada conducted an analysis of pedestrian collisions and revealed that 60% of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes were trying to cross the road. The total number of pedestrians killed on Canada’s roadways each year are declining; however, deaths amongst pedestrians remain stagnant.

Why are pedestrians more likely to be killed or injured in collisions? 

Read More

Passionate about walking? Join the walking movement.

There are many health benefits to walking. Walking can benefit people living with dementia, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and depression. The infographic below by Every Body Walk! shows a summary of the health benefits of walking. Join the walking movement!

Infographic showing the benefits of walking

How can I join the walking movement?

For those of you who want to do something locally, you can join the walking movement in several ways:

> Sign up for a running or walking event in your neighbourhood. RunGuides provides a list of running events and clubs in cities across North America. Most of the running events have a walking option.

> Start your own walking club with friends.

> Commit to walking goals such as walking to complete chores, getting around on the weekends by only walking, or walking to and from work.

> Go to a walking clinic to learn the proper way to walk.

> Achieve your personal best by using a walking app, such as the Walk10Blocks app, or other activity trackers to monitor your walking activities.

Can you think of other ways to join the walking movement? Please share with us via the comments below or on our Facebook page.

The 2017 National Walking Summit

To celebrate the walking movement, America Walks is hosting the 2017 National Walking Summit. The summit will be held in St. Paul, Minnesota this fall and is open for registration. Vital and Vibrant Communities: The Power of Walkability will be the theme of the summit.

Highlights at the summit include:

> Break-out sessions with experts from the field to share best practices and new resources

> Learning-from-place mobile workshops where attendees can explore the walkability of St. Paul, Minnesota

> Intensive skill-based trainings to equip attendees to create change in their own communities

> Featured speakers that will unite and inspire walking champions from across the US

The National Walking Summit is an opportunity for community, advocates, nonprofit representatives, government officials, developers, and transit, health, and planning professionals to share best practices and stories, increase the visibility of key issue, build support for the walking movement, and create momentum for the work ahead. The goal of the summit is to explore the growing power of the walking movement, bridge communities and learn about existing disparities that challenge us.

To register or learn more about the event, please click here. A limited number of registration scholarships are available.


Picture of houses in suburban neighbourhood

March 21 – Free webinar on creating equitable neighbourhood changes

America Walks is hosting a free webinar on walkability and equitable development changes on Wednesday, March 21st at 1pm Eastern Time,  10am Pacific Time. Join them for the “Advancing Neighborhood Change Through Equity and Inclusion” webinar here.

America Walks is a nonprofit organization in the United States of America that is leading the way in making America a great place to walk.

About the webinar

Walkability is at the cornerstone of creating neighborhoods that are vital and vibrant, allowing all members of a community to enjoy health, social and economic benefits in a variety of forms. In this webinar, we will aim to look at how to protect and promote the identity and culture of a community, while making room for new development and change. We will feature an example of a community lead equitable development plan, will provide a toolkit of approaches used to prevent displacement and make sure that evolving communities remain affordable and diverse, and hear how affordable housing developers have re-oriented their efforts to build whole communities, by supporting small businesses, protecting the culture of a place, and re-asserting the primacy of resident engagement and the importance of listening.

America Walks will share some of their recent work on the issues of gentrification and displacement and hear from three people working with and in communities around the US who are tackling this challenge. Attendees will:

  • Hear about our research into some of the resources, techniques, and current best practices available for advocates working in this area
  • Learn about a toolkit that provides strategies for communities that have been or may be affected by gentrification
  • Explore community projects that are working with these issues on a daily basis

Walkability and Walk10Blocks

The surveys in the Walk10Blocks app include questions on walkability. Data collected from these questions will help users recognize and understand their own physical activity levels and sedentary behaviour and create awareness about neighbourhood resources.

The Walkability Index

The University of British Columbia’s (UBC) School of Population and Public Health have developed a Walkability Index, a resource tool used to measure and visualize walkability. According to the department, walkability is “largely a function of the proximity and connectivity between destinations, or the degree to which we can travel directly between places where we live, work and play.” Different characteristics of walkable neighbourhoods will support different types of transportation method, such as taking public transit or cycling. These measures can capture the nuances of proximity and connectivity as they relate to travel and health outcomes and help inform land use and transportation planning, policy, and investment decisions.

Below is the description of the Walkability Index from UBC’s website:

The WALKABILITY INDEX includes four components that capture differences in the physical environment:

  • Residential density is the number of residential units per acre within a neighbourhood. A higher value indicates that more people live in the area.
  • Commercial density (also called Retail Floor Area Ratio) is the amount of area designated for commercial use within a neighbourhood. A higher value indicates that more businesses, restaurants, retail shops and other commercial uses are located in the area.
  • Land use mix is the degree of mixing of different types of land uses (such as residential, commercial, entertainment, and office development) in a specific area. A higher value indicates a more even distribution of land between the different types of land uses.
  • Street connectivity is measured by the number of street intersections in a neighbourhood. A higher value indicates more intersections and a greater degree of connectivity enabling more direct travel between two points using existing streets and pathways.

These components all play a role in shaping the walkability of our neighbourhoods, separately or in combination. Data from these four components are combined into a composite value of overall walkability to measure the physical aspects of the environment. The standard walkability index for each neighbourhood is expressed as a unitless number. This is useful in relative terms: the higher the number, the more walkable a neighbourhood is based on the indicators used.