|California Walks, our partners and member organizations, have been working to describe the world of walking and pedestrian safety. Together, we have come up with the following talking points and messaging strategies to make the case for healthy, safe, & walkable communities. The categories identified are by no means exhaustive of pedestrian safety and walkability. They are a starting point from which we, as pedestrian advocates, can build, moving forward in creating a safer, healthier, and more accessible pedestrian-friendly California.*The contents of this page draw from our publication: Messaging for Walkability: A Guide for Pedestrian Advocates
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Pedestrians include both those who walk on two feet and those persons who walk or roll using an assistive device, whether it be a baby in a stroller, a youth on skates, or a person using a cane, crutches or wheelchair. Walkability indicates the number of people who can or will be physically active. It is often said that a pedestrian environment walkable for an older adult or someone with a stroller/small child is an evironment is walkable for nearly everyone. This is called universal access.
Walkability refers to how safe, friendly and accessible walking is in a neighborhood or community. Many factors influence walkability. Common factors elements of the built environment include continuous, level sidewalks and pathways; safe, accessible crossings; pedestrian-friendly lighting; suitable vehicle speed; limited number of lanes and street width. Other factors that influence walking and walkability include real and perceived safety from crime, gang activity and aggressive dogs, graffiti and trash, maintenance of trees and greenery, safe access to desired destinations (park, school, grocery, library, post office, etc.), public amenities like benches, drinking fountains, public art, restrooms, and trash cans, among many others.[/EXPAND]