Kalamazoo Offers Walking Street Audit Tours

Sep 30, 2019

Participants in the Park Street walking audit tour gather afterwards to talk about what they saw
Credit Ben Gretchko / WMUK

The City of Kalamazoo has begun a project to improve its streets and it’s asking residents to help. For the next two weeks, the City of Kalamazoo is hosting “Walking Wednesdays.”

The project lets residents give input on certain streets and sidewalks after guided tours. At a recent walking tour on Park Street, Kalamazoo City Planner Christina Anderson said it’s important for people to experience street issues first hand.

“We thought it was pretty important for the community as well as staff, our complete streets advisory committee to really understand the streets and know what the issues are.”

The walking audits are the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 plan for redesigning some of Kalamazoo's major streets. Max Hornick, a volunteer with the Center for Disability Services, also attended the Park Street tour. She says it can be dangerous for people who can’t see to cross the street.

“If you’re just kinda guessing when it’s gonna be safe to cross the street based on what you can hear without having an actual signal telling you that can be dangerous, that can be really dangerous.” Hornick says the city is making an important step toward improving its neighborhoods.

“I think it’s really important to see that our neighborhoods are walkable that people can get around. Especially people who don’t have access to their personal motor vehicle.”

The walking audit street tours will be offered every Wednesday through October 16 at noon and 6 p.m. You'll find a map of the tour routes here. Once the audits are complete, the city will use the information at a hands-on design workshop on October 23 at 6:30 p.m. at The Foundry in Kalamazoo. The guided walking tours are free and open to the public.

You can stay in touch with WMUK news on FacebookTwitter, and by signing up for our eNewsletter.