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Maryland hosts 'Walkinar' series this 'Walktober'

Walking is an activity that many of us take for granted. But as pedestrian accident rates continue to rise and access to safe pedestrian spaces is diminished, communities are recognizing that walking — and improving the walkability of our neighborhoods — requires public attention and action. Throughout October, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), in coordination with a several state agencies and other partners, will sponsor a series of 90-minute webinars, or Walkinars, to highlight how we can collectively rally around walking, an activity that is both central to the state’s Active Transportation efforts and a critical component promoting public well-being. In fact, walking is recognized as The State of Maryland’s Official State Exercise.

The Walktober Walkinar series, hosted by the Maryland Department of Planning, will help planners, local officials, pedestrian advocates and the public at large learn how to advocate for safe walking infrastructure. Panelists will identify key resources to build, strengthen and sustain local partnerships and share new tools and technologies being used across the country to identify and plan for pedestrian-accessible routes for all ages and abilities. All webinars will take place every Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Eastern. See the specific details below. These walkinars provide American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) with 1.5 Certification Maintenance (CM) credits to maintain their certification. Please note, to receive AICP credit you must attend the live broadcast.


Walkinar #1: Taking Fresh Steps toward a more walk-friendly Maryland. Thursday, October 7, 2021 Register Here

The Walktober Walkinar 2021 series kicks off with a look at national efforts on walkability, including how pedestrian infrastructure has evolved, and some of the key challenges that pedestrians are facing across the country. Timothy Taylor of the Federal Highway Administration will share details of the agency’s Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) program, which was established in response to the growing number of pedestrian crashes on America’s roadways. Anat Caspi, who leads the University of Washington’s Data Equity Project, will share advances in building equitable data frameworks to improve inclusive access for all pedestrians. And Peter Norton of the University of Virginia will look at the history and future of mobility and sustainable mobility, and the social dimensions of transportation engineering. Panelists: Timothy Taylor, Federal Highway Administration, STEP Program Peter Norton, Associate Professor, University of Virginia, Department of Engineering and Society Anat Caspi, Director, Taskar Center for Accessible Technology, University of Washington, Data Equity Project


Walkinar #2: Pedestrian Health Thursday, October 14, 2021 Register Here

Learn about how walking can become a core component of more healthy living. In a recent customer survey, MDOT learned that, although few Marylanders can walk to work, those who do cite health benefits as their primary motivation. Whether it is a quick trip to a local destination, a sidewalk stroll in a local park, or a hike along one of Maryland’s trails, many groups are working to provide safe and equitable access to healthy walking opportunities. Speakers from AARP, the Maryland Department of Health, and the founder of Walk with a Doc will discuss how to develop and deliver innovative planning and programming to support healthy walk activities. Panelists: Michael B. Friedman, AARP Olubukola Alonge, MD, MPH, Maryland Department of Health Dr. David Sabgir, MD, Cardiologist and Founder of Walk with a Doc


Walkinar #3: Pedestrian Planning & Enforcement Thursday, October 21, 2021 Register Here

This Walkinar will examine a broad range of issues related to pedestrian safety, including planning, equity, and enforcement. This will include discussion of recent efforts to calculate a “Pedestrian Level of Comfort” in Montgomery County, and efforts on behalf of MDOT’s State Highway Administration to ensure that roadway design features reflect user needs and respond to land use contexts. Panelists will discuss how to improve how infrastructure is used, and how to cultivate more safe and respectful attitudes and behaviors that reflect the lawful use of shared public spaces. Finally, the session will highlight disturbing trends underpinning America’s crisis in pedestrian safety – and discuss the critical theme of equity in seeking solutions. Panelists: Sgt. Tom Morehouse, Baltimore County Police Kandese Holford, MDOT SHA, Pedestrian Safety & Context Sensitive Design Eli Glazier, Multimodal Transportation Planner Coordinator, Montgomery County Planning Department Angie Schmitt, Author, Right of Way: Race, Class and the Silent Crisis of Pedestrian Deaths in America


Walkinar #4: Maryland Walk Programs Thursday, October 28, 2021 Register Here

The Walkinar series concludes with a look at some of the fun ways that communities are promoting safe walk activities in Maryland. MDOT will highlight examples from the Made You Look and Look Alive campaigns that have engaged pedestrians in and around Baltimore. Panelists will also hear lessons learned from the successful partnership of the University of Maryland Extension and LiveWell Frederick to launch the Story Path initiative, aimed at expanding participation in walk events by people of all ages. Panelists: Catherine Sorensen, StoryPath, Frederick Quinton Batts & Vilde Ulset, Made You Look, Baltimore Kenna Swift, Sherry Matthews Group, Signal Woman


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