How walkable is your neighborhood?

Walkability Tampa BayAfter a successful initial event last year, the Partners in Obesity Prevention coalition is once again sponsoring Walkability Tampa Bay 2015. This unique event encourages people who actually live in a neighborhood to provide feedback on the walkability of their own neighborhood.

What is Walkability?  Walkability is the measure of how friendly an area is for walking. Of course, this also includes other activities like biking, skating, and jogging. Walking and being active offer benefits for everyone – improve fitness, reach or maintain a healthy weight, reduce risks for certain health problems,

enjoy the outdoors, or build a sense of community. Walking in your neighborhood should be safe and easy for people of all ages and abilities.

More benefits of a highly walkable neighborhood:

  1. Healthier residents
  2. Improved community safety
  3. Decreased crime
  4. Increased community pride
  5. More social connections
  6. Higher property values

Encourage all your neighbors to participate, so your entire neighborhood can be involved. A checklist (will be posted at link on May 1st) of things to observe along your walks will be available throughout the month of May with factors for rating like:

  • Do you have room to walk?
  • Was it easy to cross the street?
  • Were the drivers courteous to pedestrians?
  • Was your walk pleasant?

Where does the checklist information go?

The checklist information will be evaluated by the Florida Department of Health and the Center for Urban Transportation at University of South Florida, which will create a report for city and county officials use as a reference for future planning. Additionally the data will be provided to the MPO, Hillsborough County government, and the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Plant City. The results will also be posted for the publiconline by August 2015. View the 2014 final report.

Because you live in your neighborhood, your opinion is valuable! We hope you will participate and strongly encourage your friends, neighbors, family, and neighborhood associations to complete a checklist.  This is a fantastic chance to let our policy and decision makers know what is going on in your neighborhood. You have from May 1 through June 1 to provide your opinions and MAKE A DIFFERENCE in your community!