Walk Lawrence campaign encourages healthier lifestyle

Thursday, October 08, 2015

LAWRENCE — A collaborative initiative to promote conversation about pedestrian issues in Lawrence launched this week.

The Commons, the KU Biodiversity Institute and community members have worked with the University of Kansas and city of Lawrence to plan and enact a Walk [Your City] campaign in Lawrence. The installation began this week in coordination with the Lawrence Public Schools' Walk to School Day on Oct. 7, and it continues through the beginning of December.

Emily Ryan, associate director at The Commons, and Ward Lyles, parent coordinator of the Pinckney Elementary School walk and bike programs and assistant professor of urban planning, have served as coordinators for the process.

“Lawrence is a great city for walking, especially around KU’s campus and downtown, but people often drive short distances that could easily be walked instead,” Lyles said. “We intend for these signs to contribute to and advance the growing conversation about making Lawrence even more pedestrian-friendly.”

The signs are strategically located around downtown Lawrence and campus and point pedestrians to public spaces and popular venues like the Natural History Museum and city parks. Each sign includes the time it will take to walk to the destination and a QR code, which enables walkers to view a map of a recommended route and gives a list of directions.

“These signs are great, and they send a signal that walking can, and should, be an activity that more of us engage in for our health and the health of our community.”

Walk Your City signs have been installed in numerous cities across the country. More information about the initiative and case studies of other cities can be found on the website.