The City of Fort Collins and its application partners, University of Colorado Health and CanDo, Coalition for Activity and Nutrition to Defeat Obesity, are pleased to announce Fort Collins was named a bronze level Walk Friendly Community (WFC) by the Walk Friendly Communities.
The designation is given to select communities with a commitment to improving walkability and pedestrian safety through comprehensive programs, plans and policies. It also demonstrates that walking is a fundamental mode of transportation in the community. Fort Collins is one of 33 cities who have earned this distinction.
• Exemplary Sidewalk, Trails, Connectivity Plans and Policies.
• Model Safe Routes to School program with more than 20 schools participating.
• Published walking and tour maps.
• Innovative crosswalk treatments such as curb extensions and median islands.
• Excellent Pedestrian Plan.
The City of Fort Collins and CanDo, a program of University of Colorado Health, recognize the importance of building the infrastructure and opportunities that promote wellness.
“If we expect people to make better choices related to healthy eating and active living, we are required to ensure that their environment supports healthy choices, rather than contradict them,” said Aubrey Hoover, CanDo obesity prevention specialist.
Aaron Iverson, the Interim Transportation Planning Director states, “This award shows the commitment the City of Fort Collins has for creating a community that works well for everyone. Walking is a fundamental part of any active, healthy city; this award shows that Fort Collins recognizes the importance of walking and the importance of on-going investment to continuously improve conditions for pedestrians throughout the City.”
The proposal to submit the WFC application stemmed from the collaborative Built Environment Work Group (BEWG). This group, led by CanDo’s Aubrey Hoover, includes representatives from University of Colorado Health, the City, the County, the Health District, Colorado State University, Poudre School District and local residents. The mission of the work group is to advocate for environments and policies that support physical activity and access to healthy foods for everyone in our community.
“The WFC assessment will give us a better understanding of how best to promote walking in our community, so that the healthy choice is the preferred choice,” said Kristin Kirkpatrick, CanDo health planner and BEWG member. “The choice is easier when it’s convenient, safe, and enjoyable,” Kirkpatrick said.
In addition to highlighting the successes of Fort Collins’ walkability, Walk Friendly Communities suggested working on specific areas of improvement including: reducing vehicle crash rates; training for staff in engineering, planning, education and public officials; potentially starting an adult crossing guard program; and incorporating pre-and post- evaluations for developments and other projects.
About the Walk Friendly Communities (WFC) program http://www.walkfriendly.org/
WFC is a national recognition program developed to encourage towns and cities across the United States to establish or recommit to a high priority for supporting safer walking environments. The WFC program recognizes communities that are working to improve a wide range of conditions related to walking, including safety, mobility, access and comfort. WFC is sponsored by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and FedEx.
Learn more about the City of Fort Collins Transportation Planning efforts at www.fcgov.com/transportationplanning