La Crosse city planners have been working towards cutting down on vehicle traffic and making transportation safer for people who aren’t driving in cars. Mayor Tim Kabat says they think a lot about bicyclists and pedestrians when they’re redoing a street.
“Especially with the trend of people of people wanting to move closer and live closer to where they work and to live closer to vibrant downtowns and vibrant communities, being able to walk to get there is a big part of that,” says Kabat.
The Walk Friendly Community program assesses pedestrian safety and accessibility in a community and then awards a gold, silver, or bronze designation. Cedarburg and Shorewood are also Walk Friendly Communities.
Shorewood Special Projects Coordinator Peter Cahill says it was the first Wisconsin community to receive the designation last year. Even though he says Shorewood is “two steps away from everything,” Cahill says the village board could act upon some recommendations to improve its walkability.
“Not only is it a recognition in the stuff we do, but it’s also, ‘You’re good, but you can do better and here are the things you can do to get better’,” says Cahill.
Cahill says being part of a network allows them to learn from other pedestrian-friendly communities.