People in Staunton Push to Make City More ‘Walkable’ - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

People in Staunton Push to Make City More ‘Walkable’

Posted: Updated: May 01, 2014 12:02 AM

People in Staunton are participating in a weekend event to promote a more “walkable Staunton.”

This Saturday, runners, walkers and cyclists are invited to show their support in making Staunton better for getting around without your car. This includes the idea of a greenway and bike paths.

Cyclist Aaron Childs says a recent survey in North Carolina shows it is economically viable.

"Which demonstrated that for every dollar that's invested into a local greenway you get about $10 reinvested into the local economy. So right now with Staunton having a primary emphasis on how to make ourselves more resilient and make our economy more resilient in these times it seems like a sound investment,” Childs said.

There's also a petition to make Gypsy Hill Park more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

Event Press Release

At 10am on May 3rd, Staunton area cyclists, runners and walkers are invited to demonstrate their support for bike paths, greenways and improved walkability in Staunton by traveling a 3.5 mile route through Staunton beginning at the Staunton Augusta Farmer’s Market behind Black Dog Bikes. The route will take participants to Montgomery Hall Park up Montgomery Ave to Gypsy Hill Park and then back down to the farmer’s market.

This event is free and open to the public.

The upcoming election on May 6th represents a huge opportunity to send a message to City Council, council candidates, city staff and our community that improving our city's recreational infrastructure is very important to Staunton residents, the local economy and Staunton’s future.

To emphasize this point, all 8 candidates for city council have been invited. Current council member have also been invited. As of April 29th, several candidates are confirmed.

Much of Staunton’s infrastructure was built around the automobile and, as demographics change, this trend is changing. Young families, professionals, and retirees now look at alternative transportation as a way to not only stay fit, but as a means to a higher quality of life. Bike paths and greenways are a great way to improve Staunton’s infrastructure. A 2007 study in Greensboro, NC showed that for every $1 the city invested in greenways $10 were returned to the local economy.

Participants may choose to walk, bike or run. Strollers are welcome. Participants will begin moving at 10am. Rain cancels the event.

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