Hennepin County blazing a trail in mission to encourage walking

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 25, 2013 - 8:21 AM

The state’s most populous county said its on a mission to improve pedestrian safety and expand walking opportunities for residents and visitors alike.

Hey, go take a walk.

That’s what Hennepin County is encouraging everyone within its borders to do, and it’s all laid out in what officials are calling the first countywide pedestrian plan the state has seen.

The state’s most populous county said Tuesday that its mission is to improve pedestrian safety and expand walking opportunities for residents and visitors alike.

County Commissioner Gail Dorfman said the walking component is in sync with long-range planning in place for transportation and active-living policies.

“All these policies emphasize the importance of transportation choice for county residents,” Dorfman said in a statement announcing the two-legged option, “choices that are safe, healthy and green and provide community connections.”

Rose Ryan, the county’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator added, “The ultimate goal is to give residents the opportunity to improve their health by providing infrastructure to make walking safer and easier.”

Specifics of the pedestrian plan include:

• Improving intersection design to make it easier for pedestrians to go through.

• Expand the network of sidewalks and trails along county roads.

• Enhancing pedestrian connections to transit.

• Improving pedestrian access to schools, parks, senior centers, libraries and other key destinations.

Funding to develop the plan comes from a federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant. For further details, visit www.hennepin.us/pedestrianplan.

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