Healthy Altoona Partnership Conducts Walking Audit of 8th Street

ALTOONA, Iowa -- As Altoona continues to grow, the Healthy Altoona Partnership wants to make sure it's still walkable.

"One of our goals is to get people to move more. And a walking audit is actually a great first step toward that goal. It helps us as a community asses ways to get people to move more and concentrating on safe streets, easy access to streets and the comfort and convenience of walking and biking," Terri Henkels with the Healthy Altoona Partnership said.

According to the Federal Highway Administration there is still a significant safety risk that detracts from the appeal of one of the easiest and oldest forms of transportation and exercise: walking.

Henkels said the walking audit will take place on 8th Street where they have a lot of businesses.

"The audit will last for about 90 minutes and we will walk about a mile and a half to two miles down the road to look for a variety of things," Henkels said.

Here's what the partnership will be assessing:

  • If the sidewalk is wide enough.
  • The distance between the sidewalk and the street.
  • Areas along the road that might not have a sidewalk.
  • Access to walking and biking trails.

Henkels said walking is important and the more walkable a community is, the happier the residents are.

"We just want to be a healthy community. And part of being a healthy community is making sure we provide the environment and the community infrastructure that supports being healthy. It's just a broad way to address some of the issues to get people to move more. You're not going to move more if the access is difficult," Henkels said.