This post is by Sarah Schurtz from Metro’s Active Transportation team:
Fall is here and that means it is time for Walktober! There are a lot of reasons to walk. You can save money, build exercise into your day and experience your community in a fuller way than zipping by in a car. I walked to school from preschool until the end of elementary and I still remember trudging across a field to beat the nine o’clock bell.
Every October, Metro places an emphasis on walking to draw attention to its benefits to daily life. Nationally, October is also when agencies across the country focus on pedestrian safety. Pedestrians are the most at risk to be injured or killed in traffic collisions during this time of the year. Children are especially at risk during this time due to school just being back in session and dark mornings and late afternoons.
Metro’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program aims to encourage more students to walk, bike and take public transit to and from school. It can benefit neighborhoods and school communities by promoting safe travel, healthy exercise, traffic congestion reduction and air quality improvements around schools.
Metro is currently developing a Countywide SRTS Resource Manual, which provides step-by-step instructions, toolkits and templates, as well as key lessons learned from a three-year SRTS Pilot Program to help schools and communities start SRTS programs or sustain and enhance existing efforts. The Manual will be available online at Metro’s SRTS Website by the end of this year (www.metro.net/srts).
It’s also the time of the year when temperatures are cooling down, making walking more pleasant in Southern California. There are events throughout October offering opportunities to walk. CicLAvia Heart of LA is Sunday (Oct. 16) and is opening up 5.75 miles of downtown L.A. to pedestrians and cyclists.
There are Metro Bike Share stations along the route if you don’t have a bike. If you’re walking, the whole route is pedestrian friendly and there’s also a pedestrian zone on 1st Street near Grand Park. If you’re a foodie, Taste of Soul is on Oct. 15. This year is the 11th anniversary of the family festival. It takes place on Crenshaw Boulevard between Stocker Blvd and Rodeo Road. To get there using Metro take the Expo Line to Expo/Crenshaw station and then it’s just a short walk to the free event.
Halloween is just around the corner! There are events leading up to the 31st like Boo at the Zoo at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Boo at the Zoo has daily boo adventures for kids to explore and interact with spooky creatures. On Halloween if you are walking in your own neighborhood or seeking out the best candy and decorations in another neighborhood, there are plenty of opportunities to practice safe walking practices.