Feet First Launches “Rate Your Space” Campaign using Walk Score App to Identify and Report Walkability Issues

The campaign will identify safety hazards, maintenance issues, and other deficiencies in the pedestrian environment. For example, a wheelchair user might use the app to identify a broken sidewalk that poses a barrier to them, or a parent might show a hazardous crossing of a busy street their kids must use to get to the park. The information gathered will be of great help to local activists and city officials seeking to make it safer and easier to walk in the Rainier Valley.

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Feet First Launches “Rate Your Space” Campaign using Walk Score’s App to Identify and Report Walking issues

Feet First launches the “Rate Your Space” campaign on November 9, 2012 using Walk Score’s new iPhone app to collect information about walking conditions in the Rainier Valley.

The campaign will help participants identify safety hazards, maintenance issues, and other deficiencies in the pedestrian environment. For example, a wheelchair user might use the app to identify a broken sidewalk that poses a barrier to them, or a parent might show a hazardous crossing of a busy street their kids must use to get to the park. The information gathered will be helpful to know where and how to make it safer and easier to walk in the Rainier Valley.

The campaign kickoff will occur on November 9 at 5:30 pm at the Rainier Community Center’s Multipurpose Room at 4600 38th Ave S in Columbia City, at the Rainier Valley Greenways community meeting. At this event, Feet First will sponsor a walking audit of the neighborhood demonstrating how to use the app to record data on local walking conditions. The “Rate Your Space” campaign is scheduled to run from November 2012 through February 2013.

The Walk Score app is a useful new tool that allows residents to input data in the field as they survey their own neighborhood.  Users can note problem locations on an interactive map, include a short note describing the issue, and attach photographs of the location. Other users can use the app to view, “like,” and make additional comments. The data can be collected by iPhones or iPod Touches, or inputted directly on the Walk Score website. Feet First will provide training on how to use the app, as well as the technology for anyone without access to an iPhone device.

“People care about their community’s built environment and infrastructure, but they do not always know where to turn to effectively report particular problems in a neighborhood,” says Feet First Executive Director Lisa Quinn. “This innovative technology increases the number of ‘eyes on the street’ that can capture information in real time. With limited budgets, this app is a valuable resource for Feet First and government agencies that are looking to invest their time and money into projects that will provide safe, easy, and accessible ways for people to choose to walk.”

The information collected will be used to support education, encouragement, and enforcement efforts to improve walking conditions in Rainier Valley, including planning for Neighborhood Greenways. Feet First will analyze and collate the data, which will then be presented to the City of Seattle to facilitate the resolution of small-scale pedestrian problems.

“We’re honored that Feet First is using Walk Score to help train and educate people in Seattle about neighborhood walkability,” said Josh Herst, Walk Score CEO. “Walk Score believes that walkable neighborhoods with access to public transit, shorter commutes, and proximity to the people and places you love are the key to a happier, healthier, and more sustainable lifestyle.”

This campaign is open to all people who live, work, or play in the Rainier Valley and would like to participate. Transportation options affect everyone, and people of all ages and abilities should have the opportunity to get around their communities safely. To learn more about the “Rate Your Space” campaign contact Feet First Volunteer Coordinator Darcy Edmunds by emailing darcy@feetfirst.org or calling 206-652-2310 ext. 5.

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