City Seeks Input on Topeka’s First Pedestrian Master Plan

Community Workshop Scheduled

From the City of Topeka, March 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. – This month the Metropolitan Topeka Planning Organization (MTPO), in coordination with the City of Topeka, is kicking off the planning process for the City’s first-ever pedestrian master plan. The goal of the plan is to create safe and connected walkways between schools, parks, shopping districts, workplaces, and other popular destinations.

Anyone with an interest in walkability is encouraged to attend a community workshop from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, at Holliday Building Conference Room, 620 SE Madison.

The workshop will begin with a short presentation. Participants will be asked to identify key goals, top issues, and necessary improvements for walkability in their neighborhoods and around Topeka, such as locations for improved street crossing and sidewalk infrastructure. For those who cannot attend the workshop, an online survey and mapping tool will be launched immediately afterward.

The input gathered will used to inform the initial draft of the Topeka Pedestrian Master Plan. A second workshop will be scheduled later in 2015 to discuss the draft plan with the community.

The plan is one piece of a larger effort to improve quality of life through the development of vibrant neighborhoods and greater transportation choices serving pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and motorists. A consultant team consisting of Toole Design Group and Vireo has been selected to assist with the effort.

Walking is already estimated to be significant in the city. Approximately 1,300 Topeka residents report to the U.S. Census Bureau that they walk to work on a regular basis, and an estimated 1,650 K-8 children walk to Topeka schools. The total number of daily pedestrian trips is estimated to be between 70,000 and 75,000, with the balance of walking trips made for recreation, exercise, personal errands, and visiting friends or relatives.

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