WalkDenver Goes Back to School

by Jill Locantore on August 26, 2014

CU Denver Planning Students to Assess Walkability Near Transit

WalkDenver is excited to partner with the CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning on a project that will assess walkability along current and planned transit lines.  Students in Professor Ken Schroeppel‘s Planning Methods class will work in small teams, each focused on a different neighborhood along the recently completed West Line or near the planned 38th and Blake station.

The West Line spans some of the lowest income and most transit-dependent neighborhoods in the Denver region.  Major projects such as the St. Anthony’s Hospital redevelopment will bring many new residents and jobs within walking distance of transit.   Yet many of the streets within the West Line corridor were designed with a primary focus on moving  cars, rather than pedestrians. While every transit rider is a pedestrian at some point in their trip, low-income and minority communities are most likely to access transit by walking, and are therefore most vulnerable to the hazards associated with unsafe pedestrian environments.

Each student team will perform a number of tasks to assess the walkability of their assigned neighborhood, including analyzing existing conditions (including demographic characteristics); auditing the the pedestrian infrastructure using theWALKscope pedestrian data collection tool; interviewing transit riders and pedestrians; and identifying “walkability gaps.”

At the end of the semester, the student teams will present WalkDenver with their findings and recommendations for pedestrian infrastructure improvements.  We’re looking forward to working with the students and identifying strategies for improving walk access to transit in Denver.

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