Everyone is a pedestrian. Whether you drive a car, ride a bike, or take a bus, at some point you get off and walk.
The walkability of a city has been tied to improved health, increased real estate prices, more money staying within the community, and greater overall resiliency. Studies show that building infrastructure for pedestrians (and for bicyclists) creates more jobs per dollar than building infrastructure for automobiles. And walkable cities produce markedly less green house gases per person than more sprawling communities where people are more likely to drive a car.
Building a pedestrian friendly city where people can safely and comfortably walk from their homes to work, school, and other meaningful destinations makes economic and environmental sense and benefits the physical health of residents.
The Fort Collins City Council is currently in the process of setting the City budget for 2017 and 2018. One of the offers under consideration is a new department called FC Walks. (Offer 3.12: FC Walks Program) The idea is that this program would do for walking in Fort Collins what FC Bikes has done for bicycling. (Note that cyclist deaths have begun to drop ever since our current the FC Bikes department head, Tessa Greegor, arrived. Given the number of recent pedestrian deaths, there’s certainly a need for a similar program for pedestrians.)
But what the City Council is faced with right now is more budget offers than can be funded with the projected City income over the next two years. That means not every offer will make the cut. And FC Walks was not on the City Manager’s recommended budget that was presented to the City Council recently.
If you think hiring an individual to guide and direct the improvement of pedestrian facilities is needed in Fort Collins, now is the time to contact your City Council member and let them know how you feel.