Walking in many cities means using sidewalks to get to the mailbox or corner store, but only after crossing numerous streets and dodging inattentive motorists. Riding a bike on crowded roads can be unsafe and nerve-wracking.
It’s a lot different living in a truly walkable city designed to provide a safe way to get around for everyone. Projects such as Living Streets encourage multiple modes of transportation, whether that’s driving a car, riding a bike, taking a bus or walking. They build community by bringing people together and helping shape an area’s identity into one that’s people-friendly, no matter how residents, workers and visitors are getting around. On the most recent Prosperity Agenda radio show we talk to several people involved in walkable cities projects and find out more about how they’re making our cities more attractive and bike- and pedestrian-friendly. Our guests are international walkability guru Dan Burden, director of innovation and inspiration for Blue Zones; Mary Beth Graebert of Michigan State University; and Rebekah Kik of the city of Kalamazoo. My co-host for the show is Michael Jackman, managing editor of the Metro Times in Detroit.
The Michigan Prosperity Agenda is a monthly radio show that challenges listeners to help make Michigan a better place to live, work and play by creating vibrant and prosperous local communities. It has aired on News/Talk 760 WJR since 2010. The hour-long radio program is hosted by me, Dan Gilmartin, CEO of the League. The show is sponsored by the League and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). The League’s next show airs at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, on News/Talk 760 WJR, but you can listen anytime at the League’s website or by subscribing to the FREE iTunes podcast. Learn more about the PlacePlans program here as well as on this blog.