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Students assess walkability of Kailua Village

Checking out the village walkability. (Photo courtesy of PATH)

MEDIA RELEASE

Twenty students from Bemidji State University in Northern Minnesota participated in a walk audit Thursday, Jan. 7 of Kailua Village with Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii (PATH).

The students were visiting the Big Island as part of a course on sustainability. They used a Walkability Checklist published by the U.S. Department of Transportation designed to help communities measure how easy it is for a pedestrian to walk safely and comfortably in their own neighborhood.

Students focused on the section of Alii Drive from Hualalai Road to Oneo Bay.

The checklist asked questions related to sidewalks, shoulders, crossing the street, driver behavior, the ability to follow traffic safety laws, and the overall enjoyment of the walking experience.

Scores were tallied on a scale between 5 and 26. The average score was 20.5, meaning Kailua Village’s walkability was “OK, but it needs work.”

Some of the positive observations included the presence of crosswalks and the courtesy of drivers.

Others observed the lack of sidewalks, areas where sidewalks abruptly stopped or were impeded by utility poles and areas that were too narrow to walk side by side.

To view a copy of the Walkability Checklist or for more information about PATH, e-mail sharetheroad@pathhawaii.org or visit www.pathhawaii.org

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