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Walk and Rollability Survey Conducted in Batesville

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The City of Batesville conducted a Walk & Rollability Survey, Oct. 6. The event is indicative of AARP Arkansas’ long-term interest in making communities where getting around by foot, bicycle, wheelchair, or stroller is every bit as safe and convenient as by car and truck.

Thankfully, making a town better suited for Walk & Rollability doesn’t need to be expensive. When cities and citizens are finding it hard to balance their checkbooks, vast improvements may be achieved simply with a change of attitude. Old and faded crosswalks may need a coat of fresh paint. Overgrown sidewalks may need a trim. Brighter signs may alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians and education will teach us to share the roadway more generously with all forms of transportation.

More physical activity is an added benefit of better Walk & Rollability, as is more connectedness with our neighborhood. The increase in physical activity has led AARP, in its effort to improve our communities, to partner with the Arkansas Department of Health and many more organizations in the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention. These collaborations, based on shared values, enable AARP to combine its strength with organizations serving an array of ages, income levels, physical abilities and health conditions.

In Batesville, more than 35 AARP, ARTA, local agency, city staff, and volunteers turned out for a half-day of learning, on-site assessments, and planning sessions. Batesville AARP Chapter President Hank Rivers and his wife Marlene mentioned how much they valued participating in the event alongside 10 home-schooled children ranging from two to eleven years of age. Actual baby strollers were in use.

Associate Director of AARP Arkansas Lou Tobian facilitated a 1.5 hour Planning De-Brief and will use the collected data and suggested projects to draft a Pathway Improvement Plan for eventual adoption by the City into its Master Plan.

For questions, you can reach him via email ltobian@aarp.org.

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