BikeWalkKC conducts walkability audit at Hale Cook Elementary School
Members of the Friends of Hale Cook board, neighbors, and BikeWalkKC staff recently held a walkability audit around Hale Cook Elementary School in the Waldo area. Mothballed in 2009 by Kansas City Public Schools, Hale Cook is scheduled to reopen this August for pre-k, kindergarten, first and second graders.
BikeWalkKC was thrilled at the invitation to work with the Friends of Hale Cook grounds committee to make the school more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. We are usually called on to help schools improve existing conditions, but in this case we have the opportunity to get a great plan in place before the school opens.
At the beginning of the evening, the group identified three major hazardous streets and barriers that could potentially prevent students from walking and biking to school: Wornall, Gregory and 75th Streets. These became the focus areas during the walkability audit. When the three small groups reconvened, a group discussion revealed further concerns and hazards about crossing these major streets.
The observations of the walkability audit at Hale Cook are being compiled into a report that will eventually inform infrastructure improvements (such as installing a bike rack and better crossings on major streets) and programmatic needs (such a Walking School Bus).The enthusiasm around making Hale Cook a walkable, bikeable school is exciting and BikeWalkKC looks forward to continuing working with the families and neighbors of Hale Cook.
Making your school more walkable and bikable
BikeWalkKC Safe Routes to School program offers trainings, tools, programs, resources, and technical assistance to help you design a Safe Routes to School program or to improve the infrastructure around your school. We offer several programs to bring instruction to your students, train your teachers, and encourage students and familiies to walk and bike to school. Walkability audits like the one at Hale Cook help identify barriers and hazards, and produce solutions to improve safety.
-Maggie Priesmeyer, BikeWalkKC Education & Outreach Coordinator