The community is being encouraged to share their walking experiences, both good and bad, as part of a Melbourne-wide project to explore and remove barriers to walking.
Banyule Mayor Cr Tom Melican said the WalkSpot project aimed to explore people’s perceptions of walking at locations across Melbourne and provide data to help establish, similar to the RACV Redspot Survey for traffic, a list of priority walking improvements.
Cr Melican said that until 28 April, people could share their walking experiences on an interactive map. People can mark a ‘safe walkspot’ or ‘unsafe walkspot’, provide commentary on their own ‘walkspots’ as well as those that others have posted.
The project is a collaboration between Victoria Walks, a walking health promotion charity, and CrowdSpot, a map-based community engagement and data collection tool, with funding from a TAC Community Road Safety Grant. VicRoads and a number of councils, including Banyule Council, have joined as project partners.
“As a project partner, Banyule Council will receive all the data relating to people’s walking experiences in Banyule which will help inform a new walking strategy as well as help prioritise projects to improve people’s experiences of walking,” Cr Melican said.
“So, whether you walk to school with your children, walk to work or walk to the shops or through our parks, I encourage you to share your experiences as this project is all about helping support vibrant and strong neighbourhoods and communities where people can and do choose to walk wherever possible.”
CrowdSpot and Victoria Walks will use the data from across Melbourne to prepare a report on the issues that concern people while walking around the city, which will inform and assist advocacy in relation to street improvements.
Cr Melican said that although people could nominate areas where they had issues walking, either because of lighting, traffic, type of walkway or some other reason, it was equally helpful if people nominated their favourite walking areas and provided reasons why those areas supported walkers so well.
“This is a great opportunity to work collaboratively with these organisations, as well as other councils and organisations, to help understand the community’s walking issues,” Cr Tom Melican said.