Walking is an activity that many of us take for granted. But as pedestrian accident rates continue to rise and access to safe pedestrian spaces is diminished, communities are recognizing that walking -- and improving the walkability of our neighborhoods – requires public attention and action.
Throughout October, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), in coordination with several state agencies and other partners, will sponsor a series of 90-minute webinars, or Walkinars, to highlight how we can collectively rally around walking, an activity that is both central to the state’s active transportation efforts and a critical component promoting public well-being.
In fact, walking is recognized as the State of Maryland’s Official State Exercise.
Governor Hogan Proclaims Maryand’s First-Ever Walktober, Press Release and Proclamation,
October 1, 2020
The Walktober Walkinar series, hosted by the Maryland Department of Planning, will help planners, local officials, pedestrian advocates, and the public at large learn how to advocate for safe walking infrastructure. Panelists will identify key resources to build, strengthen, and sustain local partnerships and share new tools and technologies being used across the country to identify and plan for pedestrian-accessible routes for all ages and abilities.
All webinars will be from 9:30 to 11 a.m. EST on Thursdays. See the specific dates below. For registration information, visit the Maryland Department of Transportation's Walktober page.
Planners who attend the webinars live are eligible for 1.5 AICP CM credits. There is no cost to participate.
Walkinar #1: What Can We Do to Advance Walking and Walkability? (Recorded October 1, 2020)
Walkinar #1 Recorded October 1, 2020
MDOT Secretary Greg Slater kicked off and introduced the series, as Danielle Arigoni, Ian Thomas, and Marty Baker identified trends and resources that support walking and walkability in Maryland. They shared insights about advocating for pedestrian safety and establishing walk programs for all ages, as well as explained how you can work to improve walking opportunities in your community.
- Danielle Arigoni, Director of Livable Communities, AAR
- Ian Thomas, State and Local Program Director, America Walks
- Marty Baker, Deputy Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning, Maryland Department of Transportation
Walkinar #2: Pedestrian Infrastructure, Safety and Health
(October 15 at 9:00 a.m.)
MDOT Secretary Greg Slater will kick off the second webinar, which features Jeff Dunckel, Nacole S. Smith, and Kandese Holford who will examine trends in pedestrian safety in Maryland. They will discuss the major efforts underway across the state to recognize the importance of walking and walkability and explain how improving pedestrian connectivity supports public health and safety.
- Jeff Dunckel, Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration
- Olubukola Alonge, MD, MPH, Maryland Department of Health
- Kandese Holford, Maryland State Highway Administration
Walkinar #3: New Trends and Technologies to Support Walkability and Walking (October 22 at 9:00 a.m.)
MDOT Secretary Greg Slater will introduce the session, which will feature Hank Greenberg, Anat Caspi, and Dan Hudson who will identify several recent technical innovations and tools that help local communities identify pedestrian-accessible routes, facilitate pedestrian partnerships and support walk equity.
- Hank Greenberg, AARP Maryland
- Anat Caspi, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, Taskar Center for Accessible Technology
- Dan Hudson, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Walkinar #4: Maryland Community Walk Initiatives: “Walking the Walk of Maryland’s Pedestrian Agenda” (October 29 at 9:00 a.m.)
MDOT Secretary Greg Slater will introduce the final session, in which local and state officials will share information about the many local walk initiatives in Maryland, how they function, and how other communities can learn from their successes. Cara Rozaieski, Tracey Greene Gordy, Sandra Brecher, and Chris Eatough will also share what local communities are doing to inspire new thinking and action and get more people walking in Maryland.
- Cara Rozaieski, Wicomico County Health Department
- Tracey Greene Gordy, Maryland Department of Planning
- Sandra Brecher, Montgomery County Department of Transportation
- Chris Eatough, Howard County Office of Transportation