MEIGS COUNTY — The Meigs County Health Department’s Creating Healthy Communities program is launching a three month project to look at walking and bicycling trends in the county.
Laura Cleland, the Creating Healthy Communities director, presented the program’s Active Transportation project proposal to the commissioners on Thursday during their regular weekly meeting.
“As the popularity and necessity of walking and biking increase, information is sought to assess the current conditions of walking and biking in Meigs County. The Meigs County Health Department’s Creating Healthy Communities Program announces the launch of the Meigs County Active Transportation Wikimap,” Cleland stated in an email to the Sentinel about the project. “Wikimapping is an interactive, online data collection system where residents can plot walking and biking routes throughout the County. The information collected will be used to guide planning for safety and education campaigns, as well as, potential infrastructure improvement projects.”
Cleland explained to the Commissioners that the goal is to reach individuals from around the county finding out how they walk and bike in their communities and the potential challenges that they face in those areas. Cleland used examples of people who are walking in rural areas along the roadway where traffic may move at a high rate of speed, or sidewalk areas in towns which need repaired or replaced to make safe walking and biking areas.
The project will also allow for an analysis of the reasons people are walking and biking, whether it be for exercise, transportation to and from work or for fun.
The survey portion will also whether the areas are high traffic, well-lit and areas where the walker feels safe.
The commissioners unanimously expressed their support for the project which could be beneficial for potential grant funding and projects in the county.
Data will be collected beginning Sept. 15 for a three month period, with the data then analyzed and a report expected by year-end.
The interactive map for the project to submit information can be found at http://wikimapping.com/wikimap/Meigs-County-Active-Transportation-Plan.html
In logging on to the website, participants will be asked to enter an email address to log in. This information will not be visible to those who are collecting the information.
For questions about the Wikimap or Active Transportation Project please contact Cleland, Meigs County Health Department’s Creating Healthy Communities Project Director at (740) 992-6626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.