WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — The city is taking a closer look at the sidewalks, streets and walkability of two historic neighborhoods in the city’s East Ward.
A walk audit will be conducted in Reynoldstown and Slater Park. The two neighborhoods sit beside each other and meet at the corner of 12th Street and Cameron Avenue. East Ward Councilmember Annette Scippio said it’s been decades since many of the sidewalks in these neighborhoods have received much-needed attention.
“They feel like it’s long overdue,” said Chiquita Evans, Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods residential leader.
Evans has lived in the historic Winston-Salem neighborhood since 1976.
RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company planned and built Reynoldstown, which is a historically African American residential section of Winston-Salem.
It sits next to the historic neighborhood of Slater Park.
“My hope is that it will bring the neighborhood back together,” Evans said.
Scippio also grew up in Reynoldstown, which led her to begin her efforts for the walk audit in the neighborhoods.
“I know what those sidewalks were like years ago, and I know attention hasn’t been given to some of them … Also, I know there are parts where there are no sidewalks, but just because I know it doesn’t mean that … attention has been given to it,” Scippio said.
On the walk audit, community volunteers alongside other city departments will make note of the conditions of sidewalks, crosswalks, pedestrian street lighting and street signage by using a toolkit from developed by the American Association for Retired Persons.
“We will have a major debriefing right after the walk audit of where we talk about what we found,” Scippio said.
Some repairs may be made immediately, but others may need to be addressed under another fiscal year’s budget.
Area non-profit Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods is in support of the walk audit and hopes to see them done in other older neighborhoods in the city.
“Especially in aspects of the community, parts of our city and communities that have seen the least amount of attention or haven’t seen a lot of attention in a lot of years. So this is a prominent historical neighborhood. Historically, it probably did receive a lot of attention. But over the last 20, 30 years, maybe not so, and so even when we say asset-based community development, we don’t think about something like the sidewalks as being an asset,” said Christopher Taylor, Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods equitable and economic engagement coordinator.
The walk audit was initially scheduled for Saturday but has been postponed to Oct. 28 due to weather concerns.
They are still in need of community volunteers to help conduct the audit. If you are interested in volunteering, you can contact East Ward Community Assistance Liaison Sabrina Stowe at (33) 462-2341 or Sabrinas@CityofWS.org.
They would like to have 40 volunteers to help with the study.