Winston-Salem planning to make city more walkable

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The City of Winston-Salem wants you to drive a little less and walk a little more.

Matthew Burczyk is the bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the City of Winston-Salem. Burczyk, along with consultants, needs your help in order to design a network of sidewalks, crosswalks, and greenways.

“We have areas that are very walkable with compact development, destinations are close together, so it is very walkable,” Burczyk said. “But there are other parts of the community that don’t have sidewalks and the destinations are spread apart further.”

To fix that problem, the team wants to hear from you. They are using interactive Zoom meetings that will help guide where sidewalks, crosswalks, greenways, and other walking paths will go. Comments can also be left at Winston-SalemWalks.com. Burczyk said they are assembling a pedestrian plan that might cover five, 10 or more years. Officially the team is calling the plan “Walkable Winston-Salem.” It’s a unique plan in that it’s coming together virtually.

“We can’t have the typical public input meetings,” Burczyk said. “So the interactive map on the website becomes important.”

People have left over 1,100 comments at Winston-SalemWalks.com, giving the team a good idea on where the next paths should go.

Jane Poe walks every day. She likes the idea of a network of safe sidewalks.

“Hope we can connect throughout the city, the sidewalks and everywhere. I would love to see sidewalks everywhere,” Poe said.

Antionette Wells is another frequent user of sidewalks.

“It’s a good idea because people come out here and different parks. It will give us more areas to walk at,” Wells said.

People can sign up for the next Zoom meeting on the website. The city and consultants are especially interested in hearing from residents that live on the east side of Winston-Salem. Burczyk said the team wants the “Walkable Winston-Salem” plan to benefit everyone.

“The concentration of crashes were higher in East Winston and participation is lower. We need to make an extra effort to reach out to those neighborhoods,” Burczyk said.

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