Walk Friendly Communities
We're supporting efforts to make walking easier!
Minnesotans want and need safe places to walk, whether for recreation or transportation purposes. Walking is an important contributor to the health of our residents – that’s why the Minnesota Department of Health and its partners support work to make it easier to walk in communities across Minnesota.
Walk Friendly Community workshops
The Office of Statewide Health Improvement Initiatives will soon provide a call for cities to hold “Walk Friendly Community” workshops across Minnesota to improve conditions to support walking and implement components of Minnesota Walks, which is a statewide framework for walking.
Communities must apply to host these workshop, which are four hours long and free for host communities. Host cities will cover room fees and food/meals and are responsible for recruiting participants.
Workshops will provide ideas and an understanding of what makes a Walk Friendly Community, along with a facilitated action planning session to help launch local efforts. Participants should include elected officials, planners, engineers, health care and public health staff, economic development or tourism staff and community champions for walking.
Walk audits help examine the built environment to determine barriers and opportunities to make walking easier, safer and more desirable. For additional information, check out Let's Go for a Walk (PDF), a planning guide for a walkable community.
Community engagement tools are available to assess barriers to walking in cities and counties. Learn more at the Community Engagement page for Minnesota Walks.
Pedestrian and bicycle counts
Collecting data to show the transportation mode options beyond automobile and transit travel is important to create a walk friendly environment. Visit the Minnesota Department of Transportation's (MnDOT) web page on bicycle and pedestrian traffic counts.
The Minnesota Departments of Transportation and Health worked together on Minnesota Walks, a framework for action for creating safe, convenient and desirable walking and rolling for all. Get the document and additional information about Minnesota Walks at the Minnesota Walks web page.
Design and infrastructure
MnDOT provides a variety of technical resources for design and infrastructure for a Walk Friendly environment. Learn more at the MnDOT pedestrians and transportation web page.
Minnesota pedestrian laws
Get details about bike/pedestrian laws from the Office of Traffic Safety at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
Stop for Me
Stop for Me is an education and enforcement campaign to improve safety for people walking in communities. Learn more about the campaign at St. Paul Smart Trips.
U.S. Surgeon General's National Call to Action on Walking
This effort aims to increase walking across the U.S. by calling for access to safe and convenient places to walk and wheelchair roll for people of all ages and abilities. Get more details from the Surgeon General's web page.
- Minnesota is well positioned to respond to the U.S. Surgeon General's call to promote health through walking and walkable communities. See the 2015 press release.