For years, Batesville Street Department workers have been reconstructing sidewalks “to enhance the walkability and safety of our community. We believe that a communitywide pedestrian plan is the next step in helping us move into the future,” says Mayor Rick Fledderman.
The plan will begin during a City of Batesville Active Living Workshop: Planning for a Healthy Community. It is slated for Thursday, April 10, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at The Sherman House.
The Indiana State Department of Health Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity and Health by Design are collaborating on a series of Active Living Workshops that work toward improving Hoosiers’ health. Out of 25 applications, Batesville was one of 10 entities chosen across Indiana for the free workshops this year, reports organizer Zia Brucaya, Indiana Complete Streets Coalition coordinator, Health by Design.
The mayor explained why the workshop is needed. “The ISDH has developed a program to help communities, like ours, recognize our strengths and weaknesses in regards to using streets for something other than vehicular traffic. We are proud to be on the ground floor of this movement in our state.” He added, “The timing of the workshop couldn’t be any better as the city looks to pursue an Indiana Department of Natural Resources grant to begin Phase II of the community’s overall trail system.”
Health by Design is a coalition of diverse partners working to ensure that Indiana communities have neighborhoods, public spaces and transportation infrastructure that promote physical activity. By raising awareness, advocating for policy change and monitoring how physical surroundings affect Hoosiers’ quality of life, Health by Design champions a built environment that promotes active living, yet protects the natural environment.
Presentations include “Why We Build for Active Living”; keys to a walkable community; a suitability mapping exercise, which will use maps to mark roads that are poor, OK and great for biking and walking, as well as important destinations and dangerous intersections; and designing for active living.