Beekman Street and Elmore Street corridors.
Held at Working In Neighborhoods (WIN), the walking tour and workshop was led by Dan Burden and Samantha Thomas of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute (WALC). Based in Washington state, the nonprofit seeks to create healthy, connected communities through walkable streets and better built environments.
"The health of our people is dependent upon it," said Burden, co-founder and director of innovation and inspiration of WALC. "The health of our economy is fully dependent on it."
The assistance is much needed, as 40 percent of residents in the neighborhood don't own a car. And with a "Walk Score" of 43, the neighborhood is largely auto-dependent.
The neighborhood also will see major changes to its traffic patterns due to the future reconfiguration of the Colerain/Beekman exit off of I-74 and the closure of several interstate exits, all part of the I-75 Mill Creek Expressway project.
These changes could be implemented at minimal cost, without affecting the drainage or curbs, he said.
He also suggested better signalization and crossings for pedestrians, noting that the intersection of Beekman and Elmore streets is "one of the worst I've ever seen".
Following the walking tour, small groups assembled to brainstorm changes they'd like to see implemented within the next 100 days, as well as mid-term and long-term recommendations.
Topping the list of suggestions were extensive sidewalk repairs and weed and tree trimming; streetscaping, including more trash cans; a farmer's market on the site of the recently demolished Duke Energy substation next to Wayne Playground; and more businesses that serve the needs of local residents, such as a pharmacy.
Burden believes that the project could become a model for the City, region, and state, but it's up to the community to make it work.
"You have to succeed," he said. "You cannot let this opportunity slide. You cannot let transportation people, engineers, or planners say, 'We need to study this more.' One thing that I've learned is that you can kill anything through paralysis."
The project is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Sustainable Communities through its Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, which is administered by the Project for Public Spaces.
WIN was one of only 12 organizations selected nationally for the technical assistance grant, which was announced in April.
Previous reading on BC:
South Cumminsville park could be lost to business expansion (5/20/13)
WIN study: 45.2% rise in completed sheriff's sales in 2012 (5/20/13)
Planning Commission Friday: dunnhumbyUSA, Fire Station No. 35, land sales and rezoning (5/2/13)
Halfway through program, CUFA wants foreclosure pilot for 52 neighborhoods (1/30/13)
Sale of vacant land to aid in Borden Street revitalization (7/9/12)