Walkable Community Workshop Training
An integral part of the Walkable Community Workshop program is the Workshop Coordinator Training. This year's training will be held in Washington DC, June 1 - June 4. We have selected Washington DC as our location because of the sheer variety of conditions it offers. The area is home to some of the most affluent and some of the poorest communities in the nation. The region also contains some of our fastest growing counties; with traffic congestion, sprawl, and air pollution being unfortunate byproducts of this growth.
The tension between growth and mobility on the one hand, and quality-of-life on the other, has produced some very interesting results. Arlington, Virginia steered its development towards the area's light rail system. It now has some excellent examples of transit-oriented development. Neighborhoods are very walkable, and it has nicely integrated bicycling into its transportation network. Accessibility has been made a priority in Arlington. During our visit we will see examples of accommodations for the visually-impaired and for those with restricted mobility.
The District of Columbia was originally laid-out as a walkable city. Many parts remain that way today, while others are all but consumed by motor vehicle traffic. Maintaining pedestrian safety in this environment remains a major challenge. We will examine how the District has handled pedestrian safety around its Metro Rail stations, its major traffic thoroughfares, and other pedestrian-generators.
Our three day training will be car free. On foot and aided by Metro Rail, we will experience how developers and municipalities have successfully integrated housing, transit and walkable neighborhoods. By bicycle we will explore portions of the region's extensive system of multi-use trails. Every morning and afternoon they become major arterials for hundreds of bicycle commuters. We will also talk to the practitioners who are responsible for planning and maintaining all of these elements.
We will take time to discuss the structure and content of the Walkable Community Workshops, to better prepare coordinators to plan and execute successful workshop series when they return home. This will include attending a mock workshop, discussing workshop logistics, and how best to publicize the workshop series.
The training is intensive. The days will be 10 to 12 hours long. There will be lots of physical activity, but we will refuel by taking advantage of the great cuisine the DC area has to offer. Please notify us in advance if you have any mobility restrictions.
The training will be guided by facilitators from the National Center for Bicycling & Walking. It is open to all who are interested. In addition to planners and transportation engineers, we recommend this workshop to public health professionals, citizen members of planning commissions, representatives from local business associations, staff of elected officials, parents and community activists. Partners selected for our 2006 Walkable Community Workshop series (both the 8 and 5 workshop programs) pay no fee. Tuition, travel, meals, and accommodations are included. The cost of the training for all others is $750, plus all travel and living expenses.