Per MCDOT: The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is partnering with the State to celebrate “Walktober,” a month-long series of activities in October promoting Maryland’s official exercise: walking. Maryland named walking as the official State exercise in 2008.
“Walking improves your physical and mental health, strengthens community ties and reduces environmental impacts,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “We are committed to making walking and pedestrian mobility easy, safe and accessible throughout Montgomery County. Whether you are using walking as a form of transportation or recreation, I encourage all residents to take advantage of our County’s pedestrian-friendly suburban and urban centers and more than 250 miles of hiking trails to explore Montgomery County and enjoy the fall weather.”
MCDOT will be hosting a series of outreach events throughout the County designed to highlight the importance of walking and to promote the work being done under the Vision Zero program to make walking in Montgomery County safer for people of all ages and abilities.
“As we experience the cooler fall weather, and the changing of the leaves, it is a great time to go for a walk outdoors,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “Walking is great exercise; it provides stress relief and fosters community connectedness. Safe walkways and bike paths are a critical part of our transportation infrastructure. We work to improve and build it out further every year. This is a great opportunity to enjoy it.”
MCDOT will be hosting a series of outreach events throughout the County designed to highlight the importance of walking. Walktober events will include:
- Wednesday, Oct. 4, Walk and Roll to School Day. The MCDOT Safe Routes to School (SRTS) team will be at Brooke Grove Elementary School to promote biking and pedestrian safety and encourage all students who have a safe path and live near their elementary school to walk to school on this date. All schools are encouraged to sponsor a Walk to School event and register their event at walkbiketoschool.org.
- Wednesday, Oct. 4, Walk Maryland Day. Marylanders are encouraged to participate in registered walks. Residents can become Walk Maryland Day “Walk Leaders” by registering to lead a walk, or “Sole Mates” by joining one of the official walks across the State. It’s free, and walkers qualify for prizes.
- Monday, Oct. 16 – Nov. 3, Walk & Ride. Group Walking Challenges. Employees who work for businesses located within the County’s six Transportation Management Districts can register for team walks and compete for prizes based on their step counts. Employees do not need to be physically present at the worksite to be on a Walk & Ride team – and they do not need to be County residents. More information, including on how to register, is available at MCDOT’s Commuter Services Walk & Ride website.
- Thursday, Oct. 26, Equity Walkinar. MCDOT’s Bikeways Coordinator, Matt Johnson, will be featured on a State panel for a free webinar to discuss tools and techniques for addressing transportation equity. He will give an overview of Montgomery County’s efforts to develop a toolkit to improve the designs of roads, sidewalks, and transit stops for people with vision disabilities and the planning and design processes to improve their ability to provide feedback. He will be joined by Michael Rodriguez, director of Research for Smart Growth America, and Charles L. Marohn, Jr., founder and president of Strong Towns. Register for the free Equity webinar. For a full list of free walkinars, visit the MDOT website.
- Pedestrian Safety Outreach. The SRTS team will be at various locations throughout the month to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety and talk with residents about recent safety improvements, including infrastructure projects and pedestrian hybrid beacons. View details on the calendar here.
Visit Montgomery Parks for a list of walking trails throughout the County.
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