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: three perfect days in silicon valley
: introduction
: the six MPO's
: caltrain service
: what are walking audits
: why MPO's are involved
: what makes for a good walking audit
: what makes for a community walkable
: what happens next

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Features & Articles : Three Perfect Days in Silicon Valley


What Makes for a Good Walking Audit?

page 6

An audit underway in Los Altos, focused on improving school safety.
Obviously the answer depends a little on the type of workshop being organized: dealing with a single site requires a little different preparation than a general "awareness raising" workshop that also includes a walk. However, the instructors identified a number of critical tasks for the MPO staff that would help ensure the success of most of the workshops. (Lagerwey stressed that of the eight workshops to be held in each of the six MPOs one or two might be a bust, "and that's OK.")
    a) find a good local organizer in each community who knows the area, the players, and the real issues

    b) pick an accessible location, preferably one that does not require any additional transportation for participants to do the walk.

    c) ensure the venue can comfortably accommodate about 50 people and can be darkened (all the way) for slide presentations

    d) ensure all the audio visual equipment is working and has back ups (bulbs, extension cord etc)

    e) be flexible about the format. The local organizer and the folks they invite may change their minds about the focus of the meeting, and that's OK.

    f) work with the local organizer to identify key participants (e.g. the Mayor, head of traffic, local council member etc) and bona fide local residents! Members of the public don't have to worry about (or even be aware of) offending their boss (the mayor or head of traffic) or treading on politically sensitive issues. This openness can help move meetings along.

    g) the local presenter should provide useful background information about the community or specific site without droning on about meaningless committee meeting debates or presenting loads of pointless statistics about the region.

    h) stress that the audit is primarily designed to identify problems and issues rather than finding the perfect solution. The audits are great at raising overall awareness and showing people a range of potential solutions, but aren't usually the appropriate place to come up with a detailed solution.
next page, What Makes a Community Walkable >>