Evanston honored as walking-friendly city

Marissa Page, Assistant City Editor

Evanston has been designated a Gold Level Walk Friendly Community by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, the city announced Thursday.

The Walk Friendly Communities program, maintained by the PBIC, nationally recognizes communities with a strong commitment to pedestrian safety. WFC is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and FedEx.

Evanston is the 15th designated Gold city, joining the ranks of Chicago and Ann Arbor, Michigan. According to the city, a total of 55 communities in the United States have been recognized as WFCs, with four designations of awards ranging from bronze to platinum.

WFC particularly commended the city on several programs, including its range of transportation options, exhaustive inventories of sidewalks and curb ramps, spearheading healthy lifestyle initiatives such as the Women Out Walking program and implementing a Safe Routes to School program for elementary and middle schools, the city said.

Additionally, WFC praised Evanston’s Complete and Green Network resolution to ensure effective use of public rights-of-way and public spaces by commuters of all types, the city said.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said in a news release the city was proud to receive the honor.

“Our city has a beautiful lakefront, a thriving downtown, fantastic schools and historic neighborhoods,” she said. “It’s important that all residents and visitors can access them safely and comfortably.”

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