'Waco Walks' seeks to expand safe walking to I-35

'Waco Walks' seeks to expand safe walking to I-35
Posted at 9:29 PM, Feb 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-24 10:40:42-05

A local group, “Waco Walks,” wants to see a more walkable Waco.

The group started last summer and meets at least once a month.

Ashley Thornton, the founder of the group, had a New Year’s resolution in 2016 to walk more and try to use walking as her primary mode of transportation.

She read a book about walkable cities and wanted to talk to other people in the community about it.

“So I sent out a note on Facebook saying ‘hey who wants to get together about this book?’ And lo and behold like 20 people wanted to talk about it,” Thornton said.

The group became “Waco Walks.” Each person in the group has a different reason for wanting to see a more walkable Waco.

Thornton’s focus is downtown and the area between downtown and Baylor.

“I-35 is a big psychological barrier. I mean, I walk under it all of the time. And it’s safe enough. There's a sidewalk and there's even a little crosswalk, but it is completely uninviting,” Thornton said.

Waco Walks is planning to meet with TxDOT next month to talk about the I-35 expansion in Waco. The group wants to see what can be done to make that area more appealing to walkers.

In a monthly Waco Walks meeting Thursday night, Thornton said sidewalks aren’t really the issue in that area. Other members added that better lightning is needed and suggested some artwork or a mural to make people want to walk through that area more.

 "We need to have more of the attitude of if we walk they will build it,” Thornton said. “And if more of us would get out there and walk, you know, then I think that helps to build the momentum and make the powers that be feel like it's worth it to make that investment."

Waco Walks schedules a group walk once a month. To find out how you can join, click here.

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