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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (February 24, 2016) – Efforts are underway to make Indianapolis a more walkable city. Leaders are asking for the public’s input as they create the first Pedestrian Plan. Open houses are happening this week and residents are invited to share their visions for Indy neighborhoods.

The plan is part of a long-term project called Walkways. The ability to get around on foot is very important for the one in five Marion County residents who live in poverty and may not have access to a car.

Joan Cook, from Health by Design, said they want to hear directly from residents who are impacted by the city’s infrastructure on a daily basis.

“We’re looking at things like destinations, connections to transit, looking at nodes where people want to go not only in the urban core but also in the outer suburban areas of Indianapolis,” Cook said.  “Also, we are taking a look at health and equity.”

The health department wants to give people more ways to be active as a way to combat obesity in the area, where two in three adults are considered overweight.

Plus, there is an economic component to the pedestrian plan. A more walkable city makes Indianapolis more appealing to new residents.

“This is something millennials are really attracted to and businesses are attracted to,” Cook said. “As baby boomers age, we are not always able to drive vehicles and we want to have choices so that we can still live in the homes where our families are and our friends are.”

Open houses:

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Community Alliance of the Far East Side, 8902 E. 38th Street

Thursday, February 25, 2016 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the American Diabetes Association, 8604 Allisonville Road

Friday, February 26, 2016 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. at The Platform, 202 E. Market Street

Saturday, February 27, 2016 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Chin Community Center, 2524 E. Stop 11 Road

Saturday, February 27, 2016 2:00-4:00 p.m. at Eagle Library, 3325 Lowry Road

If you can’t make it to an open house, you can also fill out this online survey.