Walkability study group plots possible walking trails

Posted April 19, 2017 at 9:19 am

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The group of community leaders who have been meeting for the past couple of years to study ways to make Albany more friendly for pedestrians, came together again last week to hear from Mark Fenton, an expert in the area of ‘walkability’ features of a community such as Albany.

The effort has been examined by the group through a joint grant that came Clinton County’s way through the Clinton County Extension office efforts from the University of Kentucky and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) with the funds being administered through a local health coalition.

Known as EPHECT, an acronym given to the group that stands for Extension and Public Health Expanding Community Team, the meeting last week resulted in one of the most positive sessions of the entire study.

Armed with maps and markers, those attending last week’s session broke out into separate groups to “brainstorm” the best possible ways to connect walking paths that might result in a better linking of a set of key locations for pedestrians and bike riders.

Included in those destinations are the immediate downtown area to the four schools in the Clinton County Schools system as well as the Area Technology Center, along with the Mountain View Recreation Park and the Wellness Center .

After last Thursday’s brainstorming session, the group left the Clinton County Welcome Center to take a first-hand look at the possible routes that could link those destinations in a better way than current routes offer.

In addition to the idea of establishing new walking routes, ideas of changing markings in existing roads, in particular U.S. 127, to better serve pedestrians and bikers were also examined. Different ways that other similar sized communities had successfully achieved this was reviewed and discussed at length by the Clinton County group working on the project.

The Clinton County EPHECT was formed to study and find ways of improving the health status of local residents, and especially to concentrate on giving the local youth more opportunity to be physcially active and combat the growing concern over juvenile obesity.

Clinton County is one of six Kentucky counties that are sharing funds from a grant that is allowing the idea of creating more and better trails to be closely looked at.