For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Finn
New senior pedestrian safety program to kick off year-long campaign
Three Walks to Highlight Benefits & Needs for a More Walkable Hendersonville
The Walk Wise, Drive Smart campaign, part of Henderson County 's Livable and Senior Friendly Communities Initiative, launches its official senior pedestrian safety program on Saturday, May 13. Following a series of educational workshops that took place in Hendersonville this spring, the kick off event is open to the public and features three walks from Shelter 2 in Jackson Park.
All walk participants will receive prizes; the walks are of varying lengths and for people of all ages and walking levels. Speakers at the kick-off event will discuss how community residents and officials are helping shape plans to create a safer and more inviting walking environment in Hendersonville, not only for senior adults but for all residents.
WHEN & WHERE:
Saturday, May 13, from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
Cooperative Extension parking lot, Shelter 2
801 Glover St .
Hendersonville , NC 28792
Next to driving or riding in cars, walking is the most frequent mode of transportation for senior adults. The ability of senior adults to safely walk outside their homes is a major key to keeping them connected to their communities and interests, as well as sustaining their physical and mental health. Improving the pedestrian environment in Hendersonville will benefit not only senior adults but also all residents and visitors.
Senior pedestrians have a greater chance of suffering serious or fatal injuries if involved in a crash than younger pedestrians. More than 31 percent of Hendersonville ’s population is age 65 and older, making it an ideal model community for the Walk Wise, Drive Smart program.
Based on input from various community partner organizations and Hendersonville residents, the one-year campaign seeks to create at least one safe walking route in each of ten Hendersonville neighborhoods.
The campaign will promote four types of activities in the community throughout the coming year:
- Environmental changes, such as improved sidewalk conditions
- Enforcement support, by encouraging the citation of motorists for failure to yield to pedestrians, running stop signs and improper right-turns at red lights
- Education, through safety tips for pedestrians and drivers
- Encouragement, through multiple walking events with giveaways and health information
Walk Wise, Drive Smart is a neighborhood-based, senior-pedestrian-friendly initiative within Hendersonville, NC , and the surrounding areas. Building upon established community relationships and based on community input, the program aims to create more pedestrian-friendly environments for senior adults that can be replicated in similar settings in North Carolina and beyond. Please visit www.walk-wise.org for further information.
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