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Neighborhood Walkability Workshop
Monday, Feb. 24

Poster

 


RIVERSIDE: Project aims to make neighborhoods walkable 

BY STEPHEN WALL
FOR THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE
February 19, 2014

Empty dirt lots. Broken and uneven sidewalks. Inadequate lighting. Not enough trees. Vagrants hanging out at bus stops. Parks with no amenities.

Researchers at UC Riverside and other partners are trying to make an older part of the city more desirable to walk.

UCR’s Center for Sustainable Suburban Development is leading a research project to work with residents to identify ways to make the Ramona and Arlington neighborhoods more walkable.

A piece of the project is a “walkability workshop” scheduled for Monday, Feb. 24, featuring a presentation and guided stroll around the area. Residents can offer suggestions for improvements for a plan expected to be considered by the Riverside City Council next year.

The walkability plan follows the concept of new urbanism, a form of development that aims to improve public health by integrating shopping and housing in a pedestrian-friendly environment.

“What Riverside has in abundance are suburban neighborhoods in need of uplift,” said Juliann Allison, the center’s associate director. “This is a pioneering effort to create a more urban, walkable, healthy, community-oriented development from something that already exists.”

The area under study is roughly bounded on the north by Arlington Avenue, the south by Highway 91, the east by Madison Street and the west by Van Buren Boulevard. It was chosen because it is blue-collar area that has established amenities such as parks, schools and stores, as well as bus access along Magnolia Avenue, Allison said.

The Ramona and Arlington neighborhoods are representative of Riverside a whole, and what is done successfully there could be replicated in other parts of the city, she said.

“This is a grass-roots effort where we engage the community and provide education as far as the things that are possible and generate a plan where to go next from the pieces they’re most interested in,” said Allison, an associate professor of political science at UC Riverside.

Researchers also have collected input at community meetings in the past year and plan a neighborhood survey. As part of the research, a study evaluating traffic and pollution in the area was performed, and it showed “the air quality was good” for walking, Allison said.

The project is paid for with a nearly $250,000 grant from the California Department of Transportation, as well as $26,000 in-kind funding from the Riverside County Department of Public Health and the Riverside County Transportation Commission.


Riverside Neighborhood Conference
Oct. 19, 2013

Press release

Posters designed for the Riverside Neighborhood Conference

Poster1 Poster2

Poster3 Poster4


 

Walk Riverside Meeting
10:30 AM-1:00 PM Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013
Hunt Park
4015 Jackson St., Riverside

Walk Riverside Poster

Click to enlarge

 

Kickoff Community Meeting
June 13, 2013

Project Manager Nancy Jimeno
Project Manager Nancy Jimeno discusses the Walkability Plans for Riverside's Arlington and Ramona neighborhoods with community members

Community Members attending Kickoff meeting