If you go

What: Walk and Wheel Lafayette community audit

When/Where:

July 8: Meet at Waneka Lake Boathouse, 1600 Caria Drive. Walk the western connector from the boathouse to Festival Plaza

July 14: Meet at Waneka Lake Boathouse, 1600 Caria Drive. Walk from Waneka Lake to U.S. 287 and South Boulder Road

July 15: Meet at LaMont Does Park, 500 E. South Boulder Road (two groups). One group will cover U.S. 287 to the Coal Creek connector; the other will cover the Coal Creek connector to South Boulder Road

July 22: Meet at Festival Plaza, 311 S. Public Road. Walk from Festival Plaza to South Boulder Road

July 23: Meet at Lafayette Public Library, 775 W. Baseline Road. Walk from the library to Festival Plaza

July 28: Meet at Thomas Open Space/Isabelle Farm, 1640 W. Baseline Road (two groups). One group will focus on the farm to the library; the other will focus on the farm to the loop on West Baseline

July 29: Meet at RTD Park-n-Ride, 1080 S. Public Road (two groups): One group will take the RTD Park-n-Ride north to Festival Plaza; the other will take the RTD Park-n-Ride south to Coal Creek Trail

Each audit walk is scheduled to take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

More info: cityoflafayette.com/WalkAndWheel


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Lafayette is looking for ways to become more bike- and pedestrian-friendly, and it is counting on the eyes of its residents to spot possible areas of improvement.

Walk and Wheel Lafayette, a community audit program, kicks off Tuesday evening with the first of seven audit dates set for this month.

Through the program, the city will equip teams of volunteers with a mobile app or printed checklist of potential problem areas on which to take notes. Residents will walk designated routes throughout Lafayette and respond with feedback on the condition and safety of sidewalks, trails and intersections, while also counting the number of pedestrians and cyclists they encounter on their route.

Lafayette Walk and Wheel marks the beginning of the city's effort to improve active transportation — made possible through a $94,600 grant from Kaiser Permanente.

"The first step in this grant program is data collection ... and taking inventory of our infrastructure," city spokeswoman Debbie Wilmot said. "We'd like to get the residential input, because those are the folks who are using it. They see things that we don't see."

Wilmot said interest in the program has been high, and she anticipates a good turnout for the month-long program.

"I think Lafayette has a lot of folks who are interested in healthy lifestyles. and this is one way we can promote a healthy environment," Wilmot said.

During the past two summers, Lafayette partnered with Boulder County Public Health to get youth corps members involved in conducting similar audit work. The city also will partner with the county transportation department this summer to get more scientific pedestrian and cyclist counts.

Dana Jacobs, co-owner of Foxtrot Wheel and Edge bike shop in Lafayette, said it's encouraging to see the city taking a proactive approach to nonmotorized transportation issues.

"They're doing a great job promoting people riding to events up at Waneka Lake or up to Festival Plaza, and promoting people just being healthy," Jacobs said. "That's great, but safety is really crucial. It's important, because whenever there's a situation where someone gets hurt, it's the cyclist or pedestrian that gets hurt, not the car. People need to be more aware of who is around them, whether they're on a bike, on foot or in a car."

Data collected by volunteer auditors will be entered into a GPS-based program to help identify problem areas within the city, Wilmot said.

"We're shooting to create an active transportation map to illustrate routes throughout the city to get residents from point A to point B in a safe manner or a more direct route," she said. "That map will not only help guide people through town but it also will be an information piece that shows people this is the fastest and safest way to get across town."

Once complete, the map will be posted on the city's website.

The audit walks are scheduled to begin each night at 6 p.m. with a brief volunteer training. The walks will conclude at 7:30 p.m. Volunteers are invited to stay for any or all of the scheduled time.

The city also is seeking to train volunteer leaders for each audit walk.

For more information, visit cityoflafayette.com/WalkAndWheel or email Debbie Wilmot at debbiew@cityoflafayette.com.

Contact Colorado Hometown Weekly staff writer Doug Pike at 720-648-5022 or piked@coloradohometownweekly.com