In 2014, Clark County GIS was asked to produce a map for the Chamber of Commerce Health and Wellness Team. They wanted to see how to connect the trail at the Bluegrass Community and Technical College Campus in the Industial Park to "The Path", a walking trail on Boonesboro Road. So, CCGIS did just that. We made a map showing the walking trails and sidewalks connecting them. The Orange Lines were the sidewalks.
At the meeting, the HAWT noticed not only where the Orange Lines were, but where they were not. They noticed a lack of connectivity between places in Winchester for pedestrian travel. Since that meeting, there has been quite a buzz around the Orange Lines and where they are not.
The Activity Coalition, Bluegrass Trails and Greenways, Tourism, The Greater Clark Foundation, and the Clark County Health Department have all come to the table to address walking in Winchester and Clark County. The Clark County Health Department has received a grant from the Kentucky Department of Public Health and the Kentucky Transporation Cabinet to help train local stakeholders in creating a Pedestrian Plan. As part of the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), the Clark County Health Department has committed to creating a Master Walk-Bike Plan for Clark County by the end of 2016. The hope is to fill and connect the Orange Lines into a viable network of sidewalks, trails, and pedestrian opportunities.
There are many reasons for supporting a more walkable community. The main reasons are health, transporation, safety, and economic development. It has been shown that more walkable communities have more vibrant, local economies. It is also important that the public be given access and opportunity to walkable streets for their own health. Many people in the community walk as a necessity, lacking the resources for a vehicle. Making pedestrian travel safe and available to this population is an imperative for the community to support its own members.
So, what does an Orange Line Mean? It means more than you'd think at first glance.
They mean so much.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!