The Sustain Charlotte + OrthoCarolina Walk Your Neighborhood project in the Plaza Midwood Business District was a resounding success! Over 120 people from the surrounding neighborhoods spent the afternoon exploring local businesses and destinations on foot!
Following months of planning with local businesses and neighborhood associations, Sustain Charlotte and OrthoCarolina piloted Walk Your Neighborhood on November 7 to promote walking as a form of transportation. But the launch event was only the kick-off to the full project! Using wayfinding signs, this project encourages residents of the neighborhoods surrounding the Plaza Midwood Business District to walk, rather than drive to destinations in this area. Clean Graffiti sidewalk impressions and Walk Your City signs at eye level tell residents and visitors how many minutes it will take them to walk to popular destinations.
Sustain Charlotte's Gold Partner #thesavageway created unique signage for the project using "Clean Graffiti", an environmentally-friendly process that uses specialized stencils and high-pressured water to clean the image onto dirty pavement. #thesavageway also engaged the public with their innovative approach to marketing and social media.
Our champions of the 3-legged race!
Despite a rainy morning, our volunteers brightened the day with their enthusiasm and smiles as we split into "ninja sign teams". They hung Walk Your City signs throughout the area to guide pedestrians to destinations within the Plaza Midwood Business District.
And then the sun came out, just in time for the 2:00 start of the launch! Families, singles, dogs, and even a fearsome horde of pirates joined in the fun of exploring this vibrant neighborhood on foot. Each walker received a complimentary t-shirt provided by OrthoCarolina, a map and guide to destinations, a wristband for business discounts and giveaways, and a raffle ticket for a chance to win many awesome prizes donated by area businesses.
Kids were challenged to find scavenger hunt "treasures" like different types of leaves, an insect, a person walking a dog, and more. Click here to see more fun games and activities that your family can do while walking.
Our Bicycle Program Director, Jordan Moore, officiated at 2-legged and 3-legged races. His challenging race course required a scramble through the "Web of Hard Times", but all of our racers made it through unscathed!
We'd rather #WalkCLT than walk the plank!
Here's what some of the participants had to say:
Our goal was to create an event to highlight how fun and easy it is to travel around Plaza Midwood Business District without a car. Did we succeed in doing that?
100% of respondents replied: "Yes, I would feel comfortable inviting people I know who don't currently walk for transportation."
"I have lived in and around the area for years. But it made me visit places I don't usually frequent."
"It was fun to see how close businesses really are. When you drive around looking for parking, they seem further apart."
As a result of your participation in Walk Your Neighborhood, are you more likely, less likely, or just as likely as before to travel around Plaza Midwood Business District by walking?
72% said "More likely than before." 28% said "Just as likely as before."
What was your favorite thing about Walk Your Neighborhood?
"Seeing people I know, taking it slow, being outside. It was a nice afternoon."
"Looking forward to future public transit growth and wish we had dedicated walking/bike lanes."
"Making friends and talking."
"Getting outside and seeing people walking around."
72% of participants told us that "Checking out businesses and destinations along the route" was one of their main reasons for participating!
18 businesses provided discounts or giveaways during #WalkCLT, including free mini-treats at Rita's!
To learn more about Walk Your Neighborhood, click here.