North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Taking a walk in Marysville


November 6, 2008


Taking a walk in Marysville

Marysville leaders renewed their commitment to building a healthier community by sponsoring a recent walkability audit led by Dan Burden, a nationally-acclaimed advocate of pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly communities.

Elected officials and city staff joined volunteer members of the Marysville Healthy Communities Project for a walk on Thursday, October 30, that focused on the core areas of the city between the riverside area and Grove Street.

A walkability audit is an unbiased examination and evaluation, undertaken by a diverse team of individuals, of the walking environment in the community.

“The objective is to identify concerns for pedestrians related to the safety, access, comfort and convenience of the walking environment,” said Community Development Director Gloria Hirashima, a Healthy Communities co-chair whose group is looking at creating a more active urban environment.

“The audit will also identify problem areas, and raise potential alternatives or solutions that can be approached through engineering treatment, policy change, or education and enforcement measures,” she explained.

A priority of the Marysville Healthy Communities Project is the adoption of urban planning approaches that promote physical activity, such as adding more bicycle lanes and walking trails. The goal is to plan and fund street improvements, pathways, parks and trails that support walking and biking within and between Marysville neighborhoods, city centers, schools and senior centers.

The second day of Burden’s visit featured a day-long training session for policymakers and staff, along with Burden’s recommendations for Marysville’s unique needs.

Dan Burden, a former National Geographic photographer, is the director of Walkable Communities, Inc., ( a member of the National Advisory Board of Active Living by Design, and the former Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the State of Florida Department of Transportation. He is a nationally-recognized authority on bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs, and has worked as a consultant, planner, expert witness and author.

For more information about the Marysville Healthy Communities Project, visit the Web site at


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