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Stevens Point Transportation Academy: October walk/roll audit

An essential component of the Community Transportation Academy curriculum is conducting a walk/roll audit as a class. Using the AARP Walk Audit Tool Kit as a guide, we choose a stretch of road and intersections to examine closely for pedestrian and bike safety challenges before dividing into groups and conducting the audit.

Image: a group from the class embarks for the audit pushing a wheelchair and wearing reflective vests

Like most communities, Stevens Point has no shortage of streets and intersections that could be improved for bike/ped safety. We chose to audit the section of Division Street that runs between 4th Avenue and Maria Drive. Division St., also known as Business 51, is a former state highway now under ownership of the City of Stevens Point. It is a prime example of a road designed for fast-moving vehicles that also sees a fair amount of pedestrians because it runs through the middle of the city. Division/B51 has stirred local controversy in recent years, with groups in sharp disagreement over whether to prioritize traffic flow or pedestrian infrastructure.

Image: Division St./Business 51 in Stevens Point

We chose this area to conduct the audit for two reasons: 1) it is within easy walking distance of the building on the UWSP campus where the class meets, and; 2) there are a number of safety issues to address.

The City of Stevens Point loaned a dozen reflective vests for us to wear. The UWSP Physical Therapy department loaned two wheelchairs for the class to use. While some Academy participants use a wheelchair on a part-time basis, they did not use the chairs for the audit. The purpose of the wheelchairs was to expand the perspective of able-bodied individuals who might otherwise not experience the hazards of navigating uneven pavement, inadequate crossing time, and other physical barriers to pedestrian safety.

Image: a class member tries out one of the wheelchairs at a crosswalk

The class was divided into three groups, each examining a different section of the road. Below are some photos and video clips highlighting each of them.

Group 1 walked the entire section of Division between Maria Dr. and 4th Ave.

Image: audit route for group 1

Group 2 walked up Isadore before cutting through a parking lot to access Division, then turned south toward 4th Ave.

Image: audit route for group 2

Group 3 focused on two intersections: Isadore/4th Ave and Division/4th Ave.

Image 3: intersections of Isadore/4th and Division/4th

We’ll be sharing a short informal report of the results of the audit during our final class session on Wednesday, November 8.

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