Walk Riverside Research Results Reviewed

UCR researchers will seek feedback from Arlington, Ramona residents in Sept. 23 meeting

feet walking on a sidewalk

Walk Riverside is a research project of UCR’s Center for Sustainable Suburban Development aimed at making two Riverside neighborhoods less reliant on cars for shopping and other activities.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – UC Riverside researchers will present results from walkability surveys and traffic analyses in Riverside’s Arlington and Ramona neighborhoods and solicit feedback from residents at a community meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 10:30 a.m. at Arlington Public Library, 9556 Magnolia Ave.

Walk Riverside is a research project of UCR’s Center for Sustainable Suburban Development (CSSD) aimed at making the two neighborhoods less reliant on cars for shopping and other activities. The center received $227,000 of a $250,000, two-year grant the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) awarded the Riverside County Transportation Commission in 2013. Juliann Allison, associate professor of political science, CSSD associate director and principal investigator for the center’s portion of the project.

UC Riverside researchers have been working with the transportation commission, the city of Riverside and the Riverside County Department of Public Health to produce walkability plans for the Arlington and Ramona neighborhoods.

Walkability plans follow the concept of new urbanism, a form of development that improves public health through planning and urban design by integrating shopping and housing in a pedestrian-friendly environment. Increasing walkability helps reduce automobile usage. These plans can include many facets of new urbanism, including usable public transit, wider sidewalks, reduced or slowed vehicular traffic, and local investment to integrate businesses into neighborhoods.

“People told us that if they felt more secure and had a place to go they would walk more,” said project manager Nancy Jimeno, who holds a Ph.D. in political science from UCR and is a specialist in community-based policy-making. “We did a walk audit to identify areas with broken sidewalks, poor lighting, and other impediments to a walkable neighborhood.”

The city of Riverside already has repaired some of the sidewalks identified in the survey, and the Riverside County Department of Animal Services resolved an issue with a dog that was scaring children away from a safe walking route to school, Jimeno said. Riverside police have presented crime data at various meetings to show that perceptions of unsafe neighborhoods do not match reality, she added.

“We will be asking the community what they would like to see happen to make their neighborhoods more walkable,” she explained. Those comments will be incorporated into a plan that CSSD will present to the Riverside City Council early in 2015.

The UCR Center for Sustainable Suburban Development explores the social, economic, political and environmental impacts that population growth and movement has on cities and local communities. The center facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations in the community through its staff and affiliated faculty via research, joint conferences, workshops and public forums held at UCR and in the community. It is affiliated with the UCR School of Public Policy.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
Twitter: bettyemiller

Additional Contacts

Nancy Jimeno
Tel: (949) 632-8143
E-mail: nancy.jimeno@ucr.edu

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