For immediate release: April 6, 2022
Multnomah County Office of Communication
Alicia Mendez, 971-400-9592, email@example.com
Multnomah County and Oregon Walks highlight pedestrian and traffic safety with an April 6 stroll for National Walking Day and National Public Health Week
Multnomah County Public Health invites community members to join an evening stroll on Wednesday, April 6 at 5 p.m. to highlight physical activity and traffic safety.
In partnership with Oregon Walks, Multnomah County’s Public Health Division and Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program will be co-hosting Take Back The Block on April 6th, in observance of National Walking Day and National Public Health Week. This event will promote walking as a means of physical activity and show the intersections between distracted driving and walker safety. Traffic crashes and deaths have increased dramatically over the past several years: in Multnomah County, traffic crash deaths increased to 67 in 2019, a 44% increase over the average of the previous five years. Deaths in the County continued to rise in 2020 and remained high in 2021, each with over 80 deaths.
Both drivers and pedestrians need to be alert and follow traffic patterns, such as drivers fully stopping at stop signs and pedestrians using sidewalks and crosswalks. However, there are also features in the built environment that may increase the number of traffic crashes in a given area.
“There are a lot of factors that contribute to a traffic crash,” Jessica Guernsey, Public Health Director, says. “These might include unsafe sidewalks or inadequate lighting in underdeveloped neighborhoods. It’s important to consider the big picture instead of placing blame on any one person involved.”
Wednesday’s event will offer some resources and tips for pedestrian safety, as well as introduce some of these larger considerations related to traffic crashes. It will be a family-friendly event where community members can learn the benefits of walking and physical activity then enjoy a guided walk around the Gateway neighborhood. Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines, Public Health Director Jessica Guernsey, Oregon Walks Executive Director Ashton Simpson, and Multnomah County REACH program specialist Taylor Ford will provide remarks on these topics.
As the days get longer and the weather (eventually) gets warmer, walking presents a fun and easy way to get moving. We encourage everyone to kick off the walking season and learn safety tips with us during this week’s Take Back The Block.
WHERE: Gateway Discovery Park (10630 NE Halsey St)
WHEN: Wednesday, April 6. 5:00 PM remarks followed by 5:30 PM 1.5 mile loop walk