MCDOT Celebrates ‘Walktober’, Promoting Pedestrian Health, Safety

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has partnered with the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to host “Walktober,” an event series that strolls on throughout October to help promote the State’s official exercise: walking.

According to a press release, the event series coincides with the “celebration of the sixth annual Walk Maryland Day on Wednesday, Oct. 7.” MCDOT is also supporting statewide “walkinars”, which are 90 minute webinars hosted by local, state, and national speakers. Four walkinars will be hosted throughout the month.

Although the first walkinar was on Oct. 1, there are still three more that you can attend. These include:

  • October 15:“Pedestrian Infrastructure, Safety and Health.”
    • This webinar will highlight MDOT’s pedestrian safety initiatives, as well as Maryland Department of Health (MDH) efforts to encourage people of all ages and abilities to make walking part of a wellness plan.
  • October 22: “New Trends and Technologies to Support Walkability and Walking.”
    • This talk will focus on tools and technologies that can help communities develop safe infrastructure and identify areas to target for access improvements.
  • October 29: “Walking the Walk of Maryland’s Pedestrian Agenda.”
    • Panelists will discuss actions being taken across Maryland to integrate walking into residents’ daily lives and commutes.

These walkinars come as a replacement to in person events, which MCDOT says is to encourage safe practices during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sandra Brecher, MCDOT’s Chief of Commuter Services, will be speaking at the Oct. 29 panel. All three walkinars are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on their respective days.

MCDOT also partnered with almost 100 employer-based teams around the county in support of its annual Walk & Ride Challenge, which MCDOT Director Chris Conklin says they are proud of. “Most recently, we have worked with our community to expand safe walking and biking opportunities through our Shared Streets program,” which was developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Conklin also says Walktober is a great opportunity to share the benefits of walking, “and to acknowledge what more we can do in Maryland to make walking safer for everyone as we work together to achieve out Vision Zero goals.”

More information on the Walk & Ride Challenge will be announced at the walkinar on Oct. 29.

To register for the upcoming walkinars, click here. You can also learn more about Walk Maryland Day at this link. A list of registered walks will become available on Oct. 2. These walks will follow Covid-19 guidelines.

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