English and Spanish 8 80 Walk Audits
The 8 80 Walk Audit is a simple and interactive tool for community members to assess the safety and friendliness of their street(s) by going on a group walk. Walk audit leaders provide each participant with a walk audit booklet which contains a series of questions about the characteristics of a street. Participants answer the booklet questions by observing the environment around them.
30 - 90 minutes
12 and up
- Walk audits
STEP 1: Pick a route and a time.
Identify the street(s) you want to audit. Afterwards, map out the route you want to walk and the exact stops you will be making along this route.
Based on your route and number of stops, determine how long it will take to complete the audit. Keep in mind that the larger the group, the longer it will take to get from point A to point B.
STEP 2: Invite participants.
Take measures to ensure that those participating in your walk audit are representative of the demographics (age, gender, race, ability, etc.) of the community in which the walk audit is taking place. This might mean reaching out directly to certain community groups to invite them to participate.
If the purpose of your walk audit is to convince a local decisionmaker to take action to improve streets, invite them to join the walk audit and hear firsthand from residents their experience as pedestrians.
STEP 3: Get the group together.
Welcome participants and explain to them how the walk audit works. Give each participant a clipboard, walk audit, and pen. If the group is particularly large, you can assign sections of the route to certain participants. That way at the end of the walk audit, you will have completed audits for each section of the route.
STEP 4: Walk the route.
As you are stopping along the route, ask participants about their first impressions of the space around them. What do they observe? How do they feel? In addition to sparking up a group discussion, allow walk audit-goers time to individually take in the environment around them to answer the booklet prompts.
STEP 5: Collect the walk audit booklets.
Input the data from the walk audit booklets into a spreadsheet. The answers should paint a good picture of what community members feel is working well and what needs improvement along the route. Summarize these answers and use them to inform your next steps for improving the safety, accessibility, and friendliness of these streets.