By Noa Weiss

Noa testifying before the Louisville Metro Planning Commission.

My name is Noa, I am 10 years old and live in the city of Hurstbourne, District 18. I attended Lowe elementary and I’m now a 6th grader at Meyzeek middle school in the MST Program which stands for Math Science Technology. I am also doing Meyzeek Field hockey, orchestra and Cross Country , and in the future, I plan to do Lacrosse, robotics, and track for our school.

This summer, I joined two walk audits led by Emilee McCubbins to see firsthand how easy or difficult it is to get around in a neighborhood safely.  We looked for safe sidewalks, clearly marked crosswalks, clean environments, and community members. Now, let’s get into some examples of the walk audits I have done!

I think that walk audits are important for us to see the complete streets and incomplete streets in Louisville. When we have complete streets, it shows that people can be happy and safe while walking the streets of our city. It is also important to us that people feel safe walking or riding a bike on their streets.

Noa and fellow complete streets advocate, Rita Morrow with AARP Kentucky.

When I went to the Churchill Downs walk audit I would NOT count it as a complete street at all. There was a school called Semple Elementary and some of you know if you are within a mile of your school you would have to walk to school. If I had to walk to Semple elementary I would not be happy because the sidewalks were cracked, and not shady, and very rocky, and it felt like walking on a pile of legos. Also, we saw that there was a drugstore right next to the elementary school. Having people walking out of the store drinking and smoking would not set a very good example for kids or make them feel safe but I know that it would make me feel unsafe. That was my example of an uncomplete street.

The second walk audit I went on was downtown Louisville. I definitely would call that a complete street. Although there wasn’t much shade we did see the diversity of the shops there and the people walking around. But we did notice that scooters were lying around everywhere which is not safe because there were no helmets, and you could accidentally trip on them and bicyclers would get seriously injured if they rode over one of the scooters. There were a lot of sidewalks and bicycle lanes the whole way around. That was my example of a complete street.

These walk audits are a whole lot of fun. I hope I can do more walk audits with our community. I support complete streets because it helps keep people safe and lets them get where they want to go whether that is school, work, or home.  I hope you can help us care about the community together.

The proposed complete streets ordinance (O-267-19), sponsored by Councilman David James, passed the Louisville Metro Council with overwhelming support on August 22nd. Learn more about the Complete Streets for Louisville Coalition here