Homes near the corner of Boynton and Ohio Streets in Bangor. The area is part of Bangor’s Whitney Park neighborhood. Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

Bangor wants its residents this month to get out, walk around their neighborhoods and make observations.

The request is part of a month-long effort to audit Bangor’s pedestrian friendliness in conjunction with a national AARP program. 

The “Walk Audit” organized by Bangor’s planning office and the city’s Livable Community Committee asks residents to map their walks and document areas for improvement on issues ranging from driver safety and sidewalk conditions to comfort and crosswalk visibility.

The observations are supposed to factor into long-term, comprehensive planning for the city and tell the city how residents are interacting with their neighborhoods, Planning Officer Anne Krieg told city councilors during a Business and Economic Development Committee meeting on Oct. 5.  The observations could also help the city generate recommendations for making streets and sidewalks safer.

A survey is available online for participants to complete. Paper forms are also available.

The Bangor Livable Community Steering Committee is a part of the AARP’s Age-Friendly Communities Network, of which Bangor is a part. 

“The Walk Audit is a program of AARP that engages people of all ages to experience their own neighborhoods and/or where they like to walk,” Krieg said in a memo to Tanya Emery, Bangor’s director of community and economic development. 

City staff are encouraged to conduct their own walking audits on their lunch breaks or during normal walks, and the planning office hopes the planning board and city councilors will “actively participate” in the project, Krieg said in the meeting. 

The city will also reach out to other groups like the YMCA, the Bangor Public Library, local schools and banks, and advertise on social media to encourage people to participate, Krieg said. 

Forms should be returned by Oct. 31. 

Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to LRussell@bangordailynews.com.