From January through April of 2014, five UW-Madison students completed a comprehensive walkability survey of Downtown Madison through the Morgridge Center for Public Service’s Badger Volunteers program. They braved the streets on many a cold day, diligently walking every block and taking notes on design, comfort, safety, engagement, traffic, and many other factors.

Their semester of service culminated in a presentation before the City of Madison’s Downtown Coordinating Committee, where they took committee members on a virtual tour of some of the key intersections, areas, and blocks they visited.

badger volunteer meeting
Badger Volunteer and UW-Madison sophomore Mikayla Hall presents the findings from the volunteers’ walkability study of Downtown Madison as members and staff of the city’s Downtown Coordinating Committee look on

This meeting served as a good introduction to public decision making for the students, who were delighted to hear that one of the city alders in attendance immediately followed up on one of their observations with city engineers and got a problem addressed.

1000 Friends of Wisconsin is working on a navigable public website containing the students’ notes and observations on downtown streets and hopes to expand and encourage grassroots walkability studies statewide.

eye level survey
Screenshot of the map the Badger Volunteers worked on. Interactive map coming soon.

Thanks to the Morgidge Center for Public Service and the Badger Volunteers for all of their hard work!

Learn more about our work with Walk Appeal and our Green Downtown Program.