— Pamela Roth
To get from point A to point B, Arielle Guetta typically relies on her feet.
Living downtown without a vehicle, the 32-year-old has no problem accessing the services she needs, but she’s noticed some improvements could be made to make walking a more enjoyable experience.
“Douglas Street is not necessarily an enjoyable walking experience. There aren’t a lot of store fronts that are visually engaging, it’s a busy road, you have to cross a lot of crosswalks so it takes you longer to walk,” said Guetta, noting other issues throughout the city, such as sidewalk repair.
Despite some of the issues, walking is still an enjoyable experience for Guetta, which is why she’s encouraging people to get out of their cars and on their feet for the first annual Walk on Week Oct. 5 to 11.
Inspired by Bike to Work Week, now in its 22nd year, Guetta and Salley Reid decided to take the concept a step further by encouraging people to walk to work and school, or for exercise and the pure pleasure of enjoying the city and region.
“It’s a healthy form of recreation, it’s a sustainable transportation, and it’s good for your mental health,” said Guetta. “We love bikers as well, but really thought it was time to kind of put forward the pedestrian view.”
The week kicks off on Monday in Centennial Square. From 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., pedestrians can stop by to learn more about Walk On and other pedestrian friendly organizations in Greater Victoria.
Public schools have also been encouraged to participate since Wednesday is international walk to school day. Local walking clubs will have recreational walks scheduled throughout the week and the Victoria “Y” Volkssport Club will hold a special walk on Saturday in Esquimalt.
Walk On, Victoria is a pedestrian advocacy group formed in 2014. The group aims to give pedestrians a voice and ultimately make Victoria a safer and more enjoyable place for everyone to walk.