ALTON - The City of Alton will host a “walking audit” to promote conversations about walkability in downtown Alton.

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Starting at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 30, 2024, elected officials and community leaders will meet at City Hall and begin their walk through the downtown district. Sara McGibany, executive director of Alton Main Street, explained that the goal of the audit is to increase conversations about walkability and bikeability in Alton and encourage people to slow down on the roads.

“We’re just trying to call attention to the fact that Piasa Street more or less cutting downtown Alton in half is detrimental to safety,” McGibany said. “It’s detrimental to our economy and to the quality of life of the residents that live here and the visitors that come to check Alton out.”

McGibany explained that the audit is part of the Great Streets Initiative, a program sponsored by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments. A $500,000 planning grant allowed the City to outline a plan for increased walkability and bikeability.

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The next step, McGibany said, is the walking audit. The City of Alton has invited elected officials, community leaders and other stakeholders to participate in the walking audit. McGibany hopes this will draw attention to safety concerns in downtown Alton.

“You can show people photographs and maps and aerial views until the cows come home, but you do not understand the significance of how unsafe you feel trying to cross Broadway on foot unless you’re standing right there at ground level,” she said.

McGibany said walkability and bikeability are “increasingly important,” and she hopes the audit will encourage the local “decision makers” to think about how they can improve walkability in the downtown area.

“We would really just like to call attention to anything we can do to calm the traffic, to make it go the appropriate speed limit that’s posted, and really just get everybody to slow down,” McGibany added. “We’re not trying to get people through the district as quickly as possible. We’re trying to entice them to take a left turn onto Third Street and enjoy our shops and restaurants, and this is going to be a good way to do that.”

For more information about Alton Main Street, visit their official website at

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