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Lindenhurst village asks residents to participate in walkability study

Lindenhurst Village Hall seen on July 11, 2016.

Lindenhurst Village Hall seen on July 11, 2016. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Lindenhurst is telling residents to go take a walk.

The village on Saturday will host its first public “Lindenwalk,” a .85-mile route around the village’s downtown where residents will be asked to rate various features of “walkability” as part of a study the village is conducting. Participants will be given an audit sheet broken down into street sections with three main categories: sidewalks and street; driver behavior and walking experience. Within those groups are more targeted questions on topics such as sidewalk width, driver speed and areas to rest.

Village trustee RJ Renna said the message the village is trying to send to residents is that officials want to hear their complaints.

“It is crucial that we to take steps to provide a blueprint for the success of our village,” he said of the walkability study, which is aimed at helping the village bring in more businesses and patrons to its downtown. “But the only way this study works is if we have the input of the community and businesses.”

Village officials and the Lindenhurst Economic Development Committee walked more than 2 miles through the village in July, said Frank Pearson, director of transportation safety for Greenman-Pedersen Inc. of Babylon, the firm the village hired in April using a $200,000 Suffolk County grant.

Pearson said a third walk for the village’s business owners will be held in the coming months. He said the company also is creating a website mapping tool for residents who cannot make the walk. All feedback will then be analyzed as part of the study. Pearson said he hopes to complete the study in April and send the firm's recommendations to the village within the next few months. 

Pearson said the study can help the village with the economic sustainability of its downtown.

“Twenty years ago, downtowns were suffering and malls were being built and now you’re seeing that trend reverse,” he said. “There’s definitely that sense that the downtown is a place where people want to be.”

The village has dubbed the Saturday event “Walk-Bike-Explore Lindenhurst.” Three walks will start at the Village Square and take place every hour starting at 10:30 a.m. and a bike ride is planned for 1 p.m. There will also be a bike safety program for children.

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