The Center for Planning Excellence held a Twilight Walk and Ribbon Cutting at Longfellow Park on Monday, Oct. 29, to unveil new, safer pedestrian paths.
The event highlighted the importance of having safely connected public spaces with new lighted paths, improved street lighting and high-visibility crosswalks. BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight and CPEX CEO/President Camille Manning-Broome opened the ribbon-cutting event.
Through a grant provided by AARP, CPEX worked with the Department of Public Works and BREC to build on the improvements already happening at Longfellow Park to provide:
Safe, visible crosswalks at dangerous intersections.
Signs alerting drivers that pedestrians are present.
Improved lighting on both Longfellow Drive and the walking path on Riley.
“The AARP grant was intended for a temporary installation, but we wanted to do permanent improvements that came out of the walking club and that built on the momentum of Longfellow Park improvements,” Manning-Broome said.
Other improvements to the park included a new playground, a new concession stand and bleachers, and an improved basketball court, representing a total of $254,000 invested in the park by BREC.
The goal of the project was to enhance the community’s ability to fully utilize the park. “Regardless of if you’re here learning how to ride your bike for the first time or to cheer on your grandchild as they run past home plate, we want quality parks everyone in the community can safely enjoy and take pride in,” McKnight said at the event.
These improvements have significantly improved the community’s ability to fully enjoy the park and surrounding areas.
“Before the improvements, it was difficult to walk safely,” Manning-Broome said. “Now there is sufficient lighting, a walking path, and safe street crossings connecting it to the community so it is a real neighborhood asset that everyone can enjoy.”
“People of all abilities and ages can improve their health while they socialize with their neighbors,” she said. “It’s a welcoming place that the whole community can be proud of.”