A Walkable Community
Keene already has a strong foundation as a walkable community. Much of the downtown has traditionally been walkable through its mix of land uses and provision of sidewalks, connections to trails, and close proximity of goods, services, housing, and employment. However, walkability is limited to that area, and much work remains to create a truly walkable community outside of downtown. To create and support walkability, sidewalks and crosswalks need to be improved in more areas than just the downtown. Traffic along major corridors needs to be calmed and improvements to safety for pedestrians and bicyclists need to be made to support greater density. In addition, mixed uses in neighborhoods should be encouraged and community connections between neighborhood mixed-use areas, schools and other amenities provided.
The bottom line is that people must have a place to walk to and a way to walk there. In the downtown core and surrounding downtown neighborhoods, walkability is tied directly to streetscape amenities. In other parts of the community, it will have a different focus, perhaps through the connection of suburban neighborhoods to trail systems and schools.