Making Maui County More Walkable

April 26, 2019, 9:18 AM HST · Updated April 26, 9:18 AM
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Mayor Michael Victorino and the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization are wrapping up a four-day trip to Decatur in Atlanta, Georgia where they are attending the Walkability Action Institute.

The Maui group took a multi-day course on developing action plans as well as policies, systems and environmental support to make Maui County more walkable for the future.

Mayor Michael Victorino and the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization are wrapping up their four-day trip to Decatur (Atlanta), Georgia for a course to support making Maui County more walkable. Photo courtesy: Lauren Armstrong

The action institute is led by the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity.

The purpose of the action institute is to provide regional teams from across the country with the most up-to-date academic and applied learning methods, and reinforce and support implementation of significant national public health policy statements promoting walking and walkability. The course combines traditional learning methods with robust activities and outdoor learning.

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This is the County of Maui’s first time participating in the action institute and is one of 10 teams from Florida, Oregon, Colorado and other states. Teams were asked to bring public health, planning and transportation officials.

Maui County’s team also was required to have an elected official accompany them on the trip.

“The knowledge and training we’ve gained at the Walkability Action Institute will be invaluable as we continue to reevaluate how we develop multimodal transportation systems for Maui County,” Maui MPO Executive Director Lauren Armstrong said. “This opportunity would not have been possible without Mayor’s attendance, and we’re very grateful he joined us.”

Posed Group Photo (LEFT TO RIGHT): Public Works Traffic Engineer Nolly Yagin, Long Range Planning Division Administrator Pam Eaton, Donna Clayton of the State of Hawaii Na Ala Hele Maui Council, Mayor Michael Victorino, Lauren Loor, coalition coordinator for the Healthy Eating Active Living Coalition, and Maui MPO Executive Director Lauren Armstrong. Photo courtesy: Lauren Armstrong

Also joining the team were Long Range Planning Division Administrator Pam Eaton, Public Works Traffic Engineer Nolly Yagin, Donna Clayton of the State of Hawaiʻi Nā Ala Hele Maui Council, and Lauren Loor, coalition coordinator for the Healthy Eating Active Living Coalition.

“We were very fortunate to be able to attend this cutting-edge, forward-thinking course with the help of grant funding,” Mayor Victorino said. “What we’ve learned here will help us design a community that supports non-motorized forms of transportation and strives to reduce physical inactivity, which can lead to obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases, for our future generations.”

The Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization is a federally mandated government agency formed in 2016 by the State of Hawaiʻi and County of Maui to facilitate comprehensive planning for federally-funded or regionally significant transportation systems on the island of Maui.

The MPO and its partner agencies develop plans and programs for a multimodal transportation system that facilitates the movement of people and goods. Maui MPO does not construct projects or implement these programs directly.

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and its more than 7,000 Members seek to strengthen state-based leadership and expertise for chronic disease prevention and control in states and nationally. Established in 1988, in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NACDD is the only membership association of its kind to serve and represent every chronic disease division in all states and US territories.

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