Residents and visitors are being encouraged to walk Evansville with 16 new “smart” signs that direct pedestrians to points of interest. They will be installed on Franklin Street at the end of July.

The signs have directional arrows and include QR (Quick Response) codes that can be scanned with a smart phone to load a live Google map, turn-by-turn directions to the destination, and information about the attraction including street address. If you don’t have a QR app on your smart phone, make sure to download one so you can read the Walk EVV codes.

This project was a grassroots effort that arose from a small community health needs assessment Purdue Extension’s Community Wellness Coordinator Lacy Wilson started in the Fall of 2015.  The Welborn Baptist Foundation, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Vanderburgh County Health Dept., Echo Community Clinic, YMCA, Smoke Free Communities and EVSC were all devoted to see these fun signs appear on street corners.

Each sign, mounted at eye level, shows that it’s just a short walk to some of the City’s premier destinations, such as: “It is a 16 minute walk to a kid friendly park,” or “It is a 8 minute walk drop off your mail.” The signs are color-coded — green for open space, for example, and orange for arts and culture — and the roll-out this summer is considered the first project that is to lead to more signs later this year in two more areas of Evansville.

According to Walk Score® (www.walkscore.com), Evansville is ranked 41 out of 100, making the city very car dependent.

Users can provide feedback on the Walk EVV effort when they scan the QR codes on signs.  The Purdue Extension office will also post photos on its Facebook page of people in front of some of their favorite walking destinations in the City. Just take a selfie on your smart phone, tell us what you liked about your walk or what you learned, and email them to wilso766@purdue.edu.

--From PURDUE UNIVERSITY COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, Vanderburgh County