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Volunteers asked to assist in audit of downtown streets, seeking needed improvements

In the city of Sandy's quest to expand the downtown core with the Pleasant Street Master Plan, the next step requires something Sandy has in spades — community.

From 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, Emma Porricolo, the city's downtown planner, along with other city staff will conduct a walkability audit of downtown Sandy. But they can't and don't want to do it alone.

"The purpose is really to see the community perspective around walkability," Porricolo said. "We're looking for people of all mobility levels. The city is trying to make sure the improvements are inclusive."

The city staff hopes to get 20-25 volunteers and break them up into groups to assess what needs improvement downtown with a simple checklist.

Based on surveys and other community input from the Pleasant Street Master Plan open house, the city is planning to evaluate the "amount of traffic and speed of traffic as (people are) walking around" and the need for crosswalks.

"We have (also) made adjustments to the proposed Alt (Avenue) realignment and pedestrian plaza design based off feedback from the community," Porricolo noted.

In addition to the audit, the city is also welcoming community input through pop-up mapping. Blank maps will be available at AntFarm Cafe and Bakery, Mountain Moka, Sandy Public Library and Sandy City Hall during the locations' hours of operation until Friday, May 18.

The mission, should community members choose to accept it, is for people to outline where they walk in downtown and leave the map at the pickup location. Porricolo will also be hosting the activity at the Mount Hood Farmers Market from 3-7 p.m. Friday, May 11.

Those who are interested in helping with the audit are asked to RSVP with Emma Porricolo at 503-783-2586.

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