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Park and Walk Project Encourages Students to Walk to Class

by: James Mainier

Photo Courtesy of Youssef D on Unsplash

On the University of Pittsburgh Greensburg campus, there have been some signs placed asking students to “Park and Walk.” What does this mean and why?  One thing that can be assured is this is a good thing. It just might need a little bit more emphasis on why and how it works.

Everybody knows that vehicle parking can be tough on campus. Parking close to buildings is something that students all like to do. It gets them there quicker and gets them home quicker.

One student on campus took it upon himself to do a project that would not only help people’s health but also free up some space for commuters and other people who are just trying to find a place to park. This student is Hunter Waltermire.

The main message, Waltermire says, behind these cardboard signs on campus is, “to try to get people to walk between buildings on campus rather than driving their vehicle from building to building because we are a relatively small campus. I think there are a lot of health and environmental benefits listed on the signs for parking and walking.”  

Waltermire explained the health benefits of walking instead of driving. 

“Some of the health benefits of walking more often is for cardiovascular fitness, increase of energy levels, to strengthen and improve muscular endurance, boost mood, and combat depression,” Waltermire said.  

Photo Courtesy of Bailey Weber

He knows these things because of his interest and ongoing education in the medical field. Plus, there are some Spanish words on the signs to give everyone a taste of Spanish rhetoric.

There is a monetary reason to park and walk too. There is a QR code that students can scan on the signs and list 3 health or environmental benefits on a Google Form and then list their name and email. That gets sent to him, and at the end of the semester all the names get put into a randomizer. Several gift cards will be handed out to winners randomly chosen at the end of the semester.

The bottom line is that if a student has a class in Powers Hall and a class in Smith Hall, instead of driving to each building, the student should just walk. It’s better for the students’ health and better for other people trying to find parking.

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