In 2009, the initial Rosedale Community Assessment was completed. It looked at community walkability and bikeability, access to clean, safe parks, and access to healthy, affordable food. This summer, a University of Kansas Medical School Community Health Project intern, Harley Knudsen, worked with Rosedale Development Association to complete a reassessment in these same four areas. Her research highlights areas that have been improved upon since the 2009 assessment, as well as those that still need attention.
Why collect all this data?
It is important for us to know and track how, and in what ways, Rosedale is improving. The data from the initial assessments was used as an advocacy tool for a new playground at and better pedestrian access to Rosedale Park, for Safe Routes to School sidewalk improvements and for bike lanes along Southwest Boulevard/Merriam Lane. This new assessment provides the data necessary to advocate for further community improvements.
Many positive changes have already been made in all four categories. Walkability has been improved by the replacement of many of the old and broken sidewalks on Southwest Blvd. and within several residential neighborhoods, as well as the addition of crosswalks and curb ramps where there were none previously. Bikeability has been greatly impacted by the addition of bike lanes for the entirety of Southwest Blvd. Many local corner shops have worked to offer healthier snacks to the Rosedale Community, and all of the parks within Rosedale have improved their equipment to better comply with current safety recommendations.
Rosedale still faces many challenges for becoming a more walkable and bikeable community, with access to safe parks and healthy food, but it is clear from the reassessment that Rosedale is moving in the right direction. With the information gained this summer more positive changes are sure to come.