By Mike Gennaro, Publisher
Making a left turn off of any major road in Zachary is a gamble. How much harder is it to be a pedestrian? Zachary’s walkability score on the National Walkability Index is a six out of a possible total of 20.
Community contributor Nick Lanata created a Tableau Dashboard with additional walkability insights.
Want a more walkable city?
Look to the success of mixed-use retail + residential developments as a viable way to build walkability within the private sector. Local government can create economic overlay districts that help developers create walking trails and other amenities using the sales taxes their retailers collect.
Pedestrian foot traffic drives retail sales. Retail sales fund local government. Americana Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) paved the way with retail amenities and a 30A vibe and is finally almost leased to capacity at $25.00 annual per square foot prices—that’s high-dollar for Zachary. It’s not uncommon for residents to walk to Lit Pizza or Agave Blue and join up with friends on the way. The latest tenant, Baton Rouge General, saw the vision and caters to drive-up and walk-in clientele.
Next time you see a PUD come before council, leave the pitchforks and torches at home.
The corner tract of Zimmerman at Hwy 64 is zoned as a PUD, though it sits just outside of Zachary’s city limits. Carlos Alvarez is building Cheval Trails behind a nearly six acre commercial tract with frontage.
When local developer, John Stagg, brought CC’s and other retail amenities to the front of Copper Mill and connected it to the walking path, cars began to wrap around the building along with pedestrian patrons, all craving an E22 shaken espresso.
PUDs offer opportunities for local government to work alongside private developers, increasing walkability within neighborhoods and connectivity between amenities. Next time you see a PUD come before council, leave the pitchforks and torches at home.