Seymour Main Street adding pedestrian signs downtown

Did you know that half of all trips taken are less than three miles? So why not walk there?

That’s the thought behind new signage added in downtown Seymour that points to different destinations, encouraging people to walk instead of drive.

The eight Walk Your City signs are the result of a partnership between Seymour Main Street and Healthy Jackson County to promote walking as a healthy habit and to get people to explore the downtown.

The signs indicate a walker is just five minutes away from locations such as the Jackson County Visitor Center, the Seymour Post Office, the Jackson County Public Library, the Seymour Area Farmers Market and Gaiser Park.

Becky Schepman, executive director of Seymour Main Street, said the signs are designed to serve as a reminder that you don’t need to spend gas money to get where you need to go.

“I am hopeful that it shows the community that a lot of locations they are going are not too far for them to walk,” she said.

Schepman said she also hopes the signs will help change the perception that there’s not enough parking in downtown Seymour.

“The reality is there has been a transportation study done in our town, and we have more than enough parking to accommodate our businesses,” she said. “The problem is changing the perception and getting community members to realize they don’t have to park in front of the building they are shopping in. If they park and walk, lots of locations are all within five minutes of each other in the downtown area.”

Signs have been installed at the corner of Second and Chestnut streets, Tipton and Chestnut streets and Indianapolis Avenue and Second Street and in the Robertson Mill Parking Lot. The signs were made and installed by the Seymour Department of Public Works.

Another four signs are planned to be put up later this spring, Schepman said. She also serves as chairwoman of Healthy Jackson County’s physical activity committee.

“We want to see how these work before installing the rest,” she said. “We’re hoping these signs will serve as a reminder to walk, take in the sights and also get some exercise.”

The locations of the signs were chosen after Schepman walked around downtown with Seymour Main Street design committee member Nate Otte and Healthy Jackson County member Chad Whittymore.

“We picked locations that we felt like got the most traffic,” Schepman said.

The first set of signs will point toward parks, government locations and nonprofit organizations, not personal businesses.

“Our goal would be after a successful campaign that we would change the signs and point to other locations in the downtown and around Seymour,” Schepman said. “We want to grow the campaign and spread out into the city and not just the downtown.”

After checking out walkyourcity.org and reading about other towns and the success they had by putting up such signs, Schepman couldn’t stop thinking about how the signs could encourage physical activity in downtown Seymour.

“Our committee has been trying to plan events that get people moving and promote physical activity, and I thought these would be a good way to make walking part of people’s daily behavior so that it becomes a healthy habit,” she said. “The benefits of a daily walk are tremendous. They include physical health and mental health.”

Schepman hopes people will take notice of the signs and take a picture of themselves out walking to share on social media with the post #walkseymour.

“It will be a great way to encourage others and see if the signs are making a difference in pedestrians’ daily behavior,” she said. “Hopefully, we will see people out walking in our downtown more often.”

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Walk Your City signs are located at:

Corner of Second and Chestnut streets

Robertson Mill Parking Lot

Corner of Tipton and Chestnut streets

Corner of Indianapolis Avenue and Second Street

Four more signs will be installed in downtown Seymour later this spring.

While out taking a walk, snap a photo and share on social media with the post #walkseymour to encourage others in the community to get out and walk, too.

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