ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Friday issued a proclamation designating October as “Walktober” in recognition of Maryland’s official exercise—walking—for its health, recreation, and transportation benefits. The second annual month-long celebration includes Maryland’s seventh annual Walk Maryland Day on October 6, as well as a Walktober webinar series focused on pedestrian safety, access, and health.
“During the COVID-19 emergency, many Marylanders rediscovered their love of walking for recreation, exercise, and for their mental health,” said Governor Hogan. “Maryland designated walking as our official state exercise in 2008, and I encourage people of all ages to step out this Walktober and enjoy Maryland’s autumn beauty.”
For Walk Maryland Day, residents are invited to become official “Sole Mates” by joining one of the official walks. Participants also can register walks they take alone or with others at https://mdot.maryland.gov/walktober. The Walktober webinar series is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 7, 14, 21, and 28, and will feature experts discussing ideas and innovations to promote walkable communities and expand pedestrian access, safety, and commuting options across the state. Details and registration are also available at https://mdot.maryland.gov/walktober.
The Hogan administration supports pedestrian access and infrastructure initiatives, and works with the Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and other partners to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and accessibility. Maryland has more than 1,200 miles of trails on state public lands, and the governor recently announced $16.8 million in grants to advance 42 bike and pedestrian projects across the state.
“Walktober is another reminder that walkability is critical for our communities, and plays a tremendously positive role in residents’ quality of life,” said Secretary Greg Slater of the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). “Walktober brings us together to enjoy the outdoors and encourages every Marylander to work together to improve pedestrian access and safety across the state.”
Agencies participating in Walktober events include MDOT, the Maryland Department of Health, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Department of Planning, the Maryland Department of Commerce, and the Maryland Office of Tourism, as well as local jurisdictions, agencies, nonprofits, and private sector partners.