Contact: Maryland Department of Transportation Office of Public Affairs
David Broughton, 410-865-1029
Jim Joyner, 410-865-1030 


Monthlong Celebration Includes Walk Maryland Day on Wednesday, October 4; ‘Walkinar’ Series on Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure

HANOVER, MD (September 28, 2023) – The Maryland Department of Transportation is joining partner agencies, nonprofits and communities across the state for the fourth annual Walktober celebration, a series of events and online webinars throughout October highlighting Maryland’s official state exercise and the importance of pedestrian safety, equitable access, transportation options and healthy lifestyles. Festivities include the ninth annual Walk Maryland Day on Wednesday, October 4. 

Walking is Maryland’s official state exercise, and Walktober 2023 encourages everyone to step out to enjoy the many benefits of walking. The celebration also supports the Moore-Miller Administration’s goal to transform the state’s transportation system and provide Marylanders with accessible, equitable and sustainable options – including walking and biking – to connect everyone to life’s opportunities and leave no one behind.

“Safe and equitable access to sidewalks, crosswalks and walking trails is a crucial element of Maryland’s world-class transportation network, and improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “Walktober raises awareness of pedestrian needs, and challenges us all to work together to provide safe, convenience and equitable access.”

Walk Maryland Day on October 4 encourages Marylanders to spend part of the day taking a walk. Registered Walk Maryland Day events will be held across the state, and people can become “Sole Mates” by registering to join one of the official walks. Individuals are invited to take part in any of the official events – or simply walk at a location of their choice, whether alone or with others. To register, go here, or access the main Walktober 2023 page,

Everyone can also sign up for the 90-minute webinars – or “Walkinars” – that will be held virtually 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursdays, October 5, 12, 19 and 26. Registration is available here.

During the Walkinar sessions, local, state and national speakers will share resources to help build, strengthen and sustain partnerships to encourage walking, and will discuss tools and technologies in Maryland and across the country to promote pedestrian access and safety. The series is open to all, and provides American Institute of Certified Planners with 1.5 Certification Maintenance credits per session. Topics include:

  • October 5, National Perspectives on Walking and Pedestrian Safety – The first Walkinar will focus on the national movement to promote pedestrian safety initiatives. Mike McGinn, executive director of America Walks, and Mike Watson, AARP director of Livable Communities, will discuss national trends in walkability and the increased funding available for Safe Streets and new initiatives for safer vehicles. They will also share ways individuals can help build momentum in their local communities for more walkable, accessible places.

  • October 12, Pedestrian Infrastructure and Safety – New approaches to planning, including ways to link land use and transportation, will be discussed by a panel including Edward Erfurt, director of Community Action at the nonprofit media advocacy organization Strong Towns; Wesley Mitchell, senior vice president of Mid-Atlantic Transportation Planning at the engineering and design firm WSP USA; and Kathryn Hendley, lead transportation planner at WSP USA. The discussion will include a look at Baltimore City’s Druid Park Lake Drive Complete Streets Study, which explores ways to increase safety and health by improving pedestrian connectivity.

  • ​October 19, Maryland Initiatives – Vision Zero and Maryland’s goals will be discussed in this session featuring Molly Porter, bicycle and pedestrian planner for Regional and Intermodal Planning at the State Highway Administration; Douglas Mowbray, data program manager for the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office; and Chester Harvey, director of the Transportation Policy Research Group at the National Center for Smart Growth. Federal, state, and local agencies are partnering with the public to improve safety, reduce crashes and enhance livability as part of Maryland’s goal to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities, a strategy known as Vision Zero. The group will share the work Maryland is doing to improve safety and support smart growth and walkable design principles.

  • October 26, Equity in Access – The final Walkinar will focus on equity, accessibility and the design decision-making process, and ways to avoid disparate impacts on quality of life and safety in communities. Michael Rodriguez, director of research for Smart Growth America; Matt Johnson, bikeways coordinator with the Division of Transportation Engineering for the Montgomery County Department of Transportation; and Charles L. Marohn Jr., an author and founder and president of Strong Towns, will also discuss tools and techniques to make communities safer and more accessible.

October also has been designated as National Pedestrian Safety Month by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Safety Administration. In addition to celebration Walktober, the Maryland Department of Transportation is promoting Pedestrian Safety Month and the state’s first-ever Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, which identifies corridors across the state with the greatest safety and accessibility needs. The State Highway Administration has programmed nearly $100 million to help address safety and accessibility needs identified in the plan.

The Maryland Department of Transportation also is updating its Complete Streets policy, designed to create safe, accessible and multimodal transportation facilities that accommodate users of all ages and abilities. The new policy will take a departmental approach to engage communities and use innovative design and data-driven decision making to align pedestrian, bicycle and transit access goals with the department’s vision for safety, environmental and sustainable transportation. The department is also launching a sidewalk data collaboration project. This initiative will look at how agencies across the U.S. map and monitor sidewalk infrastructure, and help Maryland evaluate the feasibility of creating a statewide sidewalk database.

For more information on Walktober or to register for events, go to Follow updates on X (formerlyTwitter) @WalkCycleMD and @MDOTNews, on Facebook at or and on LinkedIn at

In addition to the Maryland Department of Transportation and its modes, Walktober 2023 partners include agencies and departments in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Harford, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, AARP Maryland, AARP National, America Walks, Strong Towns, American Discovery Trail, The City of Greenbelt, Calvert Nature Society, Gaithersburg Germantown Chamber of Commerce, Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, Just Walk Worcester, the Worcester County Bike and Pedestrian Coalition, the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, Rotary of Kent Island, University of Maryland Extension, Vision Zero Prince George’s, Walk with a Doc, Wilmington Area Planning Council, The Trust for Public Land, Garrett Trails, Howard County Local Health Improvement Coalition, the Prince George’s County Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Walk Wicomico, Sustainable Maryland, Maryland State Department of Education, Maryland Department of Commerce, Maryland Department of Health, Maryland Department of Environment, Maryland Department of Aging, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Department of Planning, Maryland Office of Tourism, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, WPS USA, WTS, Commuter Choice Maryland, National Kidney Foundation, the National Center for Smart Growth and Asbury Methodist Village.


What Partners are Saying About Walktober 2023

“Walking is one of the easiest ways to get physical activity in your day – and Walktober provides a good opportunity to remind all road users of the importance of doing their part to share the road. With October designated as National Pedestrian Safety Month, we ask that both motorists and pedestrians practice safe behaviors while driving and walking. Pedestrians should cross at designated crosswalks and obey walk signals. Motorists should obey the speed limit and give their full time and attention to the road, especially as we enter a time of less daylight hours.”

Chrissy Nizer, Administrator, Motor Vehicle Administration, and 
Governor Wes Moore’s Highway Safety Representative

“The cool temperatures and vibrant fall colors make October an ideal time for pedestrians to be outside enjoying the natural beauty that Maryland offers. With shorter days, it is especially essential for drivers to slow down and stop for pedestrians so they can safely walk to their destinations.”

William Pines, Administrator, State Highway Administration

“During Walktober, we encourage Marylanders of all ages and abilities to get outside and enjoy Maryland’s beauty by taking a walk. Walking has many health benefits including improving your heart health and mental health.”

Nilesh Kalyanaraman, Deputy Secretary of Public Health, Maryland Department of Health

“Maryland in fall provides spectacular opportunities to take a hike – whether you're walking to school or work, exercising on a local path, or getting away from it all on the trails of our state parks, forests, and other public lands. We encourage everyone to get outside and take part in Walktober.” 

Josh Kurtz, Secretary, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

“There’s no better way to explore Maryland’s vibrant communities than on foot, whether that’s on the sidewalk of a bustling downtown, along safe neighborhood streets, or along a scenic walking trail. This Walktober, we encourage all Marylanders to get outside and find new ways to love where they live.”

Jake Day, Secretary, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development 

“Community health and well-being are directly attributable to the level of safe, aesthetically pleasing pedestrian connections between neighborhood assets. Properly designed and maintained pedestrian passages, as part of compact development and infrastructure systems, provide Marylanders with affordable access to exercise and amenities, while also reducing our carbon footprint. These are foundational elements of great community planning.”

Rebecca Flora, Secretary, Maryland Department of Planning
“Walktober is a great time to remember that we can all walk our way into a greener and healthier Maryland. It also helps us reach our climate goals. Let’s all do our part in improving our personal health and the health of the planet.”

Serena McIlwain, Secretary, Maryland Department of Environment

“There is no better time than Walktober to enjoy the scenic beauty of Maryland. Whether you're in the mountains, on the shore, or in the gentle hills of Central Maryland, our second-to-none trail system is the perfect way to enjoy the crisp fresh air, the changing leaves, and the gorgeous views.”

Kevin Anderson, Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce

“University of Maryland Extension is committed to engaging with our communities to educate the public about the importance of maintaining mental and physical well-being, so it's a natural fit to partner with MDOT in their mission to create healthy, walkable neighborhoods that benefit all Marylanders. We're proud to continue to participate in WalkMD Day and all of Walktober.”

Jinhee Kim, Associate Dean, University of Maryland Extension