West Franklin St. has long been a hub of activities and nightlife in Evansville. Now, it has a new feature…smart signs.
In hopes of making Evansville a healthier city, smart signs were installed to encourage people to walk places rather than drive there.
“You don’t have to go to the gym everyday to be healthy,” Lacy Wilson, the Wellness Coordinator for Purdue Extension says. “If you can walk 10 minutes at a time, that proves to have the same health benefit as before, so I’m really hoping people will walk or bike to their destinations, leave their car behind, and just make Evansville a healthier place to live.”
From St. Joe Ave, to Fulton Ave., signs were ziptied to points of interest in the city.
“Just like any other city using your walking app, you wouldn’t be looking at it the whole time. It would be like driving with your GPS,” Wilson says.
All you have to do is scan the quick response code on each sign with an app on your smart phone. A google map then gives you walking directions and information about where you’re headed.
“If it’s more than 25 minutes, research shows that most people won’t walk there for just an everyday walk,” Wilson says. “But if it’s under 25 minutes than you are more likely to leave your car behind.”
Purdue Extension Community Wellness started the project while working with other groups such as the YMCA, the Welburn Baptist Foundation, smoke free communities, the health department, and EVSC, to see how healthy Evansville really is.
According to Wilson, Haynie’s corner downtown is next up for smart signs, and there could be more.
“We’re hoping that we can show through people scanning the QR codes…because we will keep track of how many people use it…that we can bring that information to the city.”
That information could lead to more smart signs in Evansville. Those codes can be scanned by any QR reader app which is available for Apple and Android phones.