The Rose City Steppers will meet on Saturday morning, October 9 to walk the “Fairwoods” section of Madison for their monthly walk, #9 in the Madison Walks book. The Steppers are trying out a new addition to the Saturday morning walks – meeting for coffee and conversation fifteen minutes before starting out. All walkers are invited to bring a cup of coffee and meet at 8:45 a.m. for a short visiting time before the walk starts at 9:00. The group will gather along Morris Place, near the intersection with Danforth Road.

Cindy Reuther from Morris County Trans Options joined the Steppers at their final Wednesday evening walk of the season on September 8.    She offered suggestions to participants about increasing personal safety while walking. Pedestrian fatalities are increasing in New Jersey and account for 21% of all motor vehicle related fatalities in our state. Morris County is a leader in pedestrian injuries, making it particularly important for local residents to improve their safe walking skills.

Ms. Reuther made a number of safety suggestions for pedestrians.  Walkers should cross at cross walks or corners, not in the middle of a block. Traffic signals are for pedestrians as well as vehicles and those on foot should obey them, especially “Walk/Don’t Walk” lights. She also pointed out that since many drivers are distracted by cell phones or texting, it is important for pedestrians to observe drivers and watch for signs that a driver is aware of the pedestrian, especially at intersections. Judy Bortman, Transportation Marketing Associate from Trans Options, will provide further education and techniques for pedestrian safety at the Rose City Steppers “kick off” breakfast on Saturday morning, January 8, 2011. More details will follow.

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All residents of Madison, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township and Morris Plains are invited to join the Steppers’ events.  Walkers are advised to wear comfortable clothes, appropriate footwear and bring a water bottle.  Walks are held rain or shine but will be cancelled for thunder storms or unsafe conditions.

Membership in the Steppers is not required to participate in any of the monthly walks.  Walkers are invited to become members of the Steppers at any walk for a donation of $12.00 for adults and $10.00 for seniors.

Members of the Rose City Steppers have the advantage of online health messages, reminders of upcoming walks and activities, and a new member package that includes a “Rose City Steppers” visor, a “Madison Walks” book of local walk routes, and a water bottle waist pack. 

Daily exercise is a key factor in maintaining health- it’s not optional.  Madison health educator Christine Shesler suggests using the comfortable fall weather and temperatures to “get in the habit” and find a physical activity to enjoy. Walking can be an excellent exercise choice for many people as it requires no special clothing, equipment or training – just a good pair of comfortable, well-fitting shoes appropriate for walking.

“Madison Walks” books are available for purchase ($5.00) at the walks or at the Health Department, 28 Walnut Street. “Madison Walks” is a compilation of twenty walk maps, fitness information and encouragement to exercise produced in partnership with the Madison Mayors Wellness Campaign.  The Health Department is in the Madison Civic Center, 28 Walnut Street, at the side, rear of the building through the new entryway and down the stairs.

Call the Health Educator at 973-593-3079x8 for more information.