Transportation for Livable Communities releases 2014 Voters Guide for the New Orleans City Council and Mayoral Elections

For Immediate Release, 1/15/14

Media Contact: Rachel Heiligman, 504-345-8360, rachel@rideneworleans.org

NEW ORLEANS – Transportation for Livable Communities, a coalition of New Orleans transportation, public health, environmental and community-based organizations, today announced the release of its 2014 Voters Guide for City Council and Mayoral candidates in the February 1st election.

The document provides voters with candidate positions on several issues related to sustainable, safe, affordable and healthy transportation. Questionnaire topics include:

  • public transit and the RTA’s financial outlook
  • infrastructure and programs for pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • neighborhood parks and green spaces
  • implementing the city’s Complete Streets ordinance
  • transportation needs for all New Orleans residents, especially seniors, people with disabilities and low-income families

The guide is also an outlet for candidates to give voters their opinions about specific transportation equity issues, which are often under-represented in elections and political debates.

In New Orleans, 19 percent of households don’t have access to a vehicle, and transportation is the second highest expenditure for families – so for many New Orleans residents having sustainable, safe, affordable and healthy transportation is vital in order to access jobs and critical services.

More information about the Transportation for Livable Communities Voters Guide is available online at www.transportationforlivablecommunities.org. Click here for a copy of the Transportation for Livable Communities Voter’s Guide.

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About the Transportation for Livable Communities Questionnaire & Voter’s Guide:

The candidate questionnaire and voter’s guide was drafted by a diverse coalition of organizations advocating for equitable access to sustainable, safe, affordable, and healthy transportation choices in all New Orleans neighborhoods. Member organizations include: Bike Easy, Friends of the Lafitte Corridor, KidsWalk Coalition at Tulane University, Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, Merritt C. Becker Jr. Transportation Institute at the University of New Orleans, Stay Local/Urban Conservancy, Ride New Orleans, Sierra Club, and the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association.

Streets will transform into playground at New Orleans’ Play Streets

Easy Streets picFor one day, a few New Orleans streets will come alive with people walking, cycling, dancing and playing games, all free of cars and exhaust. That’s the goal of Play Streets Ciclovia on Oct. 26.

Other Play Streets events have been held and are planned for parks and playgrounds. But this first-of-its-kind event on Oct. 26 will bring people together in the street from 9 a.m. to noon to walk and talk, get moving and feel good. Other cities across the world have created similar street-based events, also called Open Streets or Ciclovias. There’s no start or finish line, and it will be free to the public.

The plan is to close the lake-bound traffic lanes of Esplanade Avenue from N. Claiborne Avenue to Bayou Road, and Bayou Road from Esplanade Avenue to N. Broad Street. Then event partners will repurpose the street space for people to walk, ride, dance and play. The goal is to take this type of open streets event to different parts of the city in the future, so more neighborhoods can experience it.

“It is about rejuvenating New Orleans,” says Jamie Wine, executive director of Bike Easy, a local bike-advocacy group and lead coordinator of the event. “It’s about creating a city that people want to work and live in and be healthy.”

Potential activities include dance classes, sports games, Double Dutch, biking and walking groups, cooking demonstrations and fresh food.

“When we show that streets can serve more than just cars and trucks, we can reimagine streets as these great places for walking, biking and staying healthy,” says Naomi Doerner, program manager for the KidsWalk Coalition at the Tulane Prevention Research Center.

“And by creating safe spaces for physical activity, we are helping make the healthy choice the easy choice.”

Play Streets Ciclovia is looking for more program partners to lead, organize and create wellness activities, and also educate the participants of Play Streets. The goal is to have more than 50 program partners for the day of the event and help lead the way for subsequent future events across the city. Sponsors include American Traffic Solutions, Bike Easy, New Orleans Health Department, Louisiana Public Health Institute, Partnership for a Healthier America’s Play Streets program and the KidsWalk Coalition at the Tulane Prevention Research Center.

Connect the Nine Community Festival & Bike Ride

Connect the Nine, CSED, The Sierra Club, KidsWalk Coalition, The Green Project, Bike Easy

When:

Saturday, March 09, 2013 from 10:30 am – 3:00 pm

Where:

Festival Location: Lower 9th Ward Village, 1001 Charbonnet Street, New Orleans, LA 70117, (504) 304-7868
Ride Starts: Green Project, 2831 Marais Street, New Orleans, LA 70117

Cost:

Free! Ride Starts at 10:30am – no registration necessary, all ages welcome!

Details:

Join Us for the Connect the Nine Community Festival & Bike Ride! Come learn what we can do as a community to provide better resources, access, and improve road conditions and our safety in the Lower 9 and 9th Ward. The ride, which begins at 10:30am at the Green Project (2831 Marais), will take riders across the St. Claude Avenue Bridge, stop at the Make It Right houses and Bayou Bienvenue, and culminate in a free community festival at the Lower 9th Ward Village.

In addition to the community bicycle workshop, the festival will include:

-A basic bicycle repair station
-Free food & beverages
-Bicycle light giveaways
-Tabling by local community organizations
-“Make the St. Claude Bridge Safe” petition signing
-A personal stories video booth to gather input from the community

 

Foundation for Louisiana to Host Second Community Training on the Citizen’s Guides to Land Use and Urban Design

Are you interested in learning more about land use planning and urban design? Would you like to find out how you can be involved in the planning process in your community? Here’s your opportunity!

Foundation for Louisiana will be hosting a free training on Saturday, June 23rd from 10am-1:30pm at the Norman-Mayer Branch Library.

This training will help residents gain knowledge in land use planning and urban design concepts, learn how to participate effectively in the planning process, and equip them to be leaders in their communities. The following topics will be covered:

  • How to read a land use map, understand the basics of land use categories, the difference between density and intensity, and how changes in land use can impact a community
  • How urban design elements contribute to neighborhood character and functionality, and what to look for when reading design documents such as renderings
  • Residents’ role in the planning process and how to participate effectively
  • How to develop proactive urban design and land use strategies for a community, including setting an agenda and effectively distributing information

If you are interested in attending this free public event please RSVP by June 21st to: citizensguides@foundationforlouisiana.org, or call (225)772-1510 or (504)309-0468 by Thursday, June 21st.

The Norman-Mayer Branch Library is located at: 3001 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70122.