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.

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KidsWalk Breakfast Roundtable July 30

Active and Ready to Learn: Transportation’s Role in Creating Healthy and Academic Ready Students

Tulane University’s Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives and KidsWalk Coalition at the Tulane Prevention Research Center are proud to co-sponsor a free breakfast roundtable discussion about the role transportation plays in the health and academic readiness of New Orleans’ school-age children. Please join us for breakfast and to contribute to an important conversation about creating social change through transportation for better health and academic readiness outcomes for our city’s youth.
When: Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Where: Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, 2035 Washington Avenue, Suite 105, New Orleans, LA 70125
Speakers:
Kathryn Parker, Ph.D., Director, KidsWalk Coalition at the Tulane Prevention Research Center
Debra Vaughan, Director of Research, Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives
Shalanda Cole, MBA, Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
Mark Jernigan, LTC. (Ret.), Director, City of New Orleans Department of Public Works
Cyndi Nguyen, Executive Director, Vietnamese Initiatives for Economic Training
Sophia Griffies, Development Specialist, Audubon Charter School
*Space is limited. RSVP required by Noon Monday, July 29, 2013 via eventbrite or phone at 504-658-8045.
Special thanks to Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation for the use of its space. This event is possible through generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Active Living by Design, Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities program.

New Orleans schools awarded more than $500,000 to create Safe Routes to School

The KidsWalk Coalition is excited to announce that in May, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development awarded nearly $600,000 to New Orleans schools for projects aimed at improving pedestrian safety. These projects, which are provided through the Safe Routes to School program, will bring upgraded sidewalks, crosswalks and traffic signals to Einstein Charter School and Audubon Charter School’s campuses.

Funded by the federal Department of Transportation, the Safe Routes to School program seeks to improve the health of kids and communities by making walking and bicycling to school safer, easier and more enjoyable. This year, the KidsWalk Coalition coordinated three joint applications between the City of New Orleans and New Orleans schools.

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Area near Einstein Charter School where sidewalk will be built

In addition to providing up to $250,000 for improvements to sidewalks, crosswalks, signage, traffic signals and other pedestrian infrastructure, Safe Routes to School offers up to $50,000 for education, encouragement, and enforcement programs. This year, the state awarded Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training (VIET) with funds to improve pedestrian safety in the Michoud and Village de l’Est neighborhoods and organize programs for students at Einstein Charter School. Audubon Charter School received funding for similar uses, such as a Walking School Bus, at its two campuses in Black Pearl.

The KidsWalk Coalition looks forward to working with these schools as the Safe Routes to School projects unfold, and sharing the excitement of the communities that will benefit from these improvements.

New Orleans celebrates International Walk to School Day

On October 5, four New Orleans schools marked International School Day by holding walk to school events, demonstrating the health and wellness benefits of getting an active start to a student’s day.  The Tulane Prevention Research Center teamed up with Coalition partner the Louisiana Safe Routes to School State Network to help programs organize and publicize some of these events. Below are photos from the event held at ARISE Academy in the Upper 9th Ward – which organizes Safe Routes to School programs with the support of a federal Safe Routes to School grant.

Siblings Darriella, 6, and Derrick, 7, lead a walking group on Pauline Street to ARISE Academy for International Walk to School Day Wednesday morning. Others in the group, from left to right, included ARISE Principal Andrew Schahan, second-grade teacher Kathleen Stevens, New Orleans Health Commissioner Karen DeSalvo and State Police Trooper Mark Jackson.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation will again offer up to $300,000 in reimbursable grants for infrastructure and non-infrastructure in 2012. Contact us at kidswalk@tulane.edu or 504-988-7778 to learn more about how we can help your school or community organization take advantage of this opportunity.

State Police Senior Trooper Mark Jackson, center, helps walkers cross N. Rampart Street on their way to ARISE Academy for International Walk to School Day