Safe Routes to School
Coalition staff are available to support any school in Orleans Parish wishing to make pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements surrounding their campus. As a liaison between schools and the Department of Public Works, we coordinate sign replacements and crosswalk maintenance and advise on pick-up and drop-off logistics and on-campus safety improvements.
Our staff also assists elementary and middle schools with applications to and implementation of the state’s Safe Routes to School program. These reimbursable grants provide up to $300,000 per school for infrastructure improvements and education, encouragement and enforcement programs.
In May 2010, KidsWalk Coalition published “Stepping to School: An Assessment of Neighborhood Walkability and Solutions for a Safer, Healthier New Orleans.” Thereport offers a comprehensive assessment of pedestrian infrastructure conditions around all public elementary and middle schools throughout Orleans Parish and makes several policy recommendations to City and school officials.
Coalition staff and members are currently advocating for many of the policies recommended in Stepping to School. These include adopting a Complete Streets policy for the City of New Orleans, ensuring the new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance includes regulations that encourage walking and bicycling, and prioritizing and funding pedestrian safety improvements around schools.
Coalition staff are assisting the Department of Public Works with a strategic ADA Transition Plan for making the city’s streets and sidewalks accessible to individuals with disabilities. The plan will focus on curb ramps throughout Orleans Parish and specify policies for installing and repairing them. A subcommittee of the Mayor’s Advisory Council for Citizens with Disabilities is serving an advisory and monitoring role of this process.
Outreach, education and coalition building
Coalition members regularly convene four times annually to share news, information and resources, and to coordinate on activities that achieve shared goals. To learn more about joining the Coalition, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-658-8045.
In addition, we present at neighborhood associations and health fairs, host Breakfast Roundtable events to bring advocates and professionals together, and keep citizens informed of our progress through monthly newsletters and our blog. You may also follow us through our Facebook page and Twitter.