Safe Routes National Partnership presents two free webinars this month

From the Safe Routes to School National Partnership:

“This summer, we have produced a flurry of updates, e-mail announcements and blog posts about the impact of the new transportation bill, MAP-

SRTS National Partnership logo21, on Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking. We know that amount of information can be daunting as you try to figure out what’s next for your community and your state.

The League of American Bicyclists, the Alliance for Bicycling and Walking and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership are partnering to offer a series of webinars on the implications of MAP-21 for Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking.

Registration is now open for the first two webinars – see below for the details on each. This is your chance to hear from the national organizations who worked on MAP-21 about the details of the legislation and how you can get involved in efforts in your state to maximize funding for Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking. Plus, there will be time on each webinar for you to ask questions.

Webinar 1:  The ABCs of MAP-21
Monday, August 13, 2012 from 2:00pm-3:30pm EDT
The first of the Navigating MAP 21 webinar series, this session will explain the basics of the new law, what it means for bicyclists and how we can harness the opportunities to fund bicycling and walking projects and programs. Join Caron Whitaker, campaign manager for America Bikes; Randy Neufeld, director of SRAM Cycling Fund; and Darren Flusche, policy director for the League of American Bicyclists and Advocacy Advance.
Register now for the ABCs of MAP-21!

Webinar 2: Navigating MAP-21: The Safe Routes to School Edition
Monday, August 27, 2012 from 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT
This webinar builds on the “Navigating MAP-21” series being held by the League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Bicycling and Walking. This webinar focuses specifically on the impact of the new transportation law, MAP-21, on Safe Routes to School, and what you can do to ensure that Safe Routes to School survives and thrives in your community and state. Join Margo Pedroso, deputy director, and Robert Ping, technical assistance director, from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership for this informative session.
Register now for the Safe Routes to School Edition of Navigating MAP-21!

There will be additional webinars in this series, so stay tuned for future announcements.

*Long distance charges apply accordingly if you choose to call in to the webinar.
**Recordings of the webinar will be available after the original broadcasts.”

New school zone times to start in August

Ever notice that New Orleans schools often let out far later in the day than current school zone times? ImageWith increasingly longer school days, our school zones are woefully obsolete. That’s why the city is changing its times this summer in preparation for the 2012-2013 school year. The times will change from 7:30am-8:45am to 7:00am-9:00am and from 2:30pm-3:45pm to 2:45pm-4:45pm. The KidsWalk Coalition informed this decision by reaching out to public schools to determine their various start and close times.

We applaud the this change to accommodate shifting school operation schedules. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle moving 20 mph has a 5 percent chance of dying. As vehicle speed increases to 30 mph and 40 mph, the likelihood that the pedestrian will be killed increases to 45 percent and 85 percent respectively (U.K. Department of Transportation, Killing Speed and Saving Lives, London, 1987). By slowing driver speeds, the expanded school zone hours will enhance the much-need opportunity for New Orleans children and families to be physically active by walking and biking to school.


National Medical Association & Xavier University of Louisiana presents “Walk a Mile with a Child” July 28

The National Medical Association is holding its Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly in New Orleans July 28th – August 1st.   In addition to programs/activities for members, NMA sponsors a health event for residents.  Join National Medical Association & Xavier University of Louisiana at the 5th Walk a Mile with a Child on Saturday, July 28, 2012 at Xavier University of Louisiana/University Center

1 Drexel Drive, New Orleans, LA
Walk: 7:00 am (Registration at 6:30 am)
Health Festival: 8:30 am – 12:00 noon

Download flyer

For Additional Information, Contact Yolanda at or 1-800-662-0554

Pedestrian-friendly cities tend to be less obese

The June issue of Governing magazine reinforces what KidsWalk has always argued: bike lanes and sidewalks are related to lower obesity rates in cities. The article explains that commuters are more likely to walk or bike where safe spaces for pedestrians are available.  Additionally, areas where pedestrian commuting is common tend to have lower obesity rates than other areas.

For the purpose of this article, census information and data from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study were analyzed to see if there is a relationship between pedestrian activity and obesity rates in cities. Governing found a strong correlation between the percentage of regular walkers and bikers and the percentage of people who are neither obese nor overweight in the 126 cities analyzed.

As obesity becomes an increasingly important issue for health officials and policymakers, Governing recommends promoting open space infrastructure in urban environments as an effective prevention method. The article also suggests that healthcare savings can balance costs associated with supporting such infrastructure.

Governing advises educating and encouraging young people to safely walk and bike to promote health from an early age.  Initiatives such as those supported by the KidsWalk Coalition, that target childhood obesity reduction through active living, are critical to the health of today’s youth and tomorrow’s adults.

For the full article, please visit: Governing Magazine

 Interested in commuting and health research? You might also like: Healthy Commuting Habits 

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:, 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.

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.


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.

Two June webinars by National Center for Safe Routes to School


Courtesy Active Living by Design

During the summer months, the National Center for Safe Routes to School and America Walks will offer two webinars each month on issues related to Safe Routes to School (SRTS). In June, the webinars will focus on slowing driving speeds around schools (June 14) and global SRTS programs (June 28).

Slowing Drivers Down: Why It Matters, and 2 Communities’ Solutions

Traffic safety, especially the speed of cars around schools, is one of the biggest barriers to walking and biking to school reported by parents.  Reducing the speed of traffic around schools is a step toward making routes to school safer and encouraging families to walk and bike.  The upcoming Safe Routes to School Webinar will highlight the strategies used by two communities to successfully slow vehicle speeds around schools.

Date: Thursday, June 14, 2012

Time: 1-2 p.m. ET

Register now.

Scott Bricker, executive director of America Walks, will review relevant research around speed and pedestrian and bicyclist safety and provide a general overview of steps your community can take to slow vehicle speeds around schools. Then, Elizabeth Stampe, director of Walk San Francisco, will discuss how her organization worked with the city’s transportation department to enforce an existing state law and help to reduce speed limits around 181 schools.   Finally, Mark Lear, from the Portland Bureau of Transportation, will describe the city’s development of a neighborhood greenways network with speed limits of 20 mph.  He’ll present some basic design elements of Portland’s greenways and discuss how they built a diverse community coalition to achieve their goals.

A Global Perspective: Lessons from International SRTS Programs

Safe Routes to School projects are thriving around the world.  This 60-minute webinar will illustrate the projects of two international programs.

Date:     Thursday, June 28, 2012

Time: 1-2 p.m. ET

Register now.

First, Jacky Kennedy, director of Canada Walks, will introduce Canada’s School Travel Planning Project. This program, originally tested in four provinces and disseminated to 120 schools in every part of Canada, created a detailed, step-by-step guide for building a comprehensive, community-based active school travel program.

Next, Dr. Catherine O’Brien, a professor at Cape Brenton University working in partnership with the Canada Walks School Travel Planning Project, will discuss her research on “sustainable happiness.” This concept links walking and biking to individual, community and global well-being, and provides further evidence of the benefits of walking and biking to school.

Finally, Gary Shipp, national projects coordinator from Sustrans in the United Kingdom, will describe how his organization’s approach is a community-centered one that builds on small steps to gradually change travel behavior. Sustrans’ goal is to get the whole school community involved and motivated in the program so that sustainable and active travel becomes part of the culture of the community for future generations.

For more information

These webinars are part of the Safe Routes to School webinar series, developed by America Walks and the National Center for Safe Routes to School.   For more information, please contact Michelle Gulley at

Next KidsWalk meeting: Tuesday June 26th, 1pm

The KidsWalk Coalition will host its next quarterly meeting Tuesday June 26th from 1pm-2:30pm at the Prevention Research Center at Tulane University, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2301. Stay tuned for an agenda. KidsWalk meetings are opportunities for Coalition members and supporters to exchange news and update one another on projects promoting policy and environmental changes in New Orleans that make walking and biking easier and combat obesity. Please RSVP to Matt. We hope to see you there!