State-group-focuses-on-safety-for-walkers-cyclists-and-people-with-disabilities

State group focuses on safety for walkers, cyclists and people with disabilities

Under a shared goal to see safer streets for all types of transportation in Louisiana – not just cars and trucks – a new coalition of partners from across the state is forming this year.

"The dedication of this collaboration of people from diverse communities and backgrounds across the state guarantees a positive impact on the culture of Louisiana. We agree that being physically active is beneficial to all people," said Monique Koll, a veterinarian who is leading the statewide group's formation and is also executive director of BikeLafayette, Acadiana's bicycle advocacy organization. "We want to ensure that Louisiana continues to grow in such a way that all forms of transportation are safe and enjoyable. This organization gives us a unified voice in statewide policy making, as well as a way to support our individual communities in safety, education, and awareness."

Members of the newly formed statewide group represent diverse geographic backgrounds from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Monroe and Shreveport.

The group came together following the first Louisiana Walk and Bike Summit this past fall. Individuals and organizations in public health (including the Tulane Prevention Research Center), transportation planning, biking and walking advocacy, including people with disabilities, attended the one-day summit in November in Baton Rouge. As more local groups and governments have begun work to create communities that accommodate safe, healthy transportation for all people, individuals in Louisiana recognized the need to come together to share their experiences, resources, challenges and successes.

"It was a chance to get everyone who is involved in biking and walking in Louisiana in a room together," said Peter Bennett, board member of Bike Easy, the New Orleans-based advocacy organization that helped host the Walk and Bike Summit. "We discovered that we’ve all had similar experiences, or maybe are at different stages of development, but could be very helpful to each other. In the end, we left with a shared vision for how we can coordinate our voices statewide, working together to achieve some big policy goals."

The summit also delved into topics such as how to use data or get better data on walking, biking and transportation trends in Louisiana. Attendees also discussed the desire to incorporate biking, walking and safe streets into Louisiana's cultural identity.

Additionally, the summit covered the growing trend of complete streets policies across the U.S. and how local and state governments can work together to implement these transportation planning and construction policies. Louisiana's Department of Transportation and Development has an internal complete streets policy, which aids in the department's efforts to build roads that accommodate all modes of transportation. New Orleans and Baton Rouge have also adopted complete streets policies.

“This statewide entity is about making choice a reality for all of us. Choosing to drive or not to drive, to ride a bike, push a stroller, catch a bus or streetcar, roll in a wheelchair or just stroll are not safe or fun choices in much of Louisiana yet," said Juan Cruz, a public health professional and transportation advocate in Baton Rouge. "Let's get on our own two feet – or wheels. It will save us from traffic jams and help save our health, time and money."

(Tulane PRC photo: Attendees at the Louisiana Walk and Bike Summit in November 2014 learn about and discuss transportation policies that affect safety and access.)

Topics:   built environment , sidewalks , bike lanes , physical activity , obesity , policy

Other Related Posts

Tulane-dietetic-interns-gain-insightful-skills-in-nutrition-and-community-based-programs

Tulane dietetic interns gain insightful skills in nutrition and community-based programs

Education & Engagement

Published: December 18, 2018

This fall, 20 Tulane Dietetic Internship students gained first-hand research and health promotion experience in partnership with Tulane Prevention Research Center and local community organizations. The Dietetic Internship is a 10-month long, non-degree program offered at Tulane University that focuses on community health best practices, health promotion, and disease prevention for students seeking to become registered dieticians. As part of the Dietetic Internship, students completed a rotation with the Tulane PRC. During this time, students…

Read More

Tulane-student-supports-Project-Power-health-education-program

Tulane student supports Project Power health education program

Education & Engagement

Published: December 17, 2018

This past year, Kylie Shadle, a Tulane graduate student, applied her public health education and acquired new skills in program planning and management through a Tulane PRC practicum internship with the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) Project Power, a program dedicated to educating youth at risk for type 2 diabetes. Project Power is a health education camp held in New Orleans and Baton Rouge that works to reach children and their families who have multiple risk…

Read More

Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

Education & Engagement

Published: December 16, 2018

The 2018 Holiday Season is rapidly approaching. It seems like this is a good time for some reflections, some adjustments, and some new visions. 2018 is almost over and the year has passed accruing its own memories, both joyful and sad. Perhaps the most important reflection of all is that we survived it, hopefully in good health, and, if not, with better health to come. A new vision can be a new and healthier version…

Read More

Legislative-Update

Legislative Update

Education & Engagement

Published: December 16, 2018

Louisiana Obesity Prevention and Management Commission The Louisiana Obesity Prevention and Management Commission met on December 6th in Baton Rouge. During the meeting, Senator Gerald Boudreaux (District 24) and Representative Malinda White (District 75) reaffirmed their commitment to addressing obesity in Louisiana. Sarah Gillen of Louisiana Public Health Institute presented on the financial burdens of obesity. Taffy Morrison of Well-Ahead Louisiana and the Bogalusa Strong Campaign and Representative White discussed how legislative leaders can make…

Read More

Staff-Spotlight-Naomi-King-Englar

Staff Spotlight: Naomi King Englar

Education & Engagement

Published: December 16, 2018

In November, Tulane PRC said goodbye to Naomi King Englar, the Communications and Dissemination Coordinator for the past seven years. Naomi was responsible for all the center's communications campaigns, including educational materials, electronic newsletters, social media, website, and traditional publications. She worked hard to promote the many activities of the center. Additionally, Naomi coordinated the center's Health Promotion Practicum Program, which places public health students in internships with the PRC's community partners. She was key…

Read More

Active-Steps-SMART-Ways-to-Reach-Your-Fitness-Goals

Active Steps: SMART Ways to Reach Your Fitness Goals

Education & Engagement

Published: December 16, 2018

When December rolls around, we start to think about changes we can make in the New Year to come. For many, this means setting goals for a new fitness regime or a new diet to help shed the extra pounds from the holidays. Unfortunately, many those new goals are abandoned within a couple of weeks. Setting SMART goals can help you keep and achieve those goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.…

Read More

Nutrition-Bites-Fad-Dieting

Nutrition Bites: Fad Dieting

Education & Engagement

Published: December 16, 2018

With New Years' Eve around the corner, many people's thoughts shift to healthy changes. Diet advertisements featuring well-known celebrities or shocking weight loss transformation photos motivate thousands of Americans to follow new diets at the start of each year. Yet, with a billion-dollar diet industry in the United States, it is important for consumers to decipher fad dieting from healthy lifestyle changes. Fad diets may produce rapid weight loss, but often the risk of malnutrition…

Read More

Students-gain-research-experience-with-Movin-for-LIFE-at-the-Tulane-PRC

Students gain research experience with Movin' for LIFE at the Tulane PRC

Core Research

Published: October 25, 2018

Tulane students are getting first-hand experience in conducting community-engaged research through Movin' for LIFE (Lasting Improvements for Fitness and Energy), a five-year project led by the Tulane Prevention Research Center. The project is moving into its last year, and this fall students are conducting final assessments to determine whether Movin' for LIFE has made an impact in New Orleans’ Upper and Lower 9th Ward communities. "Our student team is invaluable to this phase," said Movin'…

Read More

Tulane-team-releases-guide-to-innovative-local-nutrition-and-food-work

Tulane team releases guide to innovative local nutrition and food work

Food Environment Research

Published: October 24, 2018

Navigating the New Orleans food and nutrition scene just got easier. An interdisciplinary team at Tulane University recently developed the "Resource Guide to Innovative Work in Food & Nutrition in New Orleans." This free guide was produced by Tulane Nutrition, part of the university's School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, with support from The Food Trust's Center for Healthy Food Access and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Tulane staff from the Tulane Prevention Research…

Read More

New-Orleans-community-health-assessment-supported-by-Tulane-PRC-practicum-intern

New Orleans community health assessment supported by Tulane PRC practicum intern

Education & Engagement

Published: October 24, 2018

While interning with the New Orleans Health Department this summer, one Tulane student discovered that best practices in disease prevention and health improvement are often a community affair. Jack Healy, a graduate student studying epidemiology at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, supported the second New Orleans Community Health Assessment during his practicum internship this summer. Being an integral part of the department's work to identify and address the city's most pressing health…

Read More

canary