New-Orleans-youth-will-have-a-safer-walk-or-bike-to-school-thanks-to-planned-infrastructure-improvements

New Orleans youth will have a safer walk or bike to school thanks to planned infrastructure improvements

New Orleans youth will have a safer walk or bike to school thanks to planned infrastructure improvements **Fitting New Orleans – Issue 9 **
August 26, 2010

The KidsWalk Coalition is working to ensure kids have a new way to shake off first day of school jitters for the 2010-2011 school year – the option to walk or bike off that nervous energy on the way to school.

The KidsWalk Coalition, a local initiative led by the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC), is conducting an audit of bike and pedestrian infrastructure surrounding public schools throughout New Orleans. A total of 20 sites representing a cross section of neighborhoods, age groups and charter and non-charter schools will be audited before the start of the 2010-2011 school year. The Department of Public Works will use this information to plan improvements around the schools.

School improvements will include correcting missing or damaged signage, lack of curb ramps and inadequate crosswalk markings, and will be coordinated by a transportation planner hired by the Tulane PRC.

"Children will be active if given a safe dedicated space to do so," said Kathryn Parker-Karst, assistant director of the Tulane PRC. "Providing environments that are conducive to physical activity and active transportation is critical to fighting the city's obesity epidemic."

AmeriCorps volunteers provided by Communities in Schools are conducting the school audits. The Coalition aims to complete audits of all 91 public schools in New Orleans before the end of 2010. KidsWalk staff will also use the findings to support schools' efforts to apply for Safe Routes to School funding – federal grants up to $300k for increasing physical activity, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and enhancing neighborhood safety.

"With roughly 30 percent of New Orleans families lacking personal cars the opportunity to walk or bike to school is invaluable," said Parker-Karst.

Beyond school environments, KidsWalk Coalition staff is working on advocacy efforts to improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure throughout New Orleans. Meetings with City Council and Mayoral staff will be held to determine their interests and views on bicycle and pedestrian transportation and safety in New Orleans.

The city's almost-approved Master Plan contains several policy recommendations for improving bike and pedestrian access and safety, including the establishment of a "Complete Streets" policy and development of a "Pedestrian Plan." KidsWalk staff is providing technical assistance to Department of Public Works to implement these recommendations.

The KidsWalk Coalition's mission is to increase physical activity levels of children and families by providing environments that facilitate walking and biking for both transportation and recreation. More than 10 partners comprise the Coalition with expertise ranging from urban planning to school policy.

New Orleans is one of 50 Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities partnerships in the country. Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities is a 5-year, $33 million national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). It is one of the largest and most ambitious community-action programs ever supported by RWJF and is a cornerstone of its $500 million commitment to reverse the country's childhood obesity epidemic by 2015. The program funds and provides direct support to community partnerships across the country working to reshape their environments in ways that improve the health of children and prevent childhood obesity.

To learn more about the KidsWalk Coalition's projects and learn how to participate in its projects, please contact Matthew Rufo at mrufo@tulane.edu or 504-988-7778.

Click here to sign up for “Fitting New Orleans.”

Topics:   bike lanes , sidewalks , childhood obesity , healthy kids, healthy communities

Other Related Posts

If-you-serve-it-will-they-eat

If you serve it, will they eat?

Food Environment Research Special Interest Projects (SIPs)

Published: June 13, 2017

When it comes to healthy eating for kids, public health experts often look to schools for answers because children spend much of their time and consume much of their calories there. And thanks to national childhood obesity initiatives over the past several years, salad bars are showing up in schools across the country. But do they work? In New Orleans, the national Let's Move! Salad Bars to Schools initiative donated salad bar structures to 43…

Read More

Shopping-at-farmers-markets-and-preparing-food-at-home-are-key-in-healthier-diet

Shopping at farmers markets and preparing food at home are key in healthier diet

Core Research Food Environment Research

Published: June 08, 2017

When residents of two New Orleans neighborhoods tended to shop at a farmer's market or prepare food at home, they also tended to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, according to a recently published study by the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC). The study was published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports in June 2017, and study authors included partners from the project's steering committee. (Click the picture above to see the committee members who…

Read More

Tulane-PRC-receives-grant-to-support-long-standing-local-committee-for-healthy-food-access

Tulane PRC receives grant to support long-standing local committee for healthy food access

Food Environment Research Special Interest Projects (SIPs)

Published: June 08, 2017

Building on its history to improve the availability of fresh, healthy foods in New Orleans, the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) was recently awarded funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to support the work of the New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee to increase healthy eating opportunities for children and families. "FPAC is grateful for the opportunity to continue our work to guide New Orleans toward a healthier, more sustainable food system," said Elisa…

Read More

Tulane-graduate-student-works-with-community-to-enhance-greenway-

Tulane graduate student works with community to enhance greenway

Education & Engagement

Published: June 05, 2017

As New Orleans continues to roll forward new initiatives to create a more active and healthy community, one Tulane graduate had the opportunity to support one – the city's longest linear public park – as part of Tulane Prevention Research Center’s (PRC) Health Promotion Practicum program. The Lafitte Greenway is a 2.6-mile multi-use trail that allows both pedestrians and cyclists to travel from Mid-City to the French Quarter while connecting neighborhoods, green spaces, and recreation…

Read More

Staff-Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Education & Engagement

Published: June 02, 2017

Megan Knapp, MPH, is a doctoral student and research assistant at the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC). She supervises data entry and assists with PRC activities that aim to reduce or prevent overweight and obesity in the Greater New Orleans area. As a PhD student at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, she is studying under the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences. She is a graduate of Emory University…

Read More

PRC-network-hosts-Food-and-Obesity-Symposium

PRC network hosts Food and Obesity Symposium

Education & Engagement Food Environment Research

Published: June 02, 2017

More than 100 people gathered in Philadelphia this spring to discuss the availability and marketing of healthy and unhealthy food in their communities. The University of Pennsylvania Prevention Research Center (UPenn PRC) hosted the day-long symposium "Accelerating Policies & Research on Food Access, Diet, and Obesity Prevention" on April 28. The meeting brought together prevention health researchers and public health advocates to discuss today's food environment and focus on future directions for this important health…

Read More

Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

Education & Engagement

Published: June 02, 2017

Lots of exciting stuff coming up. The Tulane Prevention Research Center is hosting two community events and we look forward to seeing you there. The Movin' for LIFE 9th Ward Family Health Fair will be held at St. Mary of the Angels Church Gym, 3501 N. Miro St., New Orleans LA, on Saturday, August 12, 2017, from 10 am to 3 pm. Movin' for LIFE is encouraging families to come and have fun, learn about…

Read More

Community-Partner-Updates

Community Partner Updates

Education & Engagement

Published: June 02, 2017

See what our Community Advisory Board (CAB) members and partners have been up to! Click on the photo for a gallery of pictures and read updates below. To find out more about our partners, click here to visit our Community Partners page. PHOTO 1: This spring the New Orleans Health Department announced a partnership with bike advocacy nonprofit Bike Easy and the New Orleans Police Department to train PE teachers and crossing guards at 10…

Read More

Tulane-and-City-of-New-Orleans-launch-bike-share-surveys

Tulane and City of New Orleans launch bike share surveys

Education & Engagement

Published: June 02, 2017

The Tulane University community and residents across the city of New Orleans are being asked to voice their opinions and thoughts about bike share in two separate surveys. What is bike share? In Fall 2017, the City of New Orleans will launch a bike share system, powered by Social Bicycles (SoBi). Bike share technology offers online and on-the-spot opportunities to reserve and rent a bike that will take you where you need to go. At…

Read More

Nutrition-Bites-Making-Smart-Food-Choices-at-Festivals

Nutrition Bites: Making Smart Food Choices at Festivals

Education & Engagement

Published: June 01, 2017

As the summer months approach, so do a wide variety of food and music festivals. The summer includes French Market Creole Tomato Festival, ESSENCE Festival, Satchmo SummerFest, and the list goes on and on. With so many delicious food and drink options to be found, it can be tough to make healthy choices. Below are some simple tips on how to enjoy the festivals throughout the season without packing on the extra pounds. Keep portions…

Read More

canary