Legislative-Briefs-government-actions-on-obesity

Legislative Briefs: government actions on obesity

December 2015

Pedestrian and Bike Safety Committee meets to improve pedestrian and bike safety in New Orleans
A New Orleans government committee focused on safety for people walking and biking met in October and December – the third and fourth meetings of the group – to develop recommendations on making the city safer for all transportation users, including bikers, pedestrians and people with disabilities. The committee has been receiving public input and reviewing existing laws, and will make final recommendations to the full City Council. The recommendations will consider road design, education, policy, education, engineering, and enforcement strategies. In October 2014, the city adopted a Vision Zero policy, which envisions and aims to reach zero road deaths through improved street design and public education. The New Orleans City Council created the Pedestrian and Bike Safety committee in February 2015, as proposed by City Councilmember Jared Brossett, who chairs the council’s Transportation and Airport Committee. For more information, visit the City Council’s webpage for the committee by clicking here.

New Orleans food system and education committee progresses, creates working groups
Plans to identify and address the city’s most pressing food and nutrition issues are moving forward through the work of the New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee (FPAC). FPAC, which is part of the city’s Fit NOLA initiative, has members from community-based organizations, farmers markets and food markets, public health entities, elementary and secondary schools, as well as individual residents interested in food. Using input from the city’s Fit NOLA Forum in October and a citywide input session in September, FPAC formed five working groups to develop its plans: Food production; Business development; Food access and education; Collaboration; and Grant Writing. Members and ideas for these groups are welcome. For more about the goals of FPAC, visit the FPAC website by clicking here.
The next FPAC meeting will be at 2-4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21, at Propeller Incubator, 4035 Washington Avenue. The meeting will give working group members an opportunity to meet and begin moving forward with their priorities. The meeting is open to the public. For more information about FPAC, contact co-chair Adrienne Mundorf, Tulane PRC’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, at arathert@tulane.edu or 504-988-5174.

State Senate and House committees on health to get new members
Following this past fall’s elections for state senators and representatives in Louisiana, lawmakers are going through the process of making assignments for members to serve on the Senate and House committees. There are more than 30 standing committees and many more special and select committees. The new members of the two bodies’ Committees on Health and Welfare will be decided by mid-January. Click here to visit the Louisiana Legislature website.

Transportation plan identifies $56 billion in needs for Louisiana
A Louisiana government committee tasked with creating a new 30-year statewide transportation plan passed the plan on Nov. 19. The plan addresses all forms of transportation including highways, bridges, freight and passenger rail, waterways, aviation, trucking, public transportation and non-motorized transportation, such as biking and walking. The plan identifies $56 billion in transportation needs and sources of revenue to meet those needs. The committee estimated bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure needs to be $384 million to maintain the current system and expand facilities to accommodate future needs of the biking and walking community. The plan was available for public comment until Nov. 9. For more information, click here to read about the plan and its contents.

Louisiana Complete Streets Advisory Council Meets
The Complete Streets Advisory Council met to discuss implementation of the Complete Streets Policy in Louisiana. The role of the council is to advise the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development on adopting and maintaining an up to date complete streets policy that balances access, mobility, health and safety needs of all users of the transportation system, develop performance measures and monitor implementation progress. To learn more about the council, visit its website by clicking here.

$300 billion national transportation bill approved
A national 5-year transportation spending bill, which includes provisions and money for supporting ‪walking‬ and ‪biking, was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 4. The law, named Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, includes more than $300 billion for infrastructure improvements. The funding covers $61 billion for public transportation systems and $820 million in annual funding for the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), which includes projects for biking and walking. Several national active transportation, public transit, and planning groups have provided their own analysis of the FAST Act on their websites: League of American Bicyclists, Transportation for America, Smart Growth America, People for Bikes and the American Public Transportation Association.‬‬‬‬

Briefs compiled by Tulane PRC staff
December 2015

Topics:   obesity , nutrition , food environment , physical activity , built environment , sidewalks , bike lanes , policy , health communication

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