Legislative-Briefs-Government-actions-on-obesity

Legislative Briefs: Government actions on obesity

New Orleans plans for bike share in October 2017
The City of New Orleans first large-scale bike share program will hit the streets in less than a year. Under a five-year deal with New York-based Social Bicycles, the company will provide 700 bike-share bicycles and 70 stations by October 2017. Another 200 bicycles will be added to the program by 2019.
Bike share is a system of short-term rental bikes, usually connected to public stations. The exact locations of the Social Bicycle stations will be determined over the coming year. Early-stage planning indicates that the bike share program will start in the downtown area and expand to other parts of the city, including Uptown.
Earlier this year, New Orleans city officials received proposals from seven different companies vying to operate the program. The city won’t spend any public dollars. Social Bicycles has agreed to run the bike share program using rental revenue and sponsorships.
Bike share systems have been identified as an affordable and effective tool for increasing mobility for residents in urban areas and improving economic, environmental and health issues when integrated with an existing transportation network. In the case of New Orleans, the city now boasts more than 100 miles of completed bikeways, including trails, shared lanes and bike lanes.
Fore more information about New Orleans’ bike share, click here for local nonprofit Bike Easy’s 2012 study and background and click here for the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission’s 2014 study.

State Complete Streets committee charts its path
Members of the Louisiana Complete Streets Advisory Council met recently to plan and track progress to integrate “complete streets” efforts into operations at the state Department of Transportation and Development. Complete streets are a strategy – and oftentimes a policy – to make roads more accessible to all users, including people with disabilities and others who are walking, cycling, taking public transit, and not just drivers of vehicles.
On Dec. 8, the advisory council met to discuss updating the state’s various manuals and trainings to include complete streets issues. The state is also conducting an inventory mapping of current street conditions as they relate to complete streets over the next year. The transportation department is creating guidelines for complete streets that include minimum standards, as well. The council’s next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 15, 10 a.m. to noon, at DOTD Headquarters, 1201 Capital Access Road in Baton Rouge.
The Louisiana Complete Streets Advisory Council formed in 2014 to advise Louisiana’s head transportation agency on integrating a complete streets policy, developing performance measures, and monitoring implementation progress. To learn more about the council and its meetings, visit the Louisiana DOTD website here.

Fit NOLA hosts Fall 2016 Forum
The City of New Orleans’ Fit NOLA initiative hosted its Fall 2016 Forum in November. Attendees worked on plans to create healthy opportunities for everyone in New Orleans. Fit NOLA is a partnership-based initiative led by the New Orleans Health Department and the sector groups that move plans into action.
Forum attendees heard updates from each of the partnership’s six sectors: community, health care, school, business, early childhood and healthy community design. Attendees also worked with each other to assess what Fit NOLA related activities are occurring in different neighborhoods, identify gaps and plan for future action to address those gaps through programs and services. The Louisiana Department of Health’s Well-Ahead initiative and the Fit NOLA team shared how they are working together to improve health and wellness of Louisiana residents. Four businesses were celebrated and presented with Fit NOLA business designations. Humana Inc. and Healthy Community Services both received Gold designations, while Jean Laffite National Park and Preserve and the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, and Footprints to Fitness both received Bronze designations.
The meeting was held at nonprofit Abundance of Desire’s new facility that includes a large gym, early childhood center, breakout rooms, and a cafe’.
For more about Fit NOLA, visit the Fit NOLA website by clicking here.

New Orleans kicks of public transit planning
The planning process to create a strategic plan for the New Orleans Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) began with a public meeting in November. The plan will take about a year to develop and will be designed to guide the agency over the next 20 years. Transit rider advocates have voiced interest in seeing improvements for bus, streetcar, and ferry services.
For more about the RTA’s strategic planning process, visit the RTA website here.

By Tulane PRC Staff
December 2016

Topics:   policy , biking , walking , sidewalks , physical activity , community health

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