Getting Closer – LA Strategic Plan heads for Council Approval 4/1/11

Isabelle at her elementary school in Echo Park, Los Angeles. Photo by her Uncle Junue Millan, who when he can, walks with her to school.

Earlier this month,  there was a advocacy alert regarding a Citywide Safe Routes to School Proposal that was being considered by the Los Angeles Transportation Committee.  Thanks to all the great supporters such as Transportation for America, FAST, Sierra Club, Safe Moves, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and so many more individuals – this proposal was approved by the Committee and now moves for final approval by the full City Council Friday 4/1/11 at 10am at City Hall.

This is tremendous opportunity for the City of Los Angeles to demonstrate great leadership by prioritizing safety and strategic transportation investments that will allow the city to address one of the most vulnerable groups of our population, children and young adults.

The proposed Strategic City-Wide Safe Routes to School Plan funded by the Measure R local return pedestrian set-aside for $1.2M. LADOT staff is recommending using collision data to prioritize the city’s efforts and develop a meaningful approach to making communities in the city more walkable and bikable for kids and parents on their way to school (see staff proposal here). Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition and the Safe Routes to National Partnership are recommending that the City also use socio-economic data in the prioritization as we know that children and their families in low-income communities suffer a disproportionate burden of disease and injury.

A citywide strategic Safe Routes to School plan will allow the City to prioritize and methodically address making it safer for students to walk and/or bike to school, as well as ensure Safe Routes to School funds succeed in Los Angeles, leverage additional resources, and address and improve transportation policies.

We need your help to make sure Los Angles City Council knows how important this proposal is for all city neighborhoods. The current process for how the city develops and applies for Safe Routes to School State and Federal Funds, happens on a case by case basis, we need a plan that is equitable, rooted in data and planning and increases quality of project proposals and competitiveness.  Sign on to our comment letter regarding this proposal, you can read it here and then send your name, title, organization to jessica@saferoutespartnership.org by 5pm Thursday March 31st.  We need lots of support – please consider signing on to this letter, individuals are welcome too.   There is a draft letter for community members to send to their City Council member too – you can view it here.  If you can attend in person on Friday 4/1/11 10am at Los Angeles City Hall and provide your comments, that is fantastic!

And then for those in the LA Region – it will give even more reasons to go out and have tons of fun at the City’s Second cicLAvia on Sunday April 10th.  I know I’ll be there having fun – hope to see you too!

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