Press Release: Los Angeles Council to Vote on New Strategy to Help Students Get to School Safely

Update: Friday April 1st, 2 p.m.

Isabelle walks to Rosemont Elementary in Echo Park with her Uncle Junue. Thanks Junue for this great picture!Hooray! This plan was approved by the LA City Council for $1.2M and now moves forward — it’s time to get to work! Thanks so much to all the people — ranging from individuals and community groups, to city staff and electeds — and more that made this possible. Way to go Los Angeles!

–Jessica


Putting Safety First

Tomorrow morning, the Los Angeles City Council will consider allocating $1.2 million in funding to a Strategic City-Wide Safe Routes to School Plan to make walking and bicycling to school a safer and more attractive option for students and their parents. The Council will vote on Friday, April 1st at 10 a.m. Van Nuys City Hall, 1441 Sylvan Street, Van Nuys, Ca. 91401.

The safety study is funded by voter approved Measure R local return dollars and will not impact the city’s operating budget. The City’s Transportation Committee in a vote taken on March 9 has already recommended the use of this funding for Safe Routes to School.

Currently in the City of Los Angeles 25 percent of school aged children are obese and parents driving children to school can cause approximately 15 percent to 25 percent of all morning traffic congestion. By fostering walking and bicycling to school, and increasing opportunities for physical activity the City can demonstrate leadership in addressing this pressing public health, safety and traffic issues.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), the Southern California Safe Routes to School Network[1], and many other supporting organizations and individuals have come together to advocate for this plan to build healthier and safer streets and transportation choices for Los Angeles children and young adults.

Creating a City-wide Safe Routes to School Plan will help Los Angeles secure additional state and federal Safe Routes to School funding for pedestrian improvements such as sidewalks and safer crossings, education and encouragement programs, and implementing many of the miles of bikeways dedicated in the newly approved bicycle plan in order to safely connect children and families to schools.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for City leadership to plan and provide for the mobility of our most vulnerable citizens; our children,” said Jennifer Klausner, Executive Director, LACBC. “Approving the funding for this plan is a progressive step toward making the streets around our schools safer and more inviting for children and families bicycling and walking to school by making the City of Los Angeles more competitive for state and federal Safe Routes to School funding.”

LADOT staff is recommending using collision data to prioritize the City’s efforts and develop a meaningful approach for making communities in the city more walkable and bike-able for children and parents on their way to school. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and the Southern California Safe Routes to School Network endorse this proposal and also recommend that the City use socio-economic data in the prioritization, as research shows that children and their families in low-income communities suffer a disproportionate burden of chronic diseases related to sedentary lifestyles and injury. A recent UC Irvine study found that residents in low-income communities are four times as likely to be injured in a collision while walking or bicycling.

The Southern California Safe Routes to School Network and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition encourage the media, parents, and bicycle/pedestrian advocates to attend this important Council vote and show support for making the City of LA a safer and more inviting places to walk and bike to school.

“We all benefit from making our communities places where our children, young adults, and families can safely and enjoyably walk and bike to school,” says Jessica Meaney, California Policy Manager at the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. “It’s so inspiring to see the City of Los Angeles demonstrate leadership and provide local funding to help Los Angeles become more walkable and bike-able. It is a smart fiscal investment with tremendous co-benefits for the entire city and another great reason to be out at cicLAvia next Sunday — out biking and walking and enjoying our neighborhoods and communities.”

xxxxx


The relationship of pedestrian injuries to socioeconomic characteristics in a large Southern California County. Chakravarthy B, Anderson CL, Ludlow J, Lotfipour S, Vaca FE., Traffic Inj Prev. 2010 Oct;11(5):508-13. PMID: 20872307.[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

[1] The Southern California Safe Routes to School Network is a project of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership

One Response to Press Release: Los Angeles Council to Vote on New Strategy to Help Students Get to School Safely

  1. Maria Denis says:

    I would like further information on applying for grant money for safe routes to school. Our school is located in the Lincoln Heights area and we need more lightning on side streets of our school. I read that the dateline is June3 yet would like to apply. Address of school is 2111 N. Griffin Ave between Baldwin and Mozart streets.Thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: