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Posts by: "Caro Jauregui"

**UPDATED: Applications are due no later than Friday, June 2, 2017.**

We want to partner with you!

California Walks and UC Berkeley SafeTREC are in the midst of hosting 20 day-long Community Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Trainings (CPBSTs) across California before the end of September. These trainings bring various stakeholders together to achieve a shared goal: to improve walkability and bikeability for everyone in the community where a training is held.

Five CPBST workshop opportunities are left

Through the participation of community residents like seniors, parents, and youth, we center our trainings around a community’s needs and collectively identify and engage the community and agency partners needed to implement pedestrian and bicycle improvements. Agency partners often include Caltrans, City/County staff, Departments of Transportation, Public Works/Engineering Departments, Planning Departments, local schools and school districts, Public Health Departments and law enforcement.

At its core, a CPBST provides community members with technical information that planners and engineers typically use. As facilitators, we work to make that technical information approachable and useful to ensure that community residents are on a more equal playing field when they work with agency staff to address specific issues in their neighborhoods.

The CPBST model is based on the premise that community residents are the true experts on what they need and how to meet that need. California Walks and SafeTREC are proud to partner with communities across the state in an effort to transform the way decisions are made, particularly in low-income communities of color that for decades have lacked infrastructure investments like sidewalks, bike lanes, and safe crossings.

This community planning process prioritizes the use of our streets and roads for all users, especially pedestrians and bicyclists. We seek to make planning a participatory process with strategic actions led by and for the community.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Local government agencies
  • School districts
  • Non-profit and community-based organizations

Learn more about the history of the CPBST program, and take a look at the Roles & Responsibilities Checklist.

Application deadline: Friday, June 2, 2017

Please submit an Intake Form to Caro Jauregui at caro@californiawalks.org by Friday, June 2, 2017. Questions? Please call Caro Jauregui, Senior Manager of Policy and Programs, at 323-605-5220 or email her at caro@californiawalks.org.

California Walks, Walk Long Beach, and UC Berkeley SafeTREC are excited to be planning the 4th Biennial PedsCount! 2016 set for June 6 & 7, 2016 in Long Beach, CA. With the theme, Unlocking Community Vibrancy, Health and Prosperity for All Walks of Life, we’ve organized a spectacular set of hands-on breakout sessions from community organizations and resident leaders working to make their communities more walkable and equitable. If you’re on the fence about joining us at the Summit, here are the top 3 reasons why you should attend PedsCount! 2016:

3) Take in the sunshine while learning the latest!
The Summit will be hosted in Long Beach, CA, a dynamic city close to the beach. Walk Long Beach has organized exciting events for you to enjoy its beauty and everything it has to offer, such as Walk Long Beach’s Progressive Dinner on Monday, June 6. Long Beach is also a model city when it comes to active transportation improvements, with city leadership, agency staff, and community groups collaborating effectively to create safer streets for pedestrians. You can learn about the City’s many advances in active transportation during the break-out sessions including, Walk Forth: Stitch Streets, Visual Cues and the Art of Encouraging Pedestrians to Walk Further.

2) Diverse voices for the diverse state of California.
For this Summit, we’ve focused on lifting up a diverse set of voices from across the state that reflect California’s population, particularly community resident leaders and youth. In order for our movement to achieve meaningful change, we must engage communities and residents that have typically not been involved in transportation decision-making. Our breakout and plenary sessions will examine some of the most pressing issues in California today—such as the intersections of walking, safety and equity; and how to address the negative effects of gentrification in walkable districts while promoting positive change—from the perspective of those most directly impacted by our existing transportation system. Our opening plenary will feature several youth leaders from across California working to make their communities more walkable and equitable.

Moreover, with the generous support of The California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, the Knight Foundation, and the Long Beach Community Foundation, we have been able to remove financial barriers to participation for 40 youth and community resident leaders from San Jose, Long Beach, the Central Valley, and other non-coastal communities.

1) Learn how to walk the walk!
Summit participants won’t simply be learning about theoretical approaches to creating healthier, safer, and more walkable communities—panelists and speakers will be sharing experiences, challenges, and solutions. These lessons learned can better inform our collective work across California to improve walkability and safety. Join us to learn from community-based organizations, policy advocates, and agency partners, including: Pacoima Beautiful, Multicultural Communities for Mobility, Crenshaw Walks, COAST, Cultiva La Salud, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, the Vision Zero Network, the Southern California Association of Governments, Caltrans, the Office of Traffic Safety and many others.

It’s not too late to attend the Summit. Registration closes May 25, 2016. Register today! We are also looking for volunteers. Volunteers who serve three or more shifts will receive full access to all Summit activities and events. Volunteers who can cover two shifts on the same day can attend all summit events for that day. For more information about PedsCount! 2016 visit californiawalks.org/pedscount2016. #PedsCount16 @CaliforniaWalks.

This blog is cross-posted on Investing in Place.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Over the past six months, California Walks has been involved in a collective effort—led by Investing in Place and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition—dedicated to ensuring transportation investments meaningfully reach and address the health, safety, and mobility needs of low-income communities in Los Angeles County. The biggest opportunity on the horizon to advance social equity with our transportation dollars will be a new countywide sales tax ballot measure, which if approved by voters, would raise approximately over $100 billion.

This sales tax measure, however, has not yet been approved for the November 2016 ballot, and a number of steps are taking place right now to secure its future. Since November 2015, the various Councils of Government (COGs) across the county have outlined, approved, and submitted their priorities for the potential ballot measure to LA Metro, which is coordinating the sales tax measure. The Council of Governments represent diverse cities across the county—each having their own vision for solving their local transportation challenges.

California Walks has been most engaged with the Gateway Cities Council of Government subregion in southeast LA County, which is home to a high number of low-income communities and communities of color in dire need of active transportation and transit investments. Home to 2 million people, people of color comprise 82% of the subregion’s population, with Latino residents making up the majority (63%). Despite identifying between $225-$471 million in active transportation needs in its Strategic Transportation Plan—a likely understatement of needs in light of Metro’s recent report documenting between $11-$30 billion in active transportation funding needs countywide over the next 20 years—the Gateway Cities COG submitted a transportation priorities list that dedicated zero dollars to active transportation (as seen below):

GCCOG Matrix

Along with advocates from ten other organizations, I attended last month’s Gateway Cities COG Board Meeting to urge the Board to align their transportation investments with their previously adopted policy goal supporting active transportation by setting aside at least 10% of their funds for active transportation. Unfortunately, not only did the Board vote to proceed without a dedicated active transportation set-aside but Gateway Cities COG and LA Metro Board Member Diane Dubois also characterized active transportation investments as “icing on the cake” as opposed to a main ingredient. This view of active transportation marginalizes the very real struggle of low-income residents who travel on foot, by bike, or on transit by necessity and treats active transportation as an afterthought.

As a resident of West Whittier who doesn’t drive, I encounter and struggle with our county’s car-dominated environment every day: it usually takes me an hour and a half—under the best circumstances—to get to most of my meetings on a number of public transit agencies that lack fare and service coordination; very few bus stops I wait at have a bench, provide shade or shelter, or are designed to make me feel safe traveling alone as a woman at night. If we are to move toward a more sustainable transportation system, active transportation—especially walking and biking connections to transit—simply cannot be an afterthought. On the contrary, if active transportation is a priority, then our transportation dollars should be invested in walking and biking projects that tie our transportation system together.

Moving forward, California Walks and our partner organizations working on this potential ballot measure will meet in late March to discuss Metro’s draft expenditure plan, which compiles the COGs identified investments. The Metro Board will vote in June 2016 to decide whether or not the measure will be on the November 2016 ballot. Stay tuned for more details!