AllTransit Data Tools Analyze Social Benefits of Quality Transit



AllTransit represents the largest source of user-friendly transit connectivity, access, and frequency data in America, using publicly available General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data and new data created by Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) and with funding from TransitCenter. AllTransit analyzes the social benefits of good transit service through the lenses of health, equity, and economic development. Users can rely on these tools to increase their understanding of the value of quality transit to improve transit and create sustainable and equitable communities. When families in disadvantaged neighborhoods have access to transit and jobs, they have greater choices between housing units and employment opportunities, and alternative transportation options connecting ...

Read More

Neighbors and Leaders Calm Traffic on Scary Street



Neighborhood leaders and residents like Paul D. López and Fany Mendez in the Denver, Colo., neighborhood of Westwood worked together with local organizations to tackle safety concerns on Morrison Road, an arterial street that bisected their neighborhood. In addition to safety issues, they were also concerned about health, because kids can’t play and people can’t walk on busy, unsafe streets. Their efforts led to a pedestrian-activated traffic light, traffic calming features, medians, and aesthetically-pleasing infrastructure and landscaping to make the road more accessible to all. Unsafe Street Scares Kids and Families Paul D. López, the District 3 City Councilmember in Denver, Colo. (31.8% Latino), grew up a few blocks from his current office on Morrison Road, a busy main ...

Read More

Request Traffic Calming Measure in San Antonio



Are you concerned about speeding cars in your neighborhood? Residents in San Antonio can request traffic calming measures, like speed humps, speed enforcement, signage, pavement markings and medians using the Traffic Calming Handbook. Developed by the City of San Antonio Department of Public Works, the Traffic Calming Handbook aims to improve street features to reduce the negative effect of speeding and cut through traffic. The Handbook is also available in Spanish. Improving street features to improve safety is critical to promote walking, physical activity, and overall health and wellbeing. This Handbook outlines the process a resident must go through to request a traffic calming measure. It begins by filling out a 2-page form. The first page requires information about ...

Read More

Neighborhood Association Pushes City for More Walkable Streetscape



Nicolas Rivard and Allison Hu, urban designers in San Antonio and members of Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association, learned about an upcoming street construction project that lacks walkable streetscape elements in their largely Latino neighborhood, and decided to act. The urban designers mobilized and empowered community members to get involved and request walkable streetscape elements, and the city responded by adding street trees, separated sidewalks, and landscaping. Today, through their recent project, Place Changing, the designers use “design activism” or “participatory design” processes to build urban literacy and equip residents with strategies to continue to get involved in city planning and development projects. Walkability Low in East San Antonio Neighborhood Nicolas ...

Read More

Group Creates ‘Wellness Corridor’ to Promote Active Spaces in Santa Ana, Calif.



The mostly Latino southern area of Santa Ana, Calif., had limited places to be active—and not a single park. Desperate for more active spaces to give them more chances to get fit and avoid disease and obesity, residents pushed for and received a new park, Corazones Verdes Park. While park construction remained underway, members of Latino Health Access sought alternative active spaces. That’s when they came up with the idea of creating a Wellness Corridor through downtown Santa Ana. Now partners from across the city are discussing ways to make the community more walkable, and residents of all ages are learning to effectively voice the need for healthy options. EMERGENCE Awareness: America Bracho, a Venezuelan-born physician and public health advocate for the Latino community of south ...

Read More

After School Busing Program Brings Students to a Park in Houston



Thanks to a partnership between Children and Neighbors Defeat Obesity (CAN DO) Houston, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD), and the Houston Independent School District (HISD), students at Briscoe Elementary School in Houston now have new opportunities for the active play they need to ensure health and prevent childhood obesity. Before the collaboration, parents identified a lack of physical activity as a primary health concern; now thanks to an after school busing program, students can attend after-school activities at a nearby park for free. EMERGENCE Awareness: In 2005, the 44% Latino city of Houston was named America’s fattest city by Men’s Fitness magazine, prompting the formation of the Mayor’s Wellness Council (MWC) and later the Houston Wellness Association ...

Read More

Passing a Complete Streets Policy in San Antonio, Texas



San Antonio pedestrians and cyclists will now have safer streets and walkways thanks to the implementation of the citywide Complete Streets policy. This San Antonio Complete Streets policy has not only helped those living in the city’s Westside, a largely Latino area, but has also paved the way for residents throughout the entire community to gain a better understanding of how an active-living-friendly environment can foster healthier lives. EMERGENCE Awareness: Health professionals, including David Clear and Kathy Shields of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health), were beginning to see that obesity was a problem in the largely Latino city of San Antonio. Along with obesity, many also suffered from diabetes—of these, many were Latino. In 2004, Metro Health ...

Read More

Students Reclaim Streets with a Walking School Bus in Springfield



A predominantly Latino elementary school proves that morning exercise through a walking school bus program can benefit students, parents, and the community. Not only have school attendance rates increased, community engagement levels have increased, too. A Walking School Bus at Brightwood Elementary School in Springfield, Mass., now offers hope—and physical activity—to a community that not long ago faced fears of unsafe streets and high crime rates. Karen Pohlman, a nurse practitioner and community program manager for Baystate Medical Center, knew the community was struggling and wanted to improve people’s health, so she developed a plan to implement a walking school bus at Brightwood Elementary. EMERGENCE Awareness: Crime was high in the North End of Springfield, Mass., which ...

Read More