Kansas Middle-Schoolers Doing Eye-Opening Walking Audits



Eighth-grade students in Kansas City, Kan. (10% Latino), are conducting neighborhood audits around their middle school to see how friendly the area is for kids and families to walk. Latino kids often lack safe places to walk and play. They are less physically active than their peers and face higher rates of obesity and chronic disease. Safer routes would enable families would choose walking, thus improving children's their physical activity and health, research shows. Why Walking Audits? Walking audits are one way to assess factors that help or hinder safe routes for children to walk. Audits typically focus on a specific site, like a school or park, or a specific street or corridor. Audits account for things like sidewalk width and condition, street lighting, distance between ...

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Open Ciclismo: Crowdsourced Map of Biking in San Antonio



You can share the best—or worst—places to bike in San Antonio, thanks to a new bilingual crowdsourced map. The Open Ciclismo map, launched in October 2017 in English and Spanish by the local online news source the Rivard Report and Bike San Antonio, enables people to identify biking problems, issues, and solutions across San Antonio (63.7% Latino). You can report a public dangerous intersection, suggest a bicycling improvement, or share safe places to ride. Just indicate the location, add a description, and upload or share a video. "By crowdsourcing this data and riders’ experiences, we aim to create up-to-date awareness of hotspots for cycling safety, crime, and infrastructure improvements—holding city officials accountable for safe cycling and pedestrian life in San ...

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2017 Community Change Micro Grants Opportunity



Many families aren't as active as they would like to be because they lack safe places to walk, bike and play. In fact, the U.S. is failing five of nine factors that reflect walking and walkable communities. Latinos in particular face barriers to walk, which negatively impacts physical and mental health, as well as economic prosperity. Are you interested in helping to make walking more commonplace for families in your community? Micro Grants; America Walks is hosting a round of micro grants for up to $1500 to fund or start smaller-scale, low-cost projects and programs. The goal is to increase the prevalence of walking, expand the diversity of people and organizations working to advance walkability, and help to make walking safer, easier, and more fun for all community ...

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Dangerous Street to Get Makeover to Save its Immigrant Culture, Delicious Food



Sadly, more than 1,300 people died in motor vehicle crashes in Georgia in 2013. Beyond the terrible heartache for the families and friends of those involved, these crashes amounted to more than $1.6 billion in medical and work-loss costs. Buford Highway, an eight-mile corridor in Atlanta known for authentic international restaurants, is the most dangerous road for pedestrians in Georgia. Located on the northeast side of Atlanta, which is largely Latino, there were 22 pedestrian fatalities from 2003 to 2012 on Buford Highway. What can reverse this grave trend and save the lives of Latinos and the livelihood of those restaurants? Cars vs. Pedestrians Many cities are plagued by wide roadways, like Buford Highway. Even though this road offers many restaurants, it doesn't ...

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Youth Leaders Push for Walking and Bicycling


bike and walk kid leaders in California

Sacramento has mild weather, light rail, and many bike paths. But people still heavily depend on cars in this 23% Latino city, according to its relatively low walk score. Sacramento also is like many other California cities, where urban planners face a big challenge to create more ways for a rising population to walk and bike. Fortunately, a group of diverse youth are making a difference for more walking, bicycling, and skating. Youth Step Up for Safer Streets The Walk & Bike Youth Leaders Program started in Sacramento in 2017, thanks to the California Bicycle Coalition, California Walks, and the California Center for Civic Participation. Program organizers chose 11 youth ages 16-23. The youth will partake in four online training sessions. They will learn how to ...

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Report: U.S. Gets Failing Grade for Walkability



The U.S. is failing five of nine factors that reflect walking and walkable communities, according to a new report card. Children's walking behavior, pedestrian infrastructure, safety, institutional policies, and public transportation were graded an "F" by the new 2017 United State Report Card on Walking and Walkable Communities. The report is from the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance, which developed a system to evaluate U.S. walking and walkability. Why walking is critical in Latino neighborhoods Walking is a natural and inexpensive activity to improve health and prevent chronic disease. However, safe places to walk are often not accessible, particularly in Latino neighborhoods, according to our own research. Thus, many Latino children and adults don't walk and suffer ...

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Fresno Community Blue and Green Spaces Program Opens School Pools


Latino Health pools blue space swimming

Schools in Fresno, CA (52.8% Latino) opened their green and blue spaces to the public. Green spaces are parks, playgrounds, sports fields and other outdoor play spaces. Blue spaces are swimming pools, lakes and rivers. Latino kids lack safe green and blue spaces, thus face higher rates of chronic disease, drowning, and drowning related injuries compared to white kids. In June 2016, the Fresno Parks, After School, Recreation, and Community Services Department (PARCS) started a new Weekend Recreation and Fitness Program (WRFP) to get help kids and families stay more active. With a $1.2 million dollar budget from the City of Fresno, Fresno Unified School District, and Central Unified School District, they opened school facilities, like playgrounds, sports fields and green space, ...

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Outdoor Recreation is Essential to the American Economy


Latino health recreation walking biking economy parks

Americans spend more on bicycling gear and trips ($81 billion) than they do on airplane tickets and fees ($51 billion), and nearly as much on snow sports ($53 billion) as on internet access ($54 billion), according to a 2012 report by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA). OIA predicts that Americans spend $646 billion each year on outdoor recreation, which supports 6.1 million direct jobs and $80 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue. Outdoor recreation includes gear, such as apparel, footwear, tents, and bikes; vehicles, such as boats, RVs, and motorcycles; and trips and travel. In many communities, it's outdoor recreation that provides steady employment. "Advancements in technical apparel, footwear and equipment are driving innovation and entrepreneurism, while ...

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New Orleans Mayor to Address Climate Change Through Walking


Latino health climate change

New Orleans has a lot at stake when it comes to climate change. Among many strategies to reduce dependence on carbon-fired power and increase locally generated solar energy, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced plans in July 2017 to address climate change by redesigning regional public transit so 50% of trips are taken by modes other than driving, such as walking or biking. “It is not enough to plan for how we will adapt to climate change,” Landrieu wrote introducing the new climate action strategy for the city. “We must end our contribution to it.” Not only can improving sidewalks and bike lanes make it safer and easier not to travel by car, but making routes and public transit more relevant and useful can also address racial inequity and health ...

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