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Residents in Westwood, a neighborhood in southwestern Denver, CO, are getting involved with the Community Planning and Development Office to reduce motor-vehicle traffic and to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety.
Traffic, safety and walkability problems are not uncommon in low income and high minority neighborhoods, which is why these neighborhoods are disproportionately burdened with obesity. Currently, 71% of area residents are Latino and 35% live below the poverty level, which is more than double the national average.
Westwood Unidos is a partnership of residents and organizations that are interested in improving safety and the built environment in their neighborhood. The conduct monthly action committee meetings to work on issues identified by the residents.
In the first meeting with the Community Planning and Development Office, they discussed infrastructure changes on three particularly dangerous neighborhood streets. Changes include traffic calming devices as well as increasing sidewalk width, adding street lights and fixing broken roads.
One resident said, “We want to see Morrison Road made into a destination that celebrates Latino culture, creates economic opportunity for the neighborhood, and provides opportunities for families to have activity in their neighborhood.”
In order to increase family’s participation in physical activity in their neighborhood, community planners need to address safety and infrastructure barriers related to active transportation.
Click here to learn more about local residents getting involved in community planning.
Click here to learn about Westwood Unidos.