This video is about the Heart Walk project held Saturday 11th at the La Familia Center. This video contains a recap of the event, as well as interviews with the organizers. Also discussed is the partners that helped bring the program together.
WALKSacramento is a organization which provides safety awareness for pedestrians and bicyclists that are out in the streets of Sacramento. Their aim is to create and expand safe walking environments for pedestrians, mostly to young children and elders.
“We’ve made some strides this year in helping people in Sacramento to be healthier, safer and better connected to each other,” says Teri Duarte, Executive Director of WALKSacramento, while looking back on the accomplishments of 2014.
Over the past year, WALKSacramento has been involved in many successes. The campaign has managed to establish a new signal light for pedestrians on Center Parkway, located between Valley Hi Park and an apartment complex. Bridgeway Island Elementary School was given a new pedestrian light at the crosswalk, warning drivers when pedestrians press the button. It was also able to contribute to a grant proposal that will provide Ella Elementary school in Yuba City with sidewalks and bike lanes.
“Will you help us achieve these goals?” Duarte asks of the public, seeking further support for 2015.
WALKSacramento has been involved in many successes and will continue on being involved in many more if their goals for 2015 are met. One of their goals is to have more local residents involved in the process to request for bike lanes or sidewalks in their neighborhoods. Another one would be providing community workshops about future plans for pedestrians in South Sacramento. They also want to work on a Regional Metropolitan Transportation Plan which concerns pedestrians as well. Supporting WALKSacramento will help them reach their goals and anyone can donate to the organization online.
To find out more information about WALKSacramento or to donate online, visit: http://www.walksacramento.org/
On Saturday, March 15th, WALKSacramento will host the Franklin Blvd Walk and Bike Audit. Participants will help survey the infrastructure available to bicyclists and walkers along Franklin Blvd, and look to see what needs improvements are needed to give all pedestrians access to the local businesses found in the area. Photos and videos will be collected for an assessment that will be given to the City of Sacramento as recommendations for what needs to be changed. The ultimate goal is to ensure that pedestrians of all ages can safely travel on Franklin Blvd.
“The walk and bike audit will particularly address car traffic speed, crossings and access to local businesses,” says Terry Preston, Complete Streets Project Coordinator for WALKSacramento. “The goal is to create a vibrant and safe environment for both local residents and visitors to the corridor to enjoy the benefits of the many goods and services available. This will boost economic life and create a greater sense of community along the corridor.”
WALKSacramento has worked throughout the city to create safe environments for pedestrians to avoid street traffic and have access to local businesses around the area. One of their notable projects was a partnership with the city planners to develop plans for transportation to and from the entertainment and sports developments taking place downtown. Having done all of this great work, their sights are set on tackling the problems with the infrastructure along Franklin Blvd. It is home to a variety of restaurants and stores that receive less foot traffic than other similar business areas.
WALKSacramento wants to make sure that inaccessibility doesn’t factor into customer’s decision to walk or drive to these businesses.
“Areas like the Franklin Blvd commercial corridor offer great potential for creating walkable and sustainable routes but have traditionally seen less public investment in infrastructure,” Preston explains. “The March 15th walk and bike review will help bring new focus to the area.”
The end result of this initiative will be a report compiled by the volunteers. Specific problems with infrastructure will be recommended for prompt repairs. In addition, stakeholders capable of providing funding will be identified and encouraged to help WALKSacramento implement their plans.
All volunteers that are able to participate are greatly appreciated. Participants will meet at 10:00 am at Carolina’s Mexican Food, 3840 Franklin Blvd, and are encouraged to wear strong, comfortable shoes. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Those who plan to attend should RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org
On a Thursday afternoon in January of 2012, 16-year-old Sacramento resident Michelle Murigi was struck by a car while she crossed the intersection of 58th Street and Fruitridge Road in South Sacramento. She was returning from West Campus, her high school, after providing a tutoring session at a nearby elementary school. The first car on the two-lane road stopped and let her cross at the crosswalk, but a second car in the other lane didn’t stop. She was taken to the hospital and passed away the next day.
For over a decade this crosswalk has been identified as extremely dangerous and being poorly constructed. It has been on the list of intersections that need reconstruction due to the hazards of Fruitridge road where the average vehicle speed is 40 to 50 miles per hour. Every year in Sacramento, at the direction of the city’s transportation department, a new traffic signal is installed at a dangerous intersection.
Mary Murigi, Michelle’s mom, and area residents got together and demanded change. They partnered with WALKSacramento, an organization dedicated to creating walkable communities, and together they hosted community forums to hear from community members. They they also conducted “walk audits” to find out what other intersections in their neighborhood needed fixing.
Other area organizations followed that lead and also helped residents get organized by showing them how to become effective advocates.
Even still, city officials said it could have been over 25 years before a traffic signal could be put at 58th Street and Fruitridge Road. Residents continued to advocate and even started a petition that received over 1,000 signatures which asked for action to be taken so future accidents could be prevented.
On February 11th, 2014, more than two years after Murigi’s tragic death, the contract to build the streetlight was awarded to a construction firm by city council. The city and the Sacramento City Unified School District are splitting the cost of the traffic signal.
Terry Preston, Complete Streets Coordinator at WALKSacramento, spent considerable time working on this project.
” It’s a testament to what can happen when the community, including youth, come together to make a strong and informed argument for pedestrian safety,” said Preston.
Preston believes this is only the beginning of the work that needs to be done.
“There is much more work to be done to make the Fruitridge corridor safe for walkers and bicyclists of all ages, and WALKSacramento looks forward to the continued effort,” he says.
The traffic signal construction is set to start in late February and is due to be completed by April.
Back in August of 2005, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership began. Since then, the organization has been running events and introducing safety legislation all across America. The SRTS has even received the 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ‘Game Changer’ award. This year, the Local Government Commission is proud to host the 4th Safe Routes to School National Conference here in Sacramento.
The conference, entitled ‘Building on Success-Projects, Programs, People’ will be held on August 13-15 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. Registration will be open until July 14th. The event will be focused on how to make walking or biking to school safe and fun for students nationwide. That means building more sidewalks, crosswalks, and passing new legislation.
Not only is registration now open for the conference, but also for International Walk to School Day. For the 17th year, organizers that register will have access to downloadable flyers, certificates, and other materials to encourage involvement in the event. Those who register can even share biking and walking routes with other participants via a virtual Map-a-Route tool.
Many Sacramento citizens believe that children should walk or bike to school if possible, and should be able to do so safely. According to saferoutespartnership.org, a study showed that schools in California that received infrastructure improvements through the Safe Routes to School program resulted in walking and bicycling increases in the range of 20 to 200 percent. That massive increase is sure to produce environmental, economical, and healthful benefits.
You can register for the 4th Safe Routes to School National Conference here.
To find out more about Walk to School Day 2013 and how you can get involved, you can go here.
Walk Sacramento recently held a forum on pedestrian safety to discuss how to go about improving the area surrounding the intersection of Fruitridge Road and Stockton Boulevard.
According to data from the city, the intersection of Fruitridge and Stockton is the most dangerous intersection in Sacramento. Both streets are highly populated with cars and have speed limits of up to 40 miles per hour.
“Stockton and Fruitridge is a high volume area,” said Terry Preston, Walk Sacramento coordinator and facilitator of the forum. “There are so many businesses and and apartments and people are walking almost all the time.”
Since residents exhausted ways to improve Stockton and Fruitridge directly, they have moved their focus a block down the road, to the intersection of Fruitridge and 58th streets. This is the site where Michelle Murigi, a West Campus High School student, was struck and killed by a car about a year ago.
Filmmaker Vanessa Hernandez made a video about the intersection and presented it at the meeting.
Getting a traffic light installed at the intersection of 58th and Fruitridge is the priority of Walk Sacramento at this point.
Many residents have always wondered why there is not something already in place there other than a dull crosswalk.
“There are two schools there on one street,” said Patty Foster, a resident of that area. “Most students have to cross Fruitridge to get to school, and in the morning, it’s almost impossible.”
“Many students at West Campus ride the bus or walk,” said Hernandez. “Most of those students have to cross Fruitridge in order to get to school or get home.”
According to the city’s Transportation Programming Guide, the intersection of Fruitridge and 58th has been labeled as a high priority for the last ten years, and still nothing has been done.
Participants stressed going to City Council meetings to continually shine a light on this issue.
“The voices have to be there to stand in front of the people who make decisions,” said resident Mark Williams. “Put your mouth where your feet are.”
Another resident also recommended that the group solicit the help of the Sacramento City Unified School District.
“These are their students,” said Tracy Mendez. “There are two schools which belong to that district on that street, it should be in their interest.”
Community members will be going to City Council meeting repeatedly to speak on this issue. There is also a petition available to sign here.
For more information or to join the cause, click here.
Save the date! On Wednesday, May 8, WALKSacramento will present the Pedestrian Safety Community Forum at the Stockton Boulevard Partnership.
WALKSacramento is a nonprofit community organization. Their motto is a walkable community equals a community of walkers.
A few things on the agenda are getting traffic signals on Fruitridge Road and 58th Street, receiving input on the City’s Transportation Programming Guide, and discussing a plan to install new trees on Fruitridge Road.
The forum will be held at Stockton Boulevard Partnership, located at 5625 Stockton Blvd on Wednesday May 8th, from 6pm-7: 30 pm. All are encourage come and to bring a friend.
With the goal to promote walking and other forms of non-polluting transportation methods, WALKSacramento partners with elected officials, community groups, as well as transportation and land planners. Together they have created safe and walkable environments in the Sacramento metropolitan region.
For more information about this form or WALKSacramento please check out the link below.
On Tuesday June 26th WALKSacramento held and a pedestrian count event on Stockton Boulevard and Fruitridge Road in the south Sacramento area, this event consisted of local residents and WALKSacramento members. Volunteers came with positive attitudes eager and willing to give their evenings up for a good cause.
Around 4:10 is when everyone suited up in their bright orange vests and gathered together just as Teri Duarte (WalkSacramento executive director) began to give everyone there location to cover. Then the games began everyone took their crosswalks and set up shop. The event ran smoothly and effective lot of data was collect. I was glad to be apart of this event for I was extremely unaware of not only how unsafe that area was for pedestrians and bicyclists but how many people jaywalk.
I also learned how unreasonable some of the crosswalk timers are, going north bound on Stockton Boulevard the crosswalk timer only allowed 20 seconds tops for pedestrians. Unfortunately, most of the pedestrians only got half way before the time ran out. During the two-hour period roughly a total of 300 pedestrians and 80 bicyclists were counted.
The pedestrian count began to wrap up around 6:00, but the party continued in The Stockton Boulevard partnership where everyone grabbed some refreshments and began to debrief. The debrief was very effective and everyone spoke about things that surprised them, changes that could be made and what not overall the event was a success and I cant wait to the see that data collected used in there next meeting on July 11 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at the Stockton Boulevard Resource Center, 5625 Stockton Boulevard. For more information or to get involved check out their website http://www.walksacramento.org/
Below are pictures from the event, I would love for you guys to check them out and give me your feedback.
The Fruitridge Pedestrian Safety Meeting, held on June 21, 2012 in the community room at the Colonial Heights Library was standing room only! The audience included local residents, members of the Fruitridge Manor Neighborhood Association and the Tallac Village Neighborhood Association, SABA (Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates), Councilmember Kevin McCarty and District 6 Director Maria Alvarez, Building Healthy Communities, Ubuntu Green, California Endowment, Legal Services of Northern California, City of Sacramento Department of Transportation, and WALKSacramento.
The meeting, hosted by WALKSacramento and Building Healthy Communities – Sacramento, continued the community effort to address pedestrian and bicycle safety along Fruitridge Road that was discussed at Councilmember McCarty’s March 8 Community Forum. As a result of that meeting, WALKSacramento began work on the Fruitridge Road Pedestrian Safety Project that will train and assist the community to document existing safety and access conditions, and prepare the community to advocate for pedestrian and bicycle street improvements.
The goal of the June 21 Fruitridge Safety Meeting was to prepare community members to count pedestrians at several locations in the Fruitridge Road/Stockton Boulevard area. Terry Preston, Complete Streets Coordinator for WALKSacramento, described the project, the data that will be collected, and how community members will collect that data. Ed Cox, Alternate Modes Coordinator for the City of Sacramento, provided background information on how the City of Sacramento prioritizes transportation projects and maps showing where pedestrians and bicyclists have been hit by cars and trucks in the Fruitridge Manor and Tallac Village area.
The next step for the community is to count pedestrians and bicyclists on the streets in the area so we can show where and what changes to the streets are needed, and how many people would benefit from those changes.
If you want to help with the pedestrian counts on Tuesday, June 26 from 4-6 p.m., contact Terry Preston at email@example.com to sign up and get directions to the meeting spot.
By Chris Holm, WALKSacramento
Sacramento has seen significant improvements for people who walk and bike thanks to an established Complete Streets policy in the city’s General Plan. Yet in the past six weeks, two pedestrians have been struck and killed while walking in marked crosswalks in the Fruitridge neighborhood of Sacramento.
That’s why WALKSacramento and friends gathered with Congresswoman Doris Matsui on Wednesday, February 22 at the Fruitridge Community Center for the release of the new report “It’s a Safe Decision: Complete Streets In California.“
“Since 2009, more than 880 pedestrians and bicyclists have been injured, 30 fatally, here in Sacramento,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “These needless and preventable incidents highlight the need for Complete Streets policies, which are critical to making our communities more livable, sustainable, and most importantly, safe.”
The report, authored by the National Complete Streets Coalition and the Local Government Commission, showcases successful Complete Streets policies throughout the Golden State and calls on Congress to ensure the next transportation bill requires roads to be designed and operated to enable safe access for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and public transportation users of all ages and abilities. The Sacramento section notes the success of 3 – 2 lane conversions and one way to two way streets transforming fast, dangerous local roads into safer and complete streets.
Speakers pointed to the recent tragedies as evidence that local policy is not enough.
“Until we stop designing roads with only speeding cars in mind, crosswalks alone won’t prevent these tragedies from repeating themselves,” said Terry Preston of WALK Sacramento. “We resolve to support Congresswoman Matsui’s Safe and Complete Streets Act in Washington to protect the lives of people in Sacramento, and around the nation.”
Other speakers included Sacramento City Councilmember Kevin McCarty and Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District Executive Director Larry Greene, who urged both houses of Congress to prioritize health and safety by passing a national Complete Streets policy. And AARP spokesperson Julia Hassel reminded the crowd that for older Americans, walking is critical for both physical and mental health.
“Too many of our seniors are stuck choosing between isolation at home, or danger as a pedestrian,” Hassel said. “We owe it to our seniors to provide safe places for walking so they can remain connected to family and friends, as well as doctors, grocery stores, and other services.”
Congresswoman Matsui is the co-sponsor of the Safe and Complete Streets Act, which would require states to ensure every transportation project takes into account the needs of all users of the roadway. A version of the measure is under consideration as Congress debates the transportation authorization.
Councilmember McCarty is convening a forum on Thursday, March 8, to review options to improve Fruitridge east of Stockton.
WALKSacramento is working with partners on a grant proposal to review the length of the Fruitridge corridor.
Link to the full Complete Streets report:
By Terry Preston, Complete Streets Coordinator for Walk Sacramento