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RV 2015: Active Transportation for Equitable Transformation by Gwendolyn Fedrick


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Can bikeability and walkability transform socially and aesthetically deteriorating neighborhoods? How can bringing active transportation into the planning process bring more equity to a community? For more than two decades social activists and elected officials, alike, have teamed up to improve the quality of life for residents. Hear specific objectives and strategies from Houston, Minneapolis and Orlando. How did they improve access to jobs by creating pathways linking public transit? Or encourage active body motion -- and better health -- by providing alternatives to cars? Learn strategies to form alliances between nonprofit organizations, private enterprise, local governments and local residents. Dare to imagine creative ways to transform your own community.

Moderator: Rukiya Eaddy Thomas, Chief of Staff, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, Georgia
Gwendolyn Fedrick, GO Neighborhood Community Coordinator, Neighborhood Recovery Community Development Corporation, Houston, Texas
Brooke Bonnett, AICP, Director of Economic Development, City of Orlando, Orlando, Florida
Russ Adams, Executive Director, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Published in: Health & Medicine
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RV 2015: Active Transportation for Equitable Transformation by Gwendolyn Fedrick

  1. 1. Rail~Volu)on  Conference  2015   Ac)ve  Transporta)on  for  Equitable  Outcomes   Gwendolyn  Fedrick,  M.S.  W.,  M.P.A.   Neighborhood  Recovery  Community  Development  Corpora)on   OST/South  Union  GO  Neighborhood  
  2. 2. Our  Community
  3. 3. OST/SOUTH  UNION Popula'on:   23,950   African American: 83% Median   Household   Income:   $27,785   34%  of  all   residents   are  obese   Hispanic: 16% 60%  of   residents   take  cars  to   community   parks   White: 1% 60%  walk  at   least  10   minutes  a  day  
  4. 4. Community  Engagement We  envision  an  engaged  and  informed  community   working  together  to  transform  Southeast  Houston  into  a   healthy,  vibrant,  safe  and  economically  stable  community,   a  place  that  nurtures  and  supports  us  throughout  our   lives.   v  2011  University  of  Houston  Na)onal   Endowment  for  the  Arts    grant     v  2012  Civic  clubs,  residents  and  stakeholders   began  Southeast  Houston  Transforma)on   Alliance  (SEHTA)  2012   v  2013    OST/South  Union  receives  GO   Neighborhoods  designa)on  by  Houston  Local   Ini)a)ves  Support  Corpora)on  (LISC)   v  Over  300  residents,  stakeholders,  elected   officials,  partners,  allies  and  key  community   leaders  par)cipated  in  the  strategic  planning   process.      
  5. 5. LISC  GO  Neighborhoods v     Local   Unique  to  our  community     v     Ini'a'ves   Ideas  and  projects  based  on   crea)vity  and  resourcefulness  of  our   community   v     Support    Funding,  training,  and  coaching   v     “Coopera'on”    Partnering  and  teamwork  to  make       dreams  reality  
  6. 6. Strollin’  &  Rollin’   Mission:    To  improve  the  health  of  the  OST/South  Union  community  by  biking,  walking,  and  using   public  transportaKon  while  connecKng  community  desKnaKons.   v     Major  Partner:    Na)onal  Park  Service  Rivers,  Trails  &  Conserva)on  Assistance   v     Projects   Ø  Bike  ride  connec)ng  three  community  parks   Ø  5-­‐week  Summer  Bike  Safety  Program  for  96  youth  in  conjunc)on  with  YMCA   Ø  Ac)ve  Tuesday  bike  rides   Ø  Community  Surveys   Ø  Mobility  Study   Ø  Neighborhood  Greenways  Master  Plan  
  7. 7. Community  Engagement  through  InformaKon  Gathering GO  Team  Survey   • Street    and  sidewalk   condi)ons  ($0)   • Volunteers  rode  bikes   and  documented   neighborhood  streets   Rice  University   Houston  Ac'on   Research  Team   • 4  students  (in  one   semester)  created   survey  and  map  of   des)na)ons   • Met  face-­‐to-­‐face  with   residents  at  transit   stops,  civic  club   mee)ngs,  etc.     • $10,000  In-­‐kind   Na'onal  Park  Service     Technical    Assistance   •  Biking  desirability   •  In  person  and  on-­‐line   •  >$50,000  In-­‐kind   Sankofa  Research   Ins'tute   •  Community-­‐Based   Par)cipatory   •  Travel  paderns  and   issues   •   $10,000  by  University   of  Houston  and  The   Dawn  Project    
  8. 8. GO  Team     Street  Condi)ons  Survey   Fragmented,  cracked  and  buckled  streets  and  sidewalks   55%  of  the  streets  do  not  have  sidewalks   Residents  are  forced  to  share  the  streets  with  cyclists   and  motorized  vehicles  where    sidewalks  do  not  exist   Crosswalks  and  signage  are  lacking,  even  near  schools   Less  than  10%  of  230  street  segments  surveyed  had  any  form  of   biking  designa)ons  
  9. 9. Alterna)ve  Mobility  Survey   Used  maps  to  ask  residents  about  their   mobility  paderns—car,  walk,  bike,  METRO   Asked  for  recommenda)ons  of  travel  paderns   and  improvements  of  street  segments   Rice  University  Center  for  Civic  Leadership     Houston  Ac)on  Research  Team  
  10. 10. Na'onal  Park  Service  Rivers,  Trails  &  Conserva'on   Technical    Assistance     Supports  community-­‐led  natural  resource   conserva)on  and  outdoor  recrea)on   Project  Goal:  Develop  a  signed  network  of  bike  routes   and  pathways  that  connect  key  community  and   recrea)on  des)na)ons  in  inner  southeast  Houston.     NPS  Role:    Help  the  Strollin’  &  Rollin’  GO  Team  with  organiza)onal   development,  stakeholder  engagement,  and  data  collec)on  in   order  to  develop  preferred  biking  and  walking  routes  through  the   neighborhood.    
  11. 11. Sankofa  Research  Ins'tute     Community-­‐Based  Par'cipatory  Research   Community-­‐based  par'cipatory  research  (CBPR):    community  members,   organiza)onal  representa)ves,  and  researchers  engaged  in  all  aspects  of   the  research  process  to  contribute  exper)se  and  share  decision  making   and  ownership.   Aim  was  to  increase  knowledge  and  understanding  of   walking  and  biking  and  to  integrate  interven)on,  policy,   and  social  change  to  improve  community’s  health  and   quality  of  life.   Incen)ves  for  par)cipa)ng  ($5  gij    cards)   Community  members  were  trained  and  paid  to  collect  and   interpret  the  data.  
  12. 12. Mobility  Report Comprehensive  look  at  how  residents  get   around   Iden)fies  barriers  to  mobility   Recommends  ac)ons  to  alleviate  barriers  and   increase  residents’  op)mal  level  of  health  
  13. 13. Stakeholder  Engagement v  Two  Partners’  Mee)ngs     v  Elected  Officials   v  State  Senator  Rodney  Ellis   v  State  Representa)ve  Garnet   Coleman   v  District  D  City  Council  Member   Dwight  Boykins   v  Houston  Southeast  Management   District   v  FTA  grantee   v  Transporta)on  and  Mobility   Commidee   v  Houston  Bike  Plan  presenta)on  venue  
  14. 14. Guiding  Principles Respond  to  ways   that  residents   currently  get   around  as  well  as   how  they  would   like  to  get  around   in  the  future   Tackle  the  barriers   that  keep  residents   from  engaging  in   ac)ve  transporta)on   and  recrea)on   Connect  all  OST/ South  Union   residents  to  key   des)na)ons,  both   inside  and  outside   the  neighborhood   Provide  realis'c   opportuni'es  for   improving   neighborhood   mobility,  both   immediately  and   over  )me  
  15. 15. Master  Plan Shared  our  Mobility   Report  and  Master  Plan   with  City  of  Houston   Bike  Plan  task  force   Our  strategy:       Neighborhood   Greenways  
  16. 16. Neighborhood  Greenways  IniKaKve     EASY,  SAFE  STREET   CROSSING   Slow-­‐Moving   Local  Traffic   Phased-­‐In  Over   Time   QUIET,  LOW-­‐ TRAFFIC  STREETS   EASY-­‐TO-­‐FOLLOW   ROUTES  
  17. 17. Why  Neighborhood   Greenways  in   Southeast  Houston? 2010  Health   of  Houston   Survey   reported  an   obesity  rate   of  34%   76%  of  children   (6-­‐17  years  old)   get  less  than   recommended   physical  ac)vity   (60  minutes,   seven  days/week)   Connec)vity   Encourage   u)liza)on  of   new  bus   network  and   new  METRO   Rail  line   Inspire   residents  to   become   physically   ac)ve  
  18. 18. Moving  Forward>>ImplementaKon  Strategies v  Based  on  community  priori)es,  planned  road  improvements  and/or   future  funding  sources  and  partnerships   >    Houston  Southeast  Management  District—FTA  grantee   >    $1.2  million  earmarked  in  2009  by  Congresswoman  Sheila  Jackson  Lee  for   bikeways  and  access  to  transit  (new  METRO  light  rail  line)   >    $266,000  match  needed  in  cash   Focus  ini)al  efforts   on  route  signage  and   improving  key   intersec)ons   Build  out  4-­‐5  routes   to  meet  the  needs   and  demands  of  the   neighborhood   Add  routes  to  provide   more  convenient   connec)ons  to   community  ameni)es  
  19. 19. Next  Steps Community-­‐ based   educa'on  on   Neighborhood   Greenways   ini'a've   Advocate  for   infrastructure   improvements   throughout  the   neighborhood   Programming  to   create  an   intergenera'onal   culture  of   walking  and   biking   Seek  funding   sources  for  the   $266,000  FTA   cash  match