August 13, 2012 5:45 AM
New Wave staff
Sidewalks, crosswalks and traffic signals will be upgraded in parts of New Orleans East and around Audubon Charter School’s campuses in the uptown area, thanks to two Safe Routes to School projects announced by the KidsWalk Coalition, a partnership led by the Prevention Research Center at Tulane University.
Funded by the federal Department of Transportation and supported by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, the Safe Routes to School program seeks to improve the health of kids and communities by making walking and bicycling to school safer, easier and more enjoyable. This year, the KidsWalk Coalition coordinated four joint applications between the City of New Orleans and New Orleans organizations.
Safe Routes to School provides up to $250,000 for improvements to sidewalks, crosswalks, signage, traffic signals and other pedestrian infrastructure, and up to $50,000 for education, encouragement and enforcement programs.
The state awarded Audubon Charter School $276,984 to improve pedestrian safety at its two campuses in the Black Pearl neighborhood near Tulane. Funds also went to the Michoud and Village de l’Est neighborhoods and to Einstein Charter School.
“Streets safe for walking make healthier neighborhoods,” said Kathryn Parker-Karst, director of the KidsWalk Coalition. “We are thrilled that students at Audubon Charter and Einstein Charter Schools will have more opportunities to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives.”
Janice A. Dupuy, principal/CEO of Audubon Charter School, said the grant will benefit students and the neighborhood: “It will enable us to continue to build a healthier school environment for our students by encouraging walking and biking to school.”
The mission of the KidsWalk Coalition is to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in New Orleans by making walking and bicycling safer. The Prevention Research Center, part of the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, is its lead agency.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 email@example.com