In Review: Complete Streets Health Equity Report Release
An overview of the Complete Streets for Health Equity Report Release Luncheon
The Complete Streets Health Equity Report Release Luncheon was held at the Greater New Orleans Foundation on Wednesday, December 6th. This event brought together attendees from many different organizations throughout Greater New Orleans to share how complete streets improves health equity and to present strategies for building on the momentum that has taken hold for biking and walking in Greater New Orleans.
Attendees included representatives from the City of New Orleans, the City of Kenner, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, the American Heart Association, Tulane PR, Social Bicycles, Blue Bikes NOLA, local businesses, and engaged citizens.
Eric ‘Doc’ Griggs, an advocate for biking and healthy lifestyles and a Bike Easy board member, kicked off the event.
Dan Favre, Executive Director of Bike Easy, gave an overview of the report which is intended to evaluate the impact that Complete Streets initiatives have on improving health equity. Dan discussed how complete streets are a policy approach that works best when utilizing performance measures within an evaluation framework to track progress as new streets built to share are implemented.
Following Dan’s overview was a community panel discussion moderated by Coretta LaGarde from the American Heart Association. The panel consisted of Renard Bridgewater of the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans, Michelle O’Flynn who is a disabled person who regularly bikes for transportation in Jefferson Parish, Angela Chalk of the Louisiana Public Health Association, and Tony Ligi of the Jefferson Business Council. Panel members shared ideas about increasing safety, educating motorists and bikers about how to safely share the roadway, and key connection points that need improvement across Greater New Orleans.
The government panel featured Dr. Joe Kanter the Interim Director of the New Orleans Health Department, Dwight Norton the Urban Mobility Coordinator in the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Sustainability, and Michael Ince the Director of Community Development in the City of Kenner. This panel answered questions about strategies for implementing complete streets policies and moving towards a safer and more equitable biking network.
The people and perspectives in the room clearly demonstrate the appeal, opportunity, and and need for Complete Streets. Those who attended the event represented issues and organizations such as smart stormwater management, our public libraries, music and culture in the city, anti-gentrification, public health as well as many others. We at Bike Easy recognize that Complete Streets do not only benefit those who bike and walk but also those who interact with the built environment, everyone!
Find more information on the luncheon and to read the Complete Streets Health Equity Report Release here.