The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) has been awarded a $275,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The one-year grant will continue and expand the Health Department’s Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Division’s Walk and Roll Long Beach Program to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.
“This grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety will support efforts to provide a variety of transportation education programs,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “These programs will make it safer for residents to walk and bike in our city.”
Grant funding will be used to conduct bike and pedestrian safety workshops and to educate the public on the importance of safety equipment like reflective armbands, bike lights, reflectors and helmets. In addition, the Health Department will:
In partnership with other City departments and community organizations, funding will also be used to support the Health Department’s participation in Bicycle Safety month, in May, and Pedestrian Safety month in September.
“Walking and biking are great ways to be physically active,” said Health Department Director Kelly Colopy. “This program will provide community members with the tools to prevent injuries while participating in these healthy activities.”
This is the fourth year the Health Department has received an OTS grant to promote bike and pedestrian safety. Last year, the Health Department used funding to distribute safety information to approximately 3,000 community members, supported Long Beach’s annual Walk to School Week, reaching approximately 5,000 students, and distributed nearly 1,000 bike lights and 200 helmets.
Bicycle and pedestrian-related collisions have been on the rise the past five years. In 2016, 867 pedestrians were killed on California roads, a nearly 33% increase from 2012. In 2016, 147 bicyclists were killed in crashes on California roads, a 14% increase from 2012.
“No matter which way you get around, you play a part in roadway safety,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “These grant programs are intended to educate residents on ways they can make themselves and those around them safe when they walk or bike.”
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.
About Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services
The mission of the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is to improve quality of life by promoting a safe and healthy community in which to live, work and play. Long Beach Health is one of only three city-run health departments in California, which allows for better engagement with residents, neighborhoods, businesses and community partners, and fosters a greater understanding of the City's strengths. For more information, visit us at www.longbeach.gov/health, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.