Community Walking Forum engages 60+ partners :: Membership update and save-the-date :: LSA awarded Community Tool Grant from Park Tool :: Welcome to our three newest Board members :: Send us your gently-used goods :: Light the Night February 16th :: Kidical Mass February 20th
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Thank you to our Gold business members:

Street Smarts February 2016

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60+ community partners converge and "talk the walk" at first Community Walking Forum

Just a little over a year ago, we all celebrated a major "win" when the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee finally approved the inclusion of dedicated funding for pedestrian improvement projects in the 2015 bond election. While it was only a small piece of the total bond, it signified a major shift of priorities in our region and that is something that we can all be proud of. A huge group of people from all walks of life came together behind a shared vision, and while the bond did not pass, we continue to be motivated and inspired by this demonstration of broad support for walkability in Tucson.

Last month, we convened dozens of partners for a Community Walking Forum to keep the conversation going about how to move walkability forward in Tucson. Based on shared priorities and values, the group brainstormed around three potential campaigns/initiatives to work on together:
  1. Vision Zero — a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.
  2. Complete Streets — a policy, planning, and design approach to create streets that enable safe, comfortable, and accessible for people of all ages and abilities regardless of how they are traveling.
  3. WalkTucson — a paradigm shift to create a "pedestrian-first" culture and to ensure that walking and walkability is at the forefront of every conversation and is meaningfully addresses at every opportunity.
There were a TON of great ideas and information shared and generated at the Forum and we're still in the process of transcribing and summarizing them, so check our website soon for more information. In the meantime, we'd like to thank AZ Prevention Research Network for helping underwrite the Forum, Exo Roast Co. for keeping participants caffeinated and alert during it, and Hotel Congress, Betts Printing, and Bruegger's Bagels for their in-kind support. We couldn't have done it without them!

And now, the moment you've been waiting for: Announcing our BRAND NEW spring Cyclovia Tucson route!

Living Streets Alliance has set a goal to bring two new routes to you in 2016. We are excited to expand participation by working closely with new neighborhoods in new parts of the city to create these new routes. Without further ado, we are so excited to share with you the Lost Barrio to Himmel Park route:

Plans for activities along this new route are in full swing; there will be so many surprises to delight you. This is just a taste of the fun activities neighbors and residents along the route are working to bring to the event:

  • Earth Day Festival will move from its long-time home at Reid Park to join us in Himmel Park,
  • the Sam Hughes Neighborhood is planning a walking Garden Tour and Beer Garden fundraiser at the historic water tower site,
  • Rincon Heights Neighborhood will feature live music, water-harvesting demonstrations and a native plant sale
  • Miles Exploratory Learning Center will showcase student musical talent, and
  • Party in the street at the Lost Barrio Shops and discover a new local business to support!

It's never too early to think about volunteering, hosting an activity, or becoming a sponsor. There are tons of opportunities to get involved and we are happy to answer your questions about participating.

Don't worry -- we LOVE the South Tucson route and plan to be back there next year. We want to thank the communities that have hosted this event in the past and honor the incredible amount of hard work that goes into organizing activities and mobilizing communities to participate. After a well-deserved break, we'll be back in South Tucson with bigger plans for more fun in 2017!

Membership update

If you've been to our website to renew your LSA membership recently, you probably noticed that it looks a bit different. We wanted to make things easier going forward, so we've paired down membership levels. Now you'll have the easy choice of joining as an individual ($40 regular or $30 student/youth) or household ($75). It's that simple. Same great perks, while you help support LSA's programs and events. If you have any questions about your current membership or how to renew, please contact us. And speaking of membership perks...


Save the date: Member Appreciation Party (MAP) #3

It's official. Our annual Member Appreciation Party will be on Sunday, May 1st in the afternoon, so mark your calendars now. This year, we're thinking about mixing it up a bit -- think kickball in the park, think keg and barbeque, think DJ,... think RAD! It'll be the perfect time of year to unwind outside, so save the date and keep an eye out for your official invitation in the near future.

LSA awarded Community Tool Grant from Park Tool!

Minneapolis based bicycle tool manufacturer, Park Tool, has announced the recipients of its 2016 Community Tool Grant Program, which provides community non-profits with more than $1,400 worth of Park Tool products, including a repair stand, tools and Park's bicycle repair book. LSA is proud to announce that we've been selected as one of ten winners out of more than 200 organizations who applied nationally.

The grant will help provide tools for our Mobile Bike Repair service, which will provide FREE bicycle repairs and instruction at area K-8 schools, as part of our Safe Routes to School Tucson program in partnership with the City of Tucson Bicycle and Pedestrian program.

Get the full story here.


Welcome to our three newest Board members

We'd like to extend a warm welcome to three new board members, all of them native Tucsonans. (Awesome!!!)

Gene Einfrank is a native Tucsonan who enjoyed a lifelong career in television/media production. For the past 15 years, as a writer-producer for Tucson 12, Gene contributed to a variety of programs including City News, Sonoran Style, Desert Living and dozens of special projects, most notably Why We Remember, a documentary about the holocaust as told through the experiences of holocaust survivors who live in Tucson. Today Gene is very active in the community. He is president of the Menlo Park Neighborhood Association and co-chair of the Downtown Neighborhoods and Residents Council. Both organizations feed Gene’s desire to engage in projects and activities that lead to a more sustainable, cohesive community.

Gabriela Barillas-Longoria is a graduate student in the U of A College of Public Health, who spent the last year living in Madrid where she developed a deep appreciation for active transportation during her one hour commute to work, which consisted of walking, two trains, and more walking. Her research areas focus on how the built environment and transportation policy influences the community's physical activity levels, particularly families and school aged children. 

Jill Brammer is co-founder and co-owner of Che's Lounge on 4th Avenue. As a business owner on one of the most multi-modal corridors in the city, Jill has served on the 4th Avenue Merchants Association for the past 12 years and is currently a member of the City of Tucson Park Tucson Commission. A long-time resident of the Ironhorse Neighborhood, just east of 4th Avenue, she also serves on the Board of Directors of Casa Libre, helping ensure that arts and culture have a place in the bustle of 4th Avenue.


Before you throw out your old stuff...

We just moved into a great new office at 6th St. & 6th Ave. and are looking for some key items to help us fill the space. Before you pass along your gently-used goods, please consider donating them to LSA. (We can even give you an in-kind contribution letter for your tax purposes.)

Here's what we're looking for:
  • Chairs! Folding, office, conference -- you name it -- we'll put them to use
  • Metal shelves/racks. As you can imagine, hosting Cyclovia and all of our other events each year requires a lot of equipment. If you have utility shelving or racks, we will happily utilize them
  • Floor lamps and desk lamps in good working condition
  • For all of you architect-types out there... we're looking for a flat-file cabinet. We have beautiful limited-edition Cyclovia prints to store and would be very grateful for a proper receptacle!
Please let us know if you have any of these items, or anything else you think we might be able to put to good use, and thanks in advance!


Thank you to our new and renewing Business Members!

5 Points Market & Restaurant
With their friendly staff, bountiful bike parking, and of course melt-in-your-mouth delicious creations made from locally sourced ingredients, 5 Points Market & Restaurant has a special place in our hearts. We're so excited to have them on board and wholeheartedly recommend that you give them a visit and soak up the winter sun at their patio while enjoying a yummy breakfast!

Downtown Tucson Partnership
Do you ever wonder who's behind taking care of the blooming flowers in planters, keeping the sidewalks clean, providing funding for facade improvements (think Chicago Store), and encouraging business to locate downtown? It's the Downtown Tucson Partnership! We thank them for their work to increase opportunities to live, work, and play in downtown Tucson and supporting our work to create more livable neighborhoods and living streets across Tucson.

Hotel Congress
An iconic downtown landmark, The Hotel Congress offers a window to Tucson's past while embracing the changes in downtown's east end. It offers something for everyone: charming rooms for your out-of-town guests, a unique dining experience at Cup Café, free weekly music events at the patio, one of the most-loved music venues in town, and more. They do a great job livening up the street scene day and night and we extend a warm welcome to all the staff who work hard to make it happen.     

Events View all events »

Light the Night

Tuesday, February 16th at 5:30pm
Grant & Alvernon

The intersection of Grant & Alvernon is one of the busiest in the region for bicycle, pedestrian and transit traffic. It's also one of the most dangerous. Many bicyclists and pedestrians have been struck by people driving cars in the area, including a 10-year old boy last month. To help provide safety equipment -- including bike lights, helmets, and safety information in Spanish & English -- Living Streets Alliance, the City of Tucson Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, and Pima Association of Governments will host a Light the Night bike light distribution event at this intersection on Tuesday, February 16th beginning at 5:30pm, while supplies last.

Kidical Mass: Blenman Elm

Saturday, February 20th, from 12:00-2:00pm
1695 N. Country Club Road

Join Tucson families at Blenman Elementary School for an all-ages, all-ability bike ride! El Grupo Youth Cycling riders will lead the ride, showing families how to safely and legally navigate Tucson streets with their young riders.  This is also a great opportunity to explore low-stress, neighborhood routes that get you to your favorite destinations. At the end, riders will get to treat themselves with a free scoop of Isabella's Ice Cream! Click here for more details.

Resources & Good Reads

The Strongest Case Yet That Excessive Parking Causes More Driving

"Cheap, excessive parking has been linked to more drive-alone commutes, worse traffic congestion, higher rents, and all the other social costs of over-reliance on cars for urban mobility. But the fact that so many U.S. cities cling to minimum parking policies suggests that officials don’t see parking as a key cause of increased driving—instead, perhaps, just a natural response to it."

Full article here.

New Houston Mayor to Texas DOT: Wider Roads Mean More Traffic

“The traditional strategy of adding capacity … exacerbates urban congestion problems.”

"Count new Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner among the growing crowd of local transportation officials wary of road-expansion as a solution to traffic problems. Turner told the Texas Transportation Commission last week that it was time for a “paradigm shift” away from the ineffective approach of widening highways, according to prepared remarks posted by Streetsblog’s Angie Schmitt. That strategy, he said, only makes congestion worse."

Entire article here. Read it, then share it with Mayor Rothschild!


The Inequality of Sidewalks

"Pedestrian deaths are much more common in poor neighborhoods in urban America than in wealthier ones, a disparity Governing magazine covered in depth back in 2014. That result stems from a brutal collision of bad infrastructure and limited choices: The poor and minorities are more likely to get around by foot, but they also often live in places where doing that is particularly hard."

Read the entire article here.

Living Streets Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, whose mission is to promote healthy communities by empowering people to transform our streets into vibrant places for walking, bicycling, socializing, and play. Support our Work today and help make our streets better, safer places for people of all ages and abilities.
Living Streets Alliance
P.O. Box 2641
Tucson, Arizona 85702

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