This year’s Safe Routes Academy at the 2018 NJ Bike & Walk Summit featured a full-day track of 3 sessions that equipped attendees with a set of tools and resources that they can take back to their communities to improve walking and biking conditions. Thank you to everyone who attended the conference and filled our classroom on a Saturday!
If you missed it, all of our presentations are on our website! Here is what we covered:
- Conducting walk audits: What’s the first step to improving pedestrian safety? Walking around your community! Use our walk/bike audit resourcesand the Get Active NJ Walkability Toolkit to inventory problem spots and successes, enabling you to develop a more clear sense of your community’s needs.
- Taking it to the community: Now you know what the issues are, but how do you communicate them to the whole community? This presentation covers the important partnerships you should make and the messages that resonate most effectively with different groups.
- Funding opportunities: You have great ideas–let’s fund them! Thispresentation gives an overview of federal, state, and other funding available. Two others specifically covered NJDOT grants and Get Active NJ grants.
Summit Keynote: Oboi Reed from Equiticity – Distinguishing equity from equality
Another highlight from the 2018 NJ Bike & Walk Summit: Oboi Reed, racial justice and mobility activist and founder of the Equiticity movement, kicked off the day as the keynote speaker. His powerful call to action challenged everyone to work harder for mobility progress that empowers and supports communities of color, who have born the burdens of structural racism and transportation disinvestment for far too long. Reed’s talk lit up on social media–see this Facebook post from the NJ Bike & Walk Coalition.
Reed highlighted the different between equity and equality in his keynote talk. He used the helpful graphic below to illustrate why equity is a more effective policy and implementation lens because it assists the people who are most in need, truly creating an equal playing field.
Ensuring that streets and sidewalks are safe for children walking and biking to school is a step towards reaching equity. If a child feels comfortable and secure biking down the street and walking through their neighborhood, many others will as well.