WALKSacramento is lucky to have so many wonderful volunteers that dedicate their time and effort to supporting our mission.
Did you know that a portion of your purchases on Amazon.com can be automatically donated to WALKSacramento?
Simply shop at smile.amazon.com instead of the regular site! There is no cost to you. AmazonSmile is an automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop. You’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to WALKSacramento. On your first visit to AmazonSmile, select WALKSacramento to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping, or go directly to the organization page at http://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3395491. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible, and WALKSacramento greatly appreciates your contribution!
How can you enjoy an incredible 4-day bicycle ride in California wine country while supporting WALKSacramento? Climate Ride – the nation’s largest cycling event dedicated to active transportation and sustainability is May 17-20, 2014,from San Francisco to the California State Capitol! Climate Ride California is a 4-day, fully-supported cycling adventure that begins in San Francisco, heads north up the coast and through Wine Country to California’s Capitol in Sacramento.
The exciting part for WALKSacramento is that anyone who signs up for the ride gets to choose which organization they will be raising money for – and you can choose WALKSacramento.
First you must register, reach the fundraising minimum and train for the ride, then come along and discover why Climate Ride is the premiere green event in the country. Amazing riding, epic scenery, and fantastic camaraderie all combine to make this a remarkable experience. Climate Ride also features nightly speakers who focus on bicycle advocacy, sustainability, and renewable energy. Find out more and register at www.climateride.org.
WALKSacramento must have at least two riders signed up for the May ride in order to qualify as a beneficiary, so let us know if you would like to participate in this remarkable experience!
On October 9, 2013, Sacramento area students participated in International Walk to School Day, joining thousands of schools in over 40 countries that engaged in the day’s activities. WALKSacramento staff members helped parents and school administration organize Walk to School Day events at 16 schools in the Sacramento region. While the event takes place over the course of one day, the preparation begins months in advance. WALKSacramento staff members organized incentives, partner organizations, local government officials, and parents to help encourage children to embrace a healthy lifestyle by using “active transportation.”
WALKSacramento staff was on-hand at three schools in the Sacramento area to arrange walking school buses, deliver a pedestrian safety presentation, and hand out prizes to participating students.
At Thomas Edison Language Institute, students met at two remote drop-off locations and walked or biked to school. The students were given pencils at the remote drop-off location and received stickers and retro reflective backpack zipper-pulls when they arrived on campus.
Walk to School Day is just one of many efforts to promote healthy lifestyles. In South Natomas, Bannon Creek Elementary’s weekly Walking Wednesday kickoff also took place on October 9, 2013. Students were given Walking Wednesday punch cards to hang on their backpacks to get punched by parent volunteers. Volunteers hand out monthly charms, called “Fitness Finders,” that students attach to their backpacks. These have been a successful tool to incentivize walking as students take pride in showing off the number of days they have participated.
Mayor Cabaldon of West Sacramento led a walking school bus to Riverbank Elementary with WALKSacramento staff and the City of West Sacramento staff. Mayor Cabaldon handed out prizes to students who walked or biked to school upon arrival to campus. Students were excited to meet the mayor and share the experience with him.
Walk to School Day recognizes the merits of walking to school, but its message transcends the month of “Walktober.” WALKSacramento will continue to work collaboratively to shape the future of our youth. For more information about International Walk to School Day, please visit the event website at http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/.
Noralto is a diverse community in one of Sacramento’s oldest neighborhoods, adjacent to Del Paso Heights and North Sacramento. WALKSacramento is working in partnership with Ubuntu Green, a fellow community-based non-profit organization, to engage the Noralto community to assess neighborhood concerns regarding transportation, safety and blight. It has been an active effort.
On July 9, 2013, WALKSacramento and partners conducted a walk audit of the area near Harmon Johnson elementary school with community members to review some longstanding transportation and other issues, particularly access to Harmon Johnson Elementary School on Las Palmas Avenue east of Norwood Avenue. Community participants were parents at the school who have had to negotiate the tricky local roads and crossings to get their children to class during the school year.
A good walk audit includes more than community members. On this walk, Daniel Savala, staff from Councilmember Alan Warren’s office, was present as well as Dino Riali, City of Sacramento traffic investigator. Walking east from Harmon Johnson down Las Palmas to Altos Avenue, the walk noted the lack of wheelchair-accessible curb ramps at the corner of Fairfield, and the narrow four foot sidewalk down to Altos that made it difficult for walkers to comfortably travel side by side. There are speed lumps present to reduce car speed on Los Palmas.
At Altos, the walk encountered the Sacramento Northern Bike Trail. The path from the bike trail leads into the middle of a t-shaped intersection. The Harmon Johnson school principal, David Nevarez, also on the walk, noted that students using the trail will spill onto the road as car traffic moves into the intersection. Altos arrives at the intersection after a long stretch where cars do not have to stop, which means high speed approaches are common, endangering both bicyclists and pedestrians coming off the well-traveled bicycle path.
The walk continued down Altos to residential Eleanor Avenue. Here, an interesting question is posed. The community members noted the high speed and the challenge of students crossing several intersections without crosswalks.. They requested speed lumps as a remedy. Mr. Riali informed us that lack of crosswalks may make the argument for speed lumps more effective as road speed would likely be higher. Community members considered the options and chose to petition for speed lumps and a speed and volume study for the right solution. The petition was accepted by the City but the subsequent traffic speed study found that Eleanor did not qualify for speed lumps. WALKSacramento suggested that parent crossing escorts over the Fairfield and Forrest intersections with Eleanor during morning and afternoon school arrival and departure might provide a short term response while crosswalks are pursued.
Perhaps the biggest traffic challenge is at the school itself. The walk finished at the school parking lot entrance and exit right at opposite Forrest Street’s T intersection with Las Palmas. This creates a confusing four way traffic snarl with cars turning at the intersection against cars entering and leaving the parking lot. Several plans have been proposed by the City and Twin Rivers Unified School District to address. The community, with Ubuntu Green’s assistance, has drafted a letter to the new District superintendent to strongly review the matter and work with the City to find a solution.
There were other issues as well. Traffic signs were found hidden behind bushes, trash was dumped in public areas and roaming dogs were reported to be a problem.
So what’s next? WALKSacramento and Ubuntu Green met with community members on Thursday, July 11 and Thursday, August 9 to discuss next steps. WALKSacramento will work with the City to address the transportation issues. Ubuntu Green will work on blight and trash issues. Well-attended community clean-ups have been conducted on July 13, August 17 and September 28. Both WALKSacramento and Ubuntu Green are working with the Twin Rivers school district and the City Department of Public Works on the parking lot and intersection issue, to set a meeting to review the issues. It has been an effective partnership of organizations, school and City, so far. We will keep you posted.