If you attended Cascade’s Bike to Work Breakfast this past Friday, you would have heard that Public Health – Seattle & King County was the recipient of the 2012 Doug Walker Award. The Doug Walker Award is given out annually to honor an individual or an organization who has shown outstanding leadership in creating a better community through bicycling. Over the course of the past couple years, Public Health has demonstrated tremendous leadership in making the connection between health and transportation, and as a result, cities in south and east King County now have new policies and plans in place, laying the foundation for more walkable and bikeable communities.
In 2010, Public Health – Seattle and King County received a $25 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – known as Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) – to address the prevalence of poor health in communities of south and east King County. Through CPPW, Public Health – Seattle & King County awarded 55 grants to local governments, consultants, school districts, and community-based organizations, including Cascade, to collaborate around the development and adoption of policies and plans that will lead to healthier communities.
To highlight a few of the CPPW success stories from our partner communities in south and east King County — Complete Streets ordinances were adopted in Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way and Snoqualmie, which will ensure that new and improved streets are designed to support safe and efficient use by all modes of transportation. In addition to Complete Streets ordinances, Snoqualmie, Federal Way and Burien developed and adopted bicycle and pedestrian plans to be included as elements to each city’s Comprehensive Plan. Burien’s and Federal Way’s plans also incorporate language around multimodal level of service, a fairly innovative approach to evaluating the performance of roadways with all users in mind. Meanwhile, the city of SeaTac endorsed a Safe and Complete Streets Plan, which will also be incorporated into the city’s Comprehensive Plan. While Kent has not quite adopted a Complete Streets ordinance, it is in the process of developing a conceptual bicycle plan – framing the vision for bicycling in the city.
So, over the course of the past year, we’ve seen exciting changes in south and east King County that will lead to the creation of healthy transportation systems and healthier people. And we’ve only brushed the surface regarding all the changes that have occurred under the CPPW grant. In addition to bicycle and pedestrian-friendly policies, CPPW communities have focused on policies related to increasing access to healthy foods, providing safe routes to school and policies related to tobacco cessation.
We want to thank all of the stakeholders that played a role in the changes we’ve seen in south and east King County – from the residents of each community, to elected officials and city staff, to consultants and community organizations, and of course, to Public Health – Seattle & King County, for making this a reality and for understanding the importance of connecting transportation with Public Health.
For more information regarding Cascade’s work under Communities Putting Prevention to Work, please view here.