Active Environments Planning
“Active Environments” are spaces that support and encourage non-motorized forms of transportation and recreation such as walking and bicycling. Planning for active environments is key to making communities healthier places to live, work, and thrive. LPHI began work to support the creation of active environments in New Orleans through the expansion of new walking and bicycling facilities in 2004 with a grant from the CDC, “Steps to a Healthier US”. Subsequently, this work was funded by Entergy Corporation (2008-2012), and the City of New Orleans (2012-2016). These funding sources primarily supported the salary of an Active Transportation Engineer who worked in New Orleans City Hall to support and foster environmental changes and strong partnerships around reducing obesity, improving the environment, and supporting a healthier quality of life for residents, businesses, and visitors.
With this assistance, the total network of bikeways expanded to more than 100 miles and approximately $40M in new pedestrian and bicycle safety projects were leveraged in the City of New Orleans. Examples include the Lafitte Greenway, completion of the City’s first Americans with Disabilities Transition Plan for Public Rights-of-Way, new pedestrian countdown signals in downtown New Orleans, nine Safe Routes to School projects, completion of the City’s first Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, the City’s first protected bike lanes, bike racks, and more than 13 miles of new sidewalks.
Through its Active Environments work, LPHI has:
- improved quality and safety of existing transportation corridors for bicycling and walking,
- integrated carbon reduction strategies and improved storm water management practices into transportation projects
- increased awareness of nationwide best practices relating to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and environmentally sound transportation practices
- continued to support the City of New Orleans in implementing the City’s “Complete Streets” Ordinance (adopted December 2011)
- increased community awareness of bicycle and pedestrian issues and publicity for successful bike and pedestrian projects
Grants from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Smart Growth America, and the Capital Regional Planning Commission to LPHI supported the expansion of LPHI’s Active Environments program to support new active transportation policy initiatives throughout Louisiana.