Press Releases: Southern California
March 3, 2010
L.A. Street Summit 2010 Convenes To Transform City Streets For Biking, Walking, and Beyond
Kaiser Permanente and Summit Sponsors Explore Streets Designed for Healthier Communities
PASADENA, Calif. — In the spirit of “walking the talk and bike riding it too,” the March 20 free L.A. Street Summit 2010 on the Los Angeles Trade Technical College campus from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. will conclude three days of discussions and activities focused on transforming the streets of Los Angeles into a more people-friendly environment. The campus is located at 400 West Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles 90015.
“Supporting the Street Summit is another example of Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s major commitment to improving the health of our communities,” said Jeffrey Weisz, MD, executive medical director, Southern California Permanente Medical Group. “There is clear evidence that regular physical activity is key to the prevention of chronic disease, and we recommend it in our prescriptions. Walking and biking are both excellent ways to get the regular exercise you need to benefit your health.”;
The Summit began on Thursday evening, March 18, with a provocative presentation at Occidental College by New York City Commissioner of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan, who challenged Los Angeles to do what many thought was impossible to accomplish in New York — make the streets healthier and safer for biking, walking, and beyond.
“The L.A. Street Summit provides an enormous opportunity to identify the policy and organizational change needed to make L.A. streets healthier, safer and more accessible for walkers, bikers, community gatherings, and social interaction,” said Occidental College Professor Robert Gottlieb, director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute.
On Friday, March 19, Occidental College students and alumni, as well as local community bicycle activists, rode their bikes from Occidental College through Highland Park and from Union Station to City Hall, led by Sadik-Khan and Occidental College president Jonathan Veitch.
Kaiser Permanente, the California Endowment and L.A. Trade Technical College are event sponsors, with additional support provided by Curb Systems and Larry Silverton. The event is hosted by the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College.
Building on the momentum of last year’s L.A. Bike Summit, and taking a broader view of what makes streets safe, livable and quality public spaces, the Saturday L.A. Street Summit will feature panels, films, strategy sessions and plenty of opportunities for networking. All activities are aimed at leaving behind a car-centric planning model to rethink streets and sidewalks to better serve people, the environment and alternative modes of transportation. Summit planners anticipate that approximately 500 Southern California residents, including public space advocates, city planners, bicyclists, transit riders, and urban gardeners will join the discussion for building healthier communities, starting with the streets of their own neighborhoods.
Featured speakers include Carl Anthony, former president of Urban Habitat and former head of the Sustainable Metropolitan Communities program at the Ford Foundation; Charles Gandy, Long Beach City mobility coordinator; and Lydia Avila, organizer, East L.A. Community Corporation (ELACC).
Hands-on workshops designed to inspire creativity will be led by over two dozen community activists, planners, advocates, elected officials and educators passionate about improving L.A.’s streets. Topics addressed will include sidewalk politics; streets and health; the everyday impact of urban design; streets and climate change; street food vendors; streets and parking; safe routes to schools; walkability assessments; creating a sustainable taxi system; crowd source bike mapping; bikes and public transportation; planning a CicLAvia, and many more. Appropriately, lunch will be provided by the following street food vendors: Kabob Express, The Gastrobus, and LA FuXion. For more information about the work that continues beyond the L.A. Street Summit, go to www.lastreetsummit.org.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 3.3 million members in Southern California. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.