Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Efforts to promote safer biking and walking recognized with multiple awards by Lee Injury Prevention Coalition

  On December 16th, the Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition  presented its annual injury prevention awards, including awards to Cape Coral Bike-Ped, the News-Press Share the Road Team, the PACE EH team (for Tice community health impact assessment), and volunteer Steve Chupack for their efforts to promote safer biking and walking, and promote community awareness about injury prevention.  Kudos to all the award winners and thanks to IPC for recognizing the contributions of community leaders and organizations who have worked tirelessly to make it a safer community.
Also reported in News-Press 12/16/15: "News-Press earns injury prevention award for bike project

The Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition is a partnership of more than 80 public and private agencies whose mission is to prevent injury, disability and death among people of all ages through advocacy, education, legislation, and partnerships.

Four of the six awards relate to promoting safer biking and walking and BikeWalkLee's complete streets mission.  Below are IPC citations for those four awards:
Injury Prevention Organization of the Year:  Cape Coral Bike-Ped 
Carolyn Conant accepts award for CCBP (photo by Diane Holm)

Cape Coral Bike-Ped burst onto the advocacy scene just a few years ago and immediately made a lasting impact that forever changed Cape Coral for the better. Thanks to an approach of collaboration and partnerships right from the start rather than one of confrontation - something that's the usual MO for many bike/ped advocates (or advocates for any cause, for that matter) - CCB-P has accomplished in their relatively short existence what others in SW Florida can only try to emulate. They are the driving force behind getting over 90-miles (and growing) of safe bikes routes identified and marked with wayfinding signs, all paid for by private sector sponsors. The goodwill they've cultivated between all the necessary parties continues to flourish. And the most recent feather in their cap is the City of Cape Coral just having been awarded a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community designation on its first attempt. This designation confirms the City's commitment to safe and accessible environment for its citizens and visitors. I'd say that alone is certainly worthy of our Organization of the Year Award. Stay the course!     

Injury Prevention Citizen Volunteer of the Year: Steve Chupak
IPC Chair Brian Raimondo presents award to Steve Chupack

Steve Chupak has been a champion of improving safety for bicyclists since becoming actively involved - first and still with BikeWalkLee - which then led him to being part of the formation of Cape Coral Bike-Ped. Steve's been especially interested in working to get the schools to more fully embrace bike/ped education as an integral part of their curriculum and promote bike helmet use among students. Among his many accomplishments are effectively engaging Cape Coral elected officials, the City's charter schools, and Cape Coral PD, among others, which has led to a number of initiatives that further the causes he's championed. Congratulations, Steve, you are well deserving of our Citizen Volunteer award for 2015.     

Injury Prevention Media Partner of the Year: Share the Road Team
Brian presents award to Janine Zeitlan and Laura Ruane

The Share the Road project started in 2014, when Janine Zeitlan wrote a story about three bad bicycle crashes. Around the same time she set up the Share the Road Community page on Facebook which invites visitors to join the newspaper’s campaign. Editors at the Gannett-owned paper embraced the issue and freed up more writers to look at data. They crunched five years of data looking at insights about the cause of bike fatalities in Southwest Florida Melanie Payne and Laura Ruane profiled the 12 people killed in bike crashes in the area over a year. It continues to be an ongoing conversation with many in the community. 

Injury Prevention Program/Outreach Effort of the Year: Pace-Eh           

PACE EH (Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health) is a program developed by the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess and improve the environmental health of communities. It is a collaborative effort among residents, local government, and other stakeholders that seeks to identify and address environmental health issues that are important to the community, thereby preventing illness, injury, and death related to environmental factors.
The Florida Department of Health in Lee County began its PACE EH program in 2012 in the Pine Manor Community.  Since then, two additional communities have been added – Charleston Park and Tice.  One of the top community-identified issues in the Tice Community is safety, as it has one of the highest pedestrian/bicycle accident rates in Lee County.  The community has been the focus of redevelopment planning efforts; however, inadequate pedestrian facilities and the lack of safety devices, especially surrounding the Palm Beach corridor, create conditions that foster one of the highest pedestrian/bicycle accident rates in Lee County.  With that in mind, the DOH-Lee PACE EH Team, in partnership with Florida Gulf Coast University, applied for and received a grant (one of three in the nation) to conduct an intermediate health impact assessment (HIA) in the community.

The purpose of an HIA is to evaluate the potential health effects of a plan, project or policy before it is implemented. The Tice HIA, completed in June of this year, compared existing conditions, current road plans, and the Tice Community Connectivity and Redevelopment Plan.  The main determinants of health considered were public transit ridership, physical safety, physical activity and safety, air quality, social capital and engagement, emergency response times, and criminal activity.  In addition to informing local policymakers on the health impacts of transportation and connectivity plans, the HIA includes recommendations that identify policy actions that may minimize, mitigate or prevent adverse health outcomes and increase positive health outcomes.  The Tice HIA focuses on increasing walkability, neighborhood connectivity, and multi-modal transportation.
Brian presents award to Geordie Smith
The Injury Prevention Coalition recognizes the efforts of Geordie Smith, the DOH-Lee PACE EH Coordinator, and the rest of the PACE EH team in their efforts to protect and improve the safety and health of some of our most vulnerable populations.  

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