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Safe Routes to School Bob Streitmater  Peoria Park District
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Safe Routes to Learn and Play

Posted by Kathie Brown -

UIUC Department of Urban and Regional Planning Graduate Students, City of Peoria representatives, parents and Extension staff conducted a walking audit. The study aligns with current efforts within the city to develop complete streets that allow for additional green infrastructure, greater pedestrian and bicycle use. The study route looked for ways to connect Glen Oak Community Learning Center and Glen Oak Park.

This Community Walk is part of the data collection stage for a Safe Routes to Learn and Play Plan, combining Safe Routes to School and Safe Routes to Parks. And provides support for ongoing work presented through the Wisconsin Corridor Plan, East Bluff Redevelopment Planning and Peoria Bicycle Master Plan.

Safe Routes are important in promoting community health and fitness, and creating a safer built environment. Children today are simply not getting enough physical activity, contributing to growing rates of obesity and obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes. Safe Routes to School projects make it safer for more children to walk and bicycle to school, which will help address this obesity crisis among children by creating increases in physical activity.

Volunteers on the Community Walk assessed the walkability of the route, utilizing AARP and National Safe Routes to School Audit tools.

Leadership for this planning effort is provided by Emily Weimer, Graduate Student UIUC Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning. This project is a great first step in planning for Department of Transportation funding.

UIUC College of Fine and Applied Arts project is designed to work with community partners to examine the relationship between health, design, and the built environment in the Peoria region. This project is part of the Designing Healthy Communities Initiative and is funded through the Office of the Provost and College of ACES Illinois Extension and Outreach Initiative.

For more information about University of Illinois Extension programs in SNAP –ED or Community & Economic Development programs in the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Extension unit, Michelle Fombelle, SNAP-ED Educator or Kathleen Brown, Community & Economic Development Educator, at .

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