Walk Long Beach,
Advocate for improvements for pedestrian safety & comfort, working with stakeholders
to identify opportunities and challenges
in the community.
Walk Long Beach was originally formed as a collaborative effort among several organizations, by YMCA of Greater Long Beach, through its Pioneering Healthy Communities program funded by the CDC through the YMCA of the USA. These organizations included the Long Beach Community Foundation, the City’s public health department (one of three such city programs in the State), the City’s long-range policy planning staff, the Long Beach Alliance for Food and Fitness (LBAFF), and others.
In anticipation of the ProWalk/ProBike/ProPlace biennial conference coming to the Long Beach Convention Center in 2012, the need for the effort to expand on the pedestrian side of the active transportation equation became more apparent. From this effort, a walk audit was conducted for Central Long Beach in September 2012. Walk audits help study the conditions of a community to identify challenges or opportunities to improve pedestrian safety and comfort.
City Fabrick began to organize of these walk audits in several other communities throughout Long Beach. Using this community-driven data, City Fabrick designed a series of “walking cards” that locate areas of community significance, such as a park or business, and connects them to form a walking loop. The cards portray these loops as well as their description, segment length, level of difficulty, and public transit connections. In total, approximately 30 of these cards have been produced and several communities are continuing to request for more. The cards are intended to serve as a preventative health recommendation for health professionals to provide their patients in need of cardiovascular activity. The cards have become desired in several Long Beach communities that lack access to a physical activity landscape. They have also been specially designed for special community events as well as communities in San Jose, which are sponsored by California Walks.
In April 2016, Walk Long Beach became a stand alone non-profit organization, a project of Community Partners, its fiscal sponsor. Walk Long Beach will expand its programs and solidify its network of support and community outreach partners.