Long Beach, CA – The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) announced today it has received a $326,477 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). The one-year grant will continue and expand the Health Department’s Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Division’s Walk and Roll Long Beach Program, which focuses on improving pedestrian safety; promoting safe streets; and reducing preventable injuries and deaths that result from collisions that involve pedestrians and cyclists.
“We are thankful for the commitment of the Office of Traffic Safety for this funding,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “Our goal is to have an environment in Long Beach where every pedestrian and cyclist feels secure.”
Grant funding will support a variety of comprehensive strategies and activities that promote bicycle and pedestrian safety between Oct. 1, 2023, and Sept. 30, 2024, including:
“Getting around town by bike or on foot is an excellent way to improve your physical and mental health,” said Acting Health Department Director Alison King. “I applaud the great work being done by Walk and Roll, with the support of OTS, in improving pedestrian and cycling safety in our city.”
In partnership with other City departments and community-based organizations, funding will be used to support the Health Department’s participation in national, state and local bike and pedestrian safety awareness campaigns including Long Beach Walk to School Week in March and National Bike Safety Month in May.
“Everyone deserves a safe environment to travel, regardless of how people get to places,” said California Office of Traffic Safety Director Barbara Rooney. “The safety of people walking and biking on our roads is a high priority. Education plays a pivotal role in creating a strong road safety culture that prioritizes traffic safety, especially for our most vulnerable road users.”
The funded activities are in line with the Health Department’s Strategic Plan objectives to decrease preventable deaths and injury among children and youth under 18 years old and to expand activities during Safe Streets Awareness Week to educate drivers on how to safely share the streets with pedestrians and bicyclists. The program’s objectives also align with the City’s Safe Streets Action Plan, which aims to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries by 2026.
This is the eighth year the Health Department has received an OTS grant to promote bike and pedestrian safety. Over the last year, the Walk and Roll Long Beach Program reached more than 2,000 people and provided bicycle and pedestrian safety materials at community presentations and events such as Safe Streets Awareness Week and Beach Streets. During spring 2023, Walk and Roll Long Beach worked with the Health Department’s Mobile Access Center to add bicycle and pedestrian safety tools to the variety of resources available for people experiencing homelessness. The program also distributed and fitted 250 bicycle helmets to community members and trained 24 youth to be bike and pedestrian safety leaders in the second annual Safe Streets Youth Ambassador program.