Plan4Health - City Of Tacoma Residents Learn To Speak Up For Active Transportation

Plan4Health is a multi-year effort that strengthens the connection between planning and public health. The Active Transportation Community of Interest (AT COI), with the support of APA WA and the Washington State Public Health Association, has been awarded a Plan4Health $160,000 federal grant to continue the AT COI’s work to ensure that everyone in the Puyallup Watershed has access to safe, healthy, and affordable active transportation options.

This past February, Downtown On the Go (DOTG) hosted their first local government 101 training, “How to Speak up for Walking, Bicycling, and Transit,” as part of the Active Transportation Community of Interest’s (AT COI) Plan4Health Grant. This training is part of a coordinated effort by coalition members to build the capacity of the community living in the Puyallup Watershed to participate in planning and policymaking processes.

In this workshop series, DOTG shares information about where and when to speak to elected officials and best practices for telling stories. Residents are also able to connect with a member of a local elected body. During this first meeting, Tacoma City Council Member Anders Ibsen joined the group to encourage attendees to share ideas for how to make Tacoma a more vibrant and livable community with him and other members of Tacoma’s City Council. The group also had time to ask questions and share their stories with each other. During the discussion following this presentation, several parents from different parts of the city brainstormed solutions to support young people to walk, bicycle, and skateboard to school. 

Eighteen residents were able to participate in this training. In the coming year, DOTG will partner with ForeverGreen Trails to expand this workshop series to support people living and working throughout the Puyallup Watershed to share their active transportation stories with local decision makers.

Interested in learning more about the Plan4Health work and the Puyallup Watershed Initiative’s AT COI? Sign up for the AT COI’s monthly newsletter or contact Liz Kaster, Active Transportation Community of Interest Manager at [email protected].

Local trail and ADA advocate John Ernest Berry III gives Tacoma Councilmember Ibsen a fist bump.

Return the the March issue of The Washington Planner