October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 26

CONSERVATION
By reshaping the ways our community
resources are linked, we can provide
community members with safe
and effective access to spaces and
opportunities that advance the health,
well-being and quality of life for all.
Investing in Safe Streets
By Natali Fani-González
I
remember arriving in the United States with my mom in the late 1990s
when I was 16 years old. Similar to many immigrant kids who could
not speak English, I struggled, along with my mom, to make ends
meet and adapt to our new home. I attended high school during the
day, worked at a shoe store in the evenings, and I cleaned houses with my
mom on weekends. One particular challenge was walking to the store or
even our local park, which proved nearly impossible given the multiple lanes
of fast-moving cars. We had to ride three buses from our apartment in the
Langley Park/Long Branch corridor in Prince George's County, Maryland,
to clean mansions in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Although it was no more
than 12 miles away, it took almost two hours to ride buses each way - that's
nearly four hours in a single day dedicated to transportation. But that was
not the only problem. Add to the situation: streets with high-traffic flow;
lack of sidewalks, bus shelters and streetlights (particularly during the winter
time when it got dark by 6 p.m.); and the incredibly frustrating infrequency
of buses, disregarding the needs of working people who relied on them.
Indeed, we were facing an inefficient
and dangerous anti-people,
anti-worker, anti-environment, antiprogress
transportation network.
So, as one can imagine, my life
experience helped me develop an
26 Parks & Recreation | O CTOBER 2 0 2 1
acute desire for improving
streets and land use for people.
our
Challenging the Status Quo
The status quo continues to be a set
of disconnected and piecemeal im|
PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
provements that fail to effectively
manage our streets as a system of
public spaces that embraces people
of all abilities. It is an unacceptable
tragedy every time someone dies or
is severely injured in a traffic collision
that could have been prevented
if streets had been designed for
people. These tragedies affect more
than the victims of the crashes; they
severely impact entire communities
by creating barriers to achieving
physically healthy communities.
Solutions
to
overcome these
tragedies must be among environmental
justice efforts. People reject
walking and biking for recreation
or transportation purposes if they
perceive them as unsafe in their
neighborhoods. That's why we
need a community revolution -
from coast to coast - to break the
status quo of violent street designs.

October 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of October 2021 - Parks & Recreation

October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
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October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 18
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October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20
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October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 50
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October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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