The most recent Tar Heel Bus Tour included a stop in Hendersonville, North Carolina to introduce faculty to the challenges of an aging community and to learn what can be done to encourage safer and more walkable communities through partnerships such as the Walk Wise, Drive Smart program.
Walk Wise, Drive Smart is a community-based pedestrian safety program working to build community support for and awareness of senior-pedestrian safety issues. Funded by the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Walk Wise, Drive Smart is coordinated by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center in partnership with the School of Medicine's Center for Aging and Health, the North Carolina Healthy Aging Research Network and the community of Hendersonville.
With more than 31 percent of Hendersonville's population age 65 and above, community and university partners have worked since 2000 to make Hendersonville more accommodating to its older adult population. The latest initiative, Walk Wise, Drive Smart, includes educational workshops and a series of walking audits of Hendersonville neighborhoods; gathers extensive community feedback through surveys and interviews; and identifies elements needed to implement a pedestrian safety plan that is responsive to Hendersonville's needs.
Following a discussion of the project with community members and UNC representatives, bus tour participants had the chance to walk a newly opened Walk Wise, Drive Smart route.
HSRC recently added a new member to its staff. Richard Lytle joined HSRC in April 2008. With an extensive background in programming, Rich serves as a Web Applications Programmer for the Center. In his role, he will be creating and maintaining various Web applications, and will work in the development and maintenance of HSRC's databases.
Prior to joining HSRC, Rich worked for the UNC School of Medicine as the OIS Web and database programmer. He also brought his expertise and knowledge to the UNC Center for Digestive Diseases and Nutrition in a similar role.
Rich has two sons, Edward and Joseph, and enjoys golfing and fishing in his spare time.
The National Center for Safe Routes to School (NCSRTS), housed at the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, held the 3rd Annual Safe Route to School State Coordinators National Meeting in Minneapolis, MN from May 13 – May 14. Representatives from forty-five states were in attendance at the meeting hosted by NCSRTS and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
The meeting was officially kicked off with opening remarks from City of Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel. The meeting also included keynote presentations from Tim Torma, Acting Director of the U.S. EPA Smart Growth Program; Dr. Howard Frumkin, Director of the CDC National Center for Environmental Health; and Dr. Arthur Chris Nelson, Director of the Virginia Tech Metropolitan Institute. To view these presentations from the annual meeting, please visit http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/resources/webinars_srts2008.cfm.
State SRTS Coordinators gathered to network and share information about SRTS programs in their states. Coordinators discussed Federal Aid project implementation, school site design, training needs and program sustainability among other topics.
The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center
730 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Suite 300 | Campus Box 3430 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3430
Phone: 919.962.2203 | Fax: 919.962.8710