The Central Valley has some of the highest rates of childhood obesity. Obesity is due to a number of factors, including lack of infrastructure that supports regular physical activity. California had the nation’s highest fatality rate among child pedestrians, ages 4 to 7, and the second-highest rate among pedestrians ages 14 and younger. The risk of pedestrian injury and death is directly related to the lack of walking and biking infrastructure in many California communities.
Thanks to community residents, Building Healthy Community partners and Merced County, the Beachwood-Franklin area will soon see some of those infrastructure improvements that will create safe routes to school for children and families. Merced County has received nearly $1 million to improve the streets, sidewalks, lighting and traffic calming measures on Lobo Avenue that connects to two schools. Children and families in that neighborhood will benefit from reduced traffic congestion around schools, improved health by increasing physical activity by walking and biking, reduce air pollution and reduce the number of children hit by cars.
Congratulations to the residents who partnered with us to achieve this success.
CLAUDIA CORCHADO, CULTIVA LA SALUD MERCED COUNTY, MERCED