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Sacramento BHC Newsletter

Sacramento BHC Newsletter, 17th Edition
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Building Healthy Communities

Sacramento BHC

Hub Office


Dangerous South Sac Roadway Claims Yet Another Victim    

Earlier this month, a 61-year-old Sacramento bicyclist named Molly Arndt was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, a few hundred feet away from where a young West Campus High School student was killed back in January. The incident took place just north of the intersection of Fruitridge Road and Stockton Boulevard, the third most dangerous crossing in Sacramento last year, according to the Sacramento Police Department's 2011 annual report.

Members of the community, along withWALKSacramento and other BHC grantees, have been discussing various safety options ever since Michelle Murigi, the 16-year-old West Campus student, was killed while using a crosswalk in the beginning of the year. Terry Preston, Complete Streets Coordinator for WALKSacramento, has been focused on studying the area around this dangerous intersection to come up with real solutions.

"That intersection and that area is one of the most dangerous ones in the city for bicyclists and pedestrians," says Preston. "There are more collisions at or around there than anywhere else."

Preston recently released a report on his findings surrounding the Fruitridge/Stockton intersection, and how it could be made safer for pedestrians and bicyclist alike. While his recommendations for this hotspot have not yet come to pass, a major improvement for pedestrians trying to cross the road has been installed just a few miles up the road on Stockton Boulevard and Sherman Way.

Sacramento is now home to California’s first HAWK beacon (High-Intensity Activated crosswalk beacon), a state-of-the-art traffic signal designed to make sure that motorists stop for pedestrians by using a series of red and yellow lights. Pedestrians who are trying to cross Stockton Boulevard in order to get to the UC Davis Medical campus can now use the HAWK to alert car and truck drivers of their presence and safely navigate the crosswalk.

One example of the HAWK singal

“Given the posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour and vehicle traffic of 24,000 per day, we agreed that this location is a good candidate for the hybrid beacon to enhance pedestrian safety,” says City Traffic Engineer Hector Barron. “It gives pedestrians and drivers plenty of forewarning. We may find other candidate City intersections where this treatment may be appropriate.”

The HAWK system is less-than 1/3 of the cost of a traditional traffic signal, making it not only a great safety feature, but affordable as well during these tough economic times. Preston’s second recommendation in his report includes the consideration of just such a device on Fruitridge Road, and with the resent passing of Measure U, the local sales tax increase for public safety expenditures, a HAWK signal just might be what South Sacramento needed to prevent yet another preventable death on our busy roadways.

People Reaching Out

People Reaching Out was formed in 1981 by a group of concerned parents and community members in direct response to a lack of resources dealing with adolescent substance use and violence. 

Since its inception, People Reaching Out has developed and implemented programs based on scientific research and proven prevention strategies. 

Their mission is to create a safe, drug-free community for youth in the Sacramento metropolitan area through programs that will foster the development of positive self-esteem and opportunities for personal growth. They strive to be the organization most responsible for leading the Sacramento region to uphold a safe, drug-free community where young people dream big.

People Reaching Out and UC Davis would like to extend an opportunity for your agency and youth to participate in the first One Block One Voice Youth Round Up. This training day is intended to foster a renewed sense of urgentcy within our youth by using digital media, technology, and community advocacy as tools for empowerment.

If you and your youth are interested in participating, please RSVP to lisab@peoplereachingout.orgor 576-3300 x 314. 

Meet BHC’s New Project Coordinator!

Hi everyone! I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself since you will be hearing from me a lot as we continue to build our healthy community! My name is Christal West, and I was born and raised in Oak Park and graduated from Sacramento High School in 2005. I recently moved to Fruitridge Manor after graduating from the University of California, Davis with degrees in Chicana/o Studies, African/ African-American Studies and a minor in Social and Ethnic Relations.

At the age of 16 is when I really began my activism and thinking critically about why my community had to endure so many hardships. Why were my friends often victims and (sometimes) perpetrators of violence? Why did so many of us who were born with such light within us begin to experience the dimming of our inner flame as we grew older? Why did my community feel so abandoned and unsafe? Why was my family always struggling? What caused this? I didn’t intend on going to the university. I had no plans. But someone (my Folklorico instructor) invested in me and pushed me to see my potential. I used that guidance to build the foundation of my studies. From the moment I began school, every move I made was with the intention of building a toolkit to bring back to my community.

My passion is my community, every aspect of it. I manifest my passion for my community through my love of culture, arts, mental health and education. Many of us who were born and/or raised in “the ‘hood” live with open wounds that were inflicted upon us by various socio economic factors and sometimes we never realize how hurt we are because we are functioning in “survival mode.” These wounds leave us with questions as to why we experience life the way we do. I believe in the transformative power and healing that “creating” and sharing knowledge about the relationship between self and the community can bring. I am a huge advocate of youth mentorship but believe that it is possible to develop leadership skills no matter your age or ability. Most of all, I believe that building a healthy community begins with you and me, right here, right now. I look forward to working with all of you and am excited to be putting my little “toolkit” to work!

Steering Committee Monthly Meeting-

Our next Steering Committee meeting will be on Monday, Jan 7th, 2013, at 5:30pm at ARI Offices. Happy New Year!

Sacramento Area Congregations Together
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