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Press Release

First-Ever West County Walkability Workshop Planned

For release September 21, 2005

Increasingly, people are realizing that in order to have healthy communities, areas have to be built and maintained in ways that promote walking and other forms of physical activity.

With that thought in mind, several residents, elected officials, planners and developers are coming together with one of the experts in the field Thursday, September 29 in San Pablo for the first-ever West County Walkability Workshop. The event is open to the public, but pre-registration is required and will close on Monday, September 26.

The workshop will include a "walkabout" led by David Parisi, a professional Traffic Engineer and Civil Engineer who has led workshops in several locations as part of the State Department of Health Services' California Center for Physical Activity. He specializes in traffic calming, transit and Safe Route to School projects.

The workshop is sponsored by the West Contra Costa Safe Communities Project, which is a partnership between four county departments, the cities of Richmond, San Pablo and El Cerrito, the San Pablo Safety Commission and the North and East Neighborhood Council of Richmond. The Safe Communities Project also sponsors Street Smarts, a traffic safety education campaign administered by Contra Costa Health Services. "Years ago communities were designed almost solely to accommodate vehicle traffic," said Nancy Baer, program manager of Contra Costa Health Services' Injury Prevention Projects.

"Today, we better realize the personal and community benefits of walking and cycling," she added. "They really are the most accessible forms of physical activity for most people."

Accessibility for people with disabilities is closely related to the goal of walkability, Baer said, as communities are obliged to make spaces available to everyone per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Walkability also involves designing streets with a goal of preventing injuries by implementing traffic calming and adequate space for pedestrians and cyclists.

The workshop is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. September 29 in Maple Hall, 13831 San Pablo Ave. The registration form is available online at which is the website for Contra Costa Health Services.

More information about walkable and bikeable communities is available at

For more information about the workshop or the West Contra Costa Safe Communities Project, contact Denise Milosevich at or phone 925-313-6110.

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Press Contact
  • Nancy Baer
  • 925-313-6837