There are two new sets of stop signs and crosswalks at Laguna and Detroit and Sunnyside and Detroit in Concord, thanks to a community-driven effort in which a dozen members of our Central County Regional Group played a critical role.
Last August, Regional Group members joined staff from Contra Costa Health Services, Michael Chavez Center/Monument Community Partnership, the City of Concord, County Connection and the National Environment Protection Agency to conduct a “walk audit” of Detroit Avenue.
Many families with young children in this neighborhood walk along Detroit Avenue to take their kids to school, go to work, and run daily errands. The group’s audit revealed that speeding drivers, unmarked crosswalks, sidewalks in poor condition, and dangerous placement of bus stops make it unsafe for families who walk or bike, especially the Laguna/Detroit and Sunnyside/Detroit intersections because of their proximity to Meadow Homes Elementary and the Concord Child Care Center.
Following their audit, the “walkability” team continued to meet to develop recommendations for the City of Concord. Then in May, with their assessment in hand, Regional Group members and staff from Health Services asked the Concord City Council to consider installing the stop signs. Their motion was approved by the City Council that night.
The stop signs, with flashing red lights and visible crosswalks, were installed by the end of the week.
“Our Regional Group parents were a leading community partner in this effort,” said Rhea Elina Laughlin, First 5 Contra Costa’s Community Engagement Program Officer. “The members are really proud to have been such an important voice for the health and safety of young children and families. We also applaud the City of Concord for their partnership and responsiveness to residents’ needs.”
The Detroit Avenue audit was conducted as part of the Monument HEAL (Healthy Eating and Active Living) Zone Project, a $1 million investment from Kaiser Permanente to reduce obesity rates by encouraging people in low-income communities to eat better and engage in daily physical activity. The Monument Community Partnership and Healthy and Active Before 5 collaborative implement the HEAL project in Concord.