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Organization of the Month: WALK Sacramento

Last month highlighted the work of the Institute for Local Government.  This month Policy in Motion honors the work of a local organization which has been instrumental in bringing health, environmental and transportation issues to the table in the Sacramento region.  WALK Sacramento is a nonprofit community organization working to improve the walking environment in the Sacramento metropolitan region.  WALK Sacramento works with transportation and land use planners, elected officials and community groups to create safe, walkable environments for all citizens and particularly for children, seniors, the disabled and low-income individuals.

Below is a list of WALK Sacramento’s accomplishments, grants, and awards over the past year.  Lauren Michele is a Board member for WALK Sacramento, committee member for the Sacramento Complete Streets Coalition, and an avid walker/car-free resident in Sacramento’s midtown.  WALK Sacramento plans to build upon its successful efforts in the next year, and is in need of volunteer and financial resources to continue to do their great work.

Please click here to make a donation to WALK Sacramento of any amount!


Complete Streets: WALK Sacramento has lead the charge on Complete Streets

  • Complete Streets Coalition – formed by the Partnership for Active Communities in 2007, directed by WALKSacramento – includes Sacramento Regional Transit District, AARP, Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA), Breathe California, California Department of Transportation, Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS), Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, California Highway Patrol, Policy in Motion and others.
  • Influential on Representative Matsui’s introduction of federal Complete Streets legislation
  • Complete Streets policies are now included in Sacramento Transit Master Plan, County Circulation Plan, City General Plan, and regional SACOG funding programs
  • WALK Sacramento & SABA awarded SACOG’s Blueprint Excellence Award
  • Advocated to include Complete Streets in SACOG’s Stimulus Package grants

Land Use Review:  WALK Sacramento works regularly with Sacramento city, county and regional planning staff and elected officials

  • Design Review Committee meets monthly
  • Complete 20-40 reviews of proposed land developments and planning policies each year – leading to small and large improvements for pedestrian and bicycle access
  • Major advocacy of pedestrian accessibility issues in update of Sacramento County’s General Plan both the land use and circulation elements.

Safe Routes to School:  WALK Sacramento is a leader in the Safe Routes to School Program

  • Safe Routes “5E” grant underway – 6 schools in the unincorporated area of the County have had initial audits, 4 more are underway.
  • Second Sacramento Safe Routes to School Conference – November 2010
  • Safe Routes grant for all schools in Citrus Heights to begin 2010

Los Rios Transportation Connections Plan (April 2008) – this plan, drafted by WALK Sacramento, argues for safe, convenient pedestrian, bicycle and transit access to all Los Rios campuses

  • Four campuses — Involvement of faculty & staff & administrators
  • Sac County awarded grants to implement two projects at American River College based on the plan – sidewalks on Orange Grove Avenue and a plan for a bicycle-pedestrian bridge access across Arcade Creek


  • Partnership for Active Communities –Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Final report completed after five year (2003-08) grant.
  • Complete Streets Sustainability Grant – a one year extension grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – ended Nov 09.
  • Los Rios Transportation Connections – funded by Caltrans Community Planning Grant – Partnership of County of Sacramento DOT, Los Rios Community College District, and WALKSacramento.  Completed April 2008.
  • Safe Routes to School “5E’s” Grant – a 2 ½ year partnership of County of Sacramento DOT and WALKSacramento with a Caltrans Safe Routes to School.  To fund 15 school walk/bike audits & plans and 3 annual Safe Routes to School conferences.  Expect extension through 2011.
  • Safe Routes to School Citrus Heights – a 2 year partnership between City of Citrus Heights, San Juan School District and WALKSacramento to fund 12-13 school walk/bike audits and plans.  Getting underway 2010.
  • Clean Air Grant –Funded by Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District — supports involvement in land use review and public outreach.  Extended for two years to June, 2012.
  • California Endowment – Walkable Neighborhoods completed 2003.


  • ECOS Environmental Organization of Year 2010
  • American Planning Association Visionary Award 2009
  • SACOG Salutes Blueprint Excellence Award 2007 – for collaboration with community on Complete Streets
  • Active Living by Design Innovation Award – for development review   2006
  • Anne Seeley Memorial Award, 2004
  • American Lung Association Clean Air Award 2003

Please click here to make a donation to WALK Sacramento of any amount!

By Lauren Michele

Lauren Michele – Founder/Owner of Policy in Motion – is a policy consultant/advisor and communications strategist, specializing in progressive and non-partisan politics. She helps candidates and clients build campaigns, coalitions, and communication strategies. Lauren has 15 years of experience working with federal, state, and local government agencies; non-profit organizations; foundations; universities; and political/issue campaigns, including a Presidential Campaign and a California State Bond. Ms. Michele has over a decade of experience working virtually both in team and individual environments, with Policy in Motion offices in California. Policy in Motion’s mission is to promote the environmental, economic, and social well being of communities —fostering a sustainable future for all people and the planet.

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