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Posted: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 4:00 am

What do you think about ADOT’s

pedestrian and bicycle plan?

 Whether driving, biking or even walking, The Arizona Department of Transportation’s state highway system is used every day as a means of transportation. As Arizona continues to sharpen its focus on multimodal options, the Arizona Department of Transportation is constantly planning for better transportation solutions, including updating our Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.    

A lot has changed since the plan was first established in 2003. As ADOT works to make improvements statewide, the agency is focusing on three main goals: increase bicycle and pedestrian trips, improve bicyclist and pedestrian safety, and improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

ADOT wants to hear from people all across Arizona about what’s important to them when it comes to getting around by bike or by foot along our state highway system. Starting today, community members can tell us what they think by taking part in a survey that will provide feedback on draft goals and objectives for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and identify action items to achieve them.

“What better way to kick off National Bike Month than with a survey that allows people—both bicyclists and pedestrians—to provide us with their input,” said Michael Sanders, ADOT’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. “It’s this kind of feedback that allows us to refine the goals and objectives of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and work to develop changes in safety, infrastructure and education.”

ADOT’s online survey will be active until the end of the month and can be found here: www.azdot.gov/BikePedSurvey/.

For those who don’t have access to a computer and would like to request a mailed copy of the survey, you can call (602) 712-8141 or send your request to ADOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program at 206 S. 17 Avenue, Mail Drop 310B, Phoenix, AZ 85007.  

ADOT, in a collaborative effort with Arizona’s metropolitan planning organizations and councils of governments, along with members of the bicycling and walking communities, has formed a steering committee.

Help the Explorer promote childhood literacy

The Early Literacy Resource Center for Southern Arizona promotes early literacy by providing a full continuum of services that gives young children, from birth through 5-years-old, the opportunity to fall in love with books and reading.

To meet that mission, the center looks to the community for assistance. Through the month of May, The Explorer will be answering that call. Through May 31, residents are asked to donate children’s book at The Explorer office, located at 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd. Suite 125.

Part of the reason for promoting literacy at a young age is because of the number of students entering kindergarten without the necessary literary skills to succeed. Teachers report that up to 60 percent of children in some Pima County schools are entering kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read. Up to 75 percent of Arizona’s fourth graders are not reading proficiently.

To fix this problem, many studies point to the need for early childhood development. In the first five years, more than 90 percent of a child’s brain is developing, making these the critical learning years.

Through the Early Resource Center of Southern Arizona, children receive books to take home, community members volunteer to read at local daycare centers.

For more information on the program, visit the website at makewayforbooks.org. To assist The Explorer in keeping the program’s shelves stocked, bring in your children’s books today.

If you still have questions, contact Editor Thelma Grimes at 797-4384.

Oro Valley earns “Playful City USA”

designation

 For the second year in a row, the Town of Oro Valley has earned the “Playful City USA” designation from national non-profit KaBOOM! Presented by The Humana Foundation, Playful City USA is a national program advocating for local policies that increase play opportunities for children and is a key platform in combating the play deficit.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is critical to healthy brain development. It allows children to use their creativity while simultaneously developing imagination, dexterity and physical, cognitive and emotional strength. Yet today’s children spend less time playing outside than any previous generation.

“This designation is a great testimony to what is important to Oro Valley,” commented Ainsley Legner, director of Oro Valley’s Parks Recreation Library & Cultural Resources Department. “Making sure we have places nearby for our children to play and be active is a priority for our citizens and the health of our community.”

For more information on the KaBOOM! Playful City USA program, visit www.playfulcityusa.org.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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