ALBUQUERQUE ― New Mexico garnered 65 out of 200 points, or a 32.5 percent, in a report card issued by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership that was released today. The report graded all states on its policies that support physical activity.
The nonprofit Safe Routes to School National Partnership reviewed each state on policies that support walking, bicycling, active kids and active communities, which includes “Complete Street” design and National Association of City Transportation Officials standards. The Alliance of New Mexico YMCAs is sharing the report card to help raise awareness about policies that support walkability for health.
“Our state and communities face many critical issues and challenges, including high rates of obesity, chronic heart disease and diabetes,” said Linda Daly, CEO of The Family YMCA that is located in Los Alamos. “Our Alliance hopes to educate our citizens and leaders that a body of work and policies exist that, if adopted, can have many positive health implications in our state.”
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership promotes active, healthy lifestyles and safe infrastructure for bicycling and walking. The group says equity is at the forefront of their work.
They encourage citizens to look with critical eyes at the common walking routes at their worksites and neighborhoods and evaluate, or audit the areas. The exercise could be used as a means for personal education, and can be shared to increase awareness.
The group co-authored the report cards with the American Public Health Association. The report card reviewed 24 indicators across four core topic areas, each individually scored.
The core topic areas included 1) Complete Streets and Active Transportation policy; 2)Safe Routes to School and Active Transportation Funding; 3) Active Neighborhoods and Schools policies; and 4) State Physical Activity planning.
New Mexico’s report card indicated the state is “Lacing Up” in terms of policy, but some states ranked in the Warming Up, Making Strides or Building Speed category. The report card and an explanation of the rankings accompany this story. A template and instructions for conducting a walking audit are also included.