During the month of July, CAPOC’s Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) Program funded by St. Jude Medical Center, hosted a Resident Leadership Academy (RLA) at the Clark Commons Center in Buena Park.
RLA is a specialized training to empower local residents to improve their community by promoting healthy eating, physical activity, and safe play spaces. This empowerment leads to improved quality of life in neighborhoods. 17 residents graduated from the Buena Park RLA; however 27 residents participated in at least one session of the six-session training.
Towards the end of the RLA, the residents created a community improvement project to promote safer, more walkable communities so that children can walk to school and access the school bus stop safely. The project they agreed to pursue was the addition of crosswalks, stop signs, and no parking zones in the streets and 4 intersections along Franklin Avenue in Buena Park. These intersections have high pedestrian and school bus traffic resulting in multiple accidents and near-misses. The residents created a presentation of their concerns with the guidance of CAPOC’s HCI Program Coordinators and met with Iris Lee, Traffic Engineer for the city of Buena Park, in November. In this meeting, residents voiced their concerns and presented their proposed changes of the area. We are happy to announce that as a result of the meeting, the city of Buena Park approved the project and confirmed that most of the changes proposed would begin at the start of 2018. The city approved high visibility crosswalks and stop signs, but as a result of limited parking could not approve the “Bus Parking” zones.
CAPOC staff members have completed 3 RLAs in the cities of Garden Grove, Buena Park, and La Habra; The Buena Park RLA is the first of the 3 RLA’s to have accomplished its goals and gotten the approval of infrastructure changes! CAPOC staff and resident leaders are excited of the changes coming to Buena Park and look forward to supporting future RLA groups in the cities of Fullerton and Placentia.