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City of La Mesa and City Heights Community Center also among honorees in San Diego's eastern regions

May 22, 2010 (San Diego) – Walk San Diego’s recent Golden Footprint Awards included a special recognition to Lemon Grove’s Mayor Mary Sessom for “outstanding vision and leadership in promoting walkable communities.”



Sessom has promoted walkability as a member of SANDAG and chair of the Walkable Communities Advisory C ommittee. In Lemon Grove, she helped pioneer the region’s first pedestrian plan, secured a regional Smart Growth grant for the Lemon Grove Trolley Plaza to connect a new affordable housing project to the trolley station and create a more pedestrian-oriented environment. In the last five years, she has directed staff to repair or install 80 pedestrian ramps and 35,000 square feet of sidewalks in Lemon Grove.


The City of La Mesa received a local jurisdiction award for two recent projects. The Orien Avenue/Lowell Street project was the result of a multi-agency collaboration funded by a Safe Routes to School Grant. The Urban Walking Trails program offers walking trails along city streets that serve parks and the downtown village of La Mesa. “These projects showcase how local government can make a positive change to make streets a pleasant environment for all users, not just those driving cars,” one judge commented.


Dana Harwood’s eighth grade class at Monarch School , which serves homeless and at-risk students in San Diego, won the Youth Award for developing solutions to improve walkability near their school. City Heights Community Center received the Non-Profit award for its Light Up Colina Park project featuring solar lights and for City Heights Walk to School, a program to encourage parents to identify barriers to safety for children walking to school.


Brian Schoenfisch, City of San Diego Planning & Community Investment Department, won an individual award for his role in turning a closed truck tunnel into the Mission Valley Friars Road Pedestrian Tunnel. Ardith Young, director of Mental Health Services for the Mariposa C lubhouse in Oceanside, won a citizen activist award for organizing efforts to improve safety at an intersection after a disabled member was struck by a car crossing the street.


Honorable mentions were presented to Jeff Ristine, “Just Fix It” columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, and to the Crossroads Redevelopment Project Area Committee in the City Heights and College areas for efforts to bring sidewalks to an area that is home to many resettled refugees.

The awards were presented on April 22 at Walk San Diego’s Annual Gala and Kaiser Permanent Golden Footprints Awards.


For complete descriptions of winners and their accomplishments, see: http://www.walksandiego.org.


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Congratulations on your

Congratulations on your promotion. I hope she will handle her new post as well as it did on the old one.

Best regards,

pedestrian areas

Promoting pedestrian areas is a great initiative. It was about time for the authorities to turn their attention away from creating all kind of parking spaces in all the neighborhoods and start thinking about the environment and the public health! One of the most impressive pedestrian area is in the vicinity of a block of apartments in Oakland where you can find 3 or 4 parks and a huge pedestrian area with benches, many fountains and a lot of vegetation. A perfect place to go for a walk with the kids or the loved one. This example should be taken by more cities as it would really improve the quality of the air and it actually looks very good!