Recently, I announced plans for Fort Wayne to become a TenPoint Coalition city. This is the next step in our Fort Wayne UNITED efforts to influence the lives of young people, families and neighborhoods by implementing proactive strategies to reduce violence and emphasize the importance of education, employment and community partnerships.
The City will first identify a neighborhood in the community and examine the areas of crime, education, health, and housing in that neighborhood. The next step is to identify how to improve conditions and the quality of life for those residents, and then explore opportunities for growth and future success.
A number of cities in Indiana and across the country have, or are exploring the prospect, of creating a TenPoint Coalition. Fort Wayne anticipates becoming an official TenPoint Coalition city later this year. The effort is being modeled after the TenPoint Coalition in Indianapolis.
As we work on this initiative together, I appreciate and value the partnership we have with Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, Reverend Dr. Charles Harrison, Fort Wayne UNITED, and local community and business leaders. We all share a common commitment and dedication to doing everything we can to help residents and neighborhoods grow and thrive in a safe environment. The quality of life for our residents in Fort Wayne is critical to the current and future viability of our community.
I’d also like to thank Trinity English Lutheran Church for becoming the first financial partner to join with Fort Wayne UNITED in creating a TenPoint Coalition in Fort Wayne. Trinity English Lutheran Church will contribute $10,000 per year for three years in grant funding toward the establishment of the coalition.
Our free Open Streets Fort Wayne event, led by the City’s Division of Public Works, will return for the second year and take place on Sunday, July 15, 11 am – 3 pm. Open Streets fits perfectly with Public Works’ efforts to encourage residents to walk and bike Fort Wayne as it continues to enhance the Active Transportation Network.
The event will open up more than two miles of roadway to walking, biking, rollerblading and over 100 activities. The streets will be car free, similar to a huge block party, and will allow residents to enjoy and see the community like never before. While Open Streets encourages active transportation such as walking and cycling, it also encourages connection with the central business district and with multiple neighborhoods. The complimentary activities will feature giant board games including Jenga, chess and checkers. There will boxing demos, 9 Square in the Air, Picture Yourself on a Harley, a chance to test drive an e-bike, street hockey, wiffle ball, pickleball, cornhole, live music, and much, much more. There’s a complete list of activities on the website at www.openstreetsfw.org.
I continue to be impressed with the quality and variety of events we offer our community and visitors each year. Entertainment offerings and quality of life amenities like the Open Streets event are critical in our ability to retain and attract businesses and jobs, build on our downtown revitalization efforts and strengthen neighborhoods.
Over the past 11 years the City of Fort Wayne has expanded its active transportation network by adding:
– 57 miles of new trails
– 45 miles of new sidewalk
– 10.25 miles of bike lanes
– 8.3 miles of Share the Road signs
– 800 wider and more visible piano key pedestrian crosswalks
– 1,200 new pedestrian crossing signals
– 700 new ADA ramps each year for a total of 7,700
– 350 bike racks
This year’s event connects the neighborhoods of West Central, East Central, LaRez, Hoagland Masterson and Williams Woodland with the Central Business District on Calhoun Street. The event area boundaries are from the St. Marys River south on Calhoun to Williams Street. In between there are activities that connect Berry, Wayne, Ewing and Barr Streets.
I encourage you to bring the family out for this free, fun day. And if you’re interested in volunteering for a couple of hours, we’d greatly appreciate the help. To sign up to volunteer, please visit www.openstreets.org and click the “Get Involved” button. We also invite residents to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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