In the Wake of the Midterm Elections, Some Big Changes Coming to Capitol Hill

The results of the November 4th elections were exactly what pollsters and political prognosticators had been indicating since early summer: a number of Republican pickups in the House, and enough wins in the Senate to take control for the first time since 2008. You can read more about the changes coming to Congress and what that might mean for walking and biking programs in our latest federal policy blog.

Safe Routes to School in Rural (Yes, Rural) New Jersey

Nora ShepardMost people think of New Jersey as an urban place -- after all, it has the highest population density in the country. There are many dense urban cities and suburban communities, but there are also large rural areas with small towns and open spaces. Contrary to what you might initially think, there are lessons to be learned in New Jersey about Safe Routes to School in rural settings.

Two New Publications Highlight Federal Safe Routes to School Policy

This week, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership published a new policy report with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, entitled Safe Routes to School: How States are Adapting to a New Legislative Framework. Additionally, we updated our Snapshot of State Implementation of the Transportation Alternatives Program. While both provide a still incomplete picture of how Safe Routes to School is faring under the now two-year-old Transportation Alternatives Program, the report in particular gives some reason for optimism. Read more about both on this month's federal policy blog.

Walking and Rolling to School in San Francisco

Walk and Roll to School Day was on October 8, and I participated in an amazing event with Mayor Ed Lee and members of San Francisco’s Safe Routes to School partnership. Nearly 90 schools and 14,000 children across San Francisco participated in the record-breaking event. More than 85 percent of San Francisco Unified School District elementary schools participated, growing the event by ten percent this year.

It’s Official: Safe Routes to School is Proven to Work

Margo PedrosoJust in time for International Walk to School Day, a new study has been published in the Journal of the American Planning Association that confirms what those of us in the field have long known:  Safe Routes to School programs are effective at increasing rates of walking and bicycling to and from school.

National Active Transportation Diversity Task Force Releases Equity Asset Map

keith benjaminWhen I came to the National Partnership more than a year and a half ago, I was encouraged by our founder Deb Hubsmith to do two things. First, find every way to raise the drum beat of equity in my work, and second, read profusely to gain best practices and tactics to push progress forward. 

Let’s Meet on the Dance Floor, Health and Transportation!

Kate MoeningFor years, public health and community transportation planning worked together like kids at an sixth grade dance: boys on one side, girls on the other. They see each other, but there’s not much, if any, mingling.

Fairfax County, Virginia Releases Their First Health Impact Assessment

Bill SadlerThe largest jurisdiction in the Greater Washington, DC region has just completed its first health impact assessment (HIA), assessing the potential health impacts of a proposed transit center along a state highway corridor.

“A Sound Mind in a Sound Body”: Physical Fitness AND Academic Achievement!

Jane WardThe Greek philosopher Thales and the Roman poet Juvenal both wrote about the way in which physical health and mental health are intertwined, seeking the ideal of a “sound mind in a sound body.”

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces Major New Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Initiative

Advocates for bicycle and pedestrian safety are celebrating a significant victory this week, with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx announcing a number of new safety initiatives to be undertaken at the USDOT. The announcement, made by Secretary Foxx at this week's Pro Walk, Pro Bike, Pro Place conference, couldn’t be better timed, with injuries and deaths for bicyclists and pedestrians on the rise across the nation.

Reflections as I Step Down as Director Of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Deb HubsmithThroughout my entire life I’ve always wanted to make a difference in the world. I found my niche in the late 1990s with Safe Routes to School and never looked back.

A Perfect Time to Engage Your Members of Congress

Matthew ColvinAugust may be slow here in Washington D.C., but the coming several months are a great time for you at home to highlight the changes Safe Routes to School are making in your community.

Back to School in Milwaukie, Oregon, Adds Another E: Excitement

kari schlosshauer"It is just not safe to let my child walk or ride their bike to school." So said respondents from the initial survey that the PTA of Linwood Elementary in Milwaukie, Oregon, sent out last spring. They didn’t know that 'Safe Routes to School' – with capital letters – existed. But they knew something was not right, and they wanted to fix it.

Back to School Doesn't Mean the End of Play

mikaela randolphThis month many children are heading back to school. Like many children and parents at this time of year, I am excitedly nervous -- excited about the beginning of a new school year, and slightly nervous about the challenges that lie ahead. But as we all settle our children back into the routine of early morning rising and homework, these routines should not mean the end of the extended summer play.

Back to Safer Schools: Twitter Town Hall on August 20

As recent incidents in communities across the country highlight, community safety and gun violence affect whether or not families can safely access opportunities for physical activity. As schools all over America reopen their doors, parents and children in many neighborhoods are talking together about balancing physical activity and safety, and the need for communities that support both.

We are talking about this with our partners in a Twitter Town Hall next week #Back2SaferSchools.

Economic Returns from Active Transportation

Jane WardAs many Americans are enjoying their summer vacations, it’s a good time to look at studies on the tourism and economic benefits that bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure can generate. While this may not seem immediately relevant to our day-to-day work of making schools and neighborhoods safer for walking and bicycling, policymakers can be strongly influenced by economic arguments. 

Back to School in Knoxville Includes an E for Enforcement

Christy SmithAs students all across the state of Tennessee head back to school, children in Knoxville have police officers stepping up efforts to make sure safety is first.  In order to reduce the number of pedestrian crashes, the Knoxville Police Department (KPD) and the Knox County Safe Routes to School Partnership will implement a program to educate drivers about yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks.

Congress to Transportation: 'Maybe Next Time!'

matthew colvinAfter only a handful of hearings in the Senate and House this year focusing on a long term fix for our nation’s surface transportation needs, Congress sent a clear message last week to all those who hoped for long-term action: let’s talk next year! 

Here’s how it all went down:

California Communities Apply for $300 Million for Safe Routes to School Projects

jeanie ward wallerIn August, almost $220 million in walking and bicycling grants will be awarded to communities across California through the state’s new Active Transportation Program (ATP).  In a hard-won victory by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s state network in California, at least $72 million of that total will fund Safe Routes to School projects and programs.

Place Matters in Combating Violence

keith benjaminThe July 4th weekend brought all of the flare and celebration that we expect every year; celebrations of freedom and opportunity that ideally we all should have and enjoy. Unfortunately, while many Americans around the country gathered to eat barbeque and watch the fireworks, families and friends in Chicago ran and cried as pops and flashes riddled the city.

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