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.

National Partnership Leads in LA: Raising Voices for Better Walking and Bicycling

In Los Angeles County, two years collaborative efforts to make sure the County’s transportation investments add up to create a truly multimodal system are at a critical juncture!

Exploring Collaboration Between Safe Routes to School and School Bus Professionals

school bus reportToday, most student transportation departments around the country focus primarily on getting students to school on yellow school buses. But student transportation isn’t just about school buses. Students are also getting to school by foot, bicycle, car, and public transportation.

No Clear Path Forward for Transportation Funding in Congress

Several months ago Matthew Colvinwe wrote about the impending mid-summer bankruptcy facing our nation’s Highway Trust Fund – the primary source of funding for America’s highway and transit programs.

Danger Zone: Report Points to Critical Need for Safer Walking in Southern States

carrie turnerSouthern cities and states are among our nation’s most dangerous places for walking. According to Dangerous by Design 2014, published by Smart Growth America, 9 of the top 10 most-dangerous large metro areas are located in Southern states.

School’s Out! How Are We Doing? Physical Activity Report Cards Say Not So Good

Jane WardAs the 2013-14 academic school year ends, report cards are issued across the country. Grades in academic courses, physical education and the arts can lead to celebrations of achievement, or discouragement about not making the grade.

Why should we have report cards?  After all, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it,” wisely observed Lord Kelvin, the 19th century Scottish scientist.

Creating Momentum for Complete Streets in Prince George's County, MD

Christine GreenRecently, staff and elected leaders of nine municipalities from Prince George’s County attended a National Complete Streets Coalition workshop to learn more about the steps needed to write, adopt, and implement an effective Complete Streets policy.

Florida Rallies Around Bike to School Day

May is the last month of the school year for many Southern states, and one where we see great numbers of children actively commuting to and from school.  Maybe there are so many people walking and bicycling because the weather is so nice, or maybe because teachers and parents want an outlet to that pre-summer energy the kids seem to have bundled inside them!  Regardless, walking and bicycling to school are great ways to enjoy the outdoors in our Southern state as well as get some much needed physical activity. 

Senate Draft Transportation Bill Includes Key Improvements for Safe Routes to School

Matthew ColvinToday, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee released their draft bill reauthorizing MAP-21, which would fund our nation’s surface transportation programs for an additional six years.   Before the bill can come to the Senate floor for a vote, however, the Senate Finance Committee must complete the daunting task of shoring up the funding for our soon-to-be bankrupt Highway Trust Fund. 

A Tribute to Congressman Oberstar: Father of Safe Routes to School

It is with a very deep sadness and extremely heavy heart that the Safe Routes to School National Partnership mourns the passing of 79-year-old Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN from 1974-2010). His death was announced this morning through a statement from his family. Congressman Oberstar passed peacefully in his home in Maryland during his sleep; apparently he was not ill.

Innovative Ways to Share Space for Physical Activity

Mikaela RandolphDo you want to build a snowman? (Thanks to my six-year old daughter and Disney’s Frozen, I can’t keep this song out of my head.)  While snow play is a great winter activity, most of the country has had a brutal winter, and I imagine at this point your answer to that question is a resounding “NO.”  It's springtime now, and we’re all looking forward to having a little more fun in the sun.

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