Regional Network Project

Kaiser Permanente is providing ongoing support to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership for our regional network project in 2014. 

The regional network project started in 2010 with support from Kaiser Permanente in the areas of Southern California (Southern California Association of Governments--SCAG), the Greater Washington, DC area (Metropolitan Washington Council of Government--MWCOG) and in the Atlanta region (Atlanta Regional Commission--ARC). Continued support in 2012 and 2013 allowed us to deepen our work in these regions with full-time staff, and to expand our efforts to the San Francisco Bay Area (Metropolitan Transportation Commission--MTC) and Denver (Denver Regional Council of Governments--DRCOG). In 2014, we added a full-time regional policy manager working in the Pacific Northwest, specifically in the Northwest region of Oregon and Southwest region of Washington. 

Specific goals of the regional network project include:

  • Working to leverage additional resources for walking and bicycling initiatives through the regional and local policies and plans such as Regional Transportation Plans;
  • Getting transportation infrastructure built that will improve physical activity among students;
  • Ensuring that federal Safe Routes to School funds are spent on quality projects;
  • Advocating to remove barriers for walking and bicycling by children through various policy initiatives, including Complete Streets; and
  • Sharing information and best practices nationwide about strategies to for increasing funding and policies to promote bicycling and walking through regional advocacy strategies.

The ultimate result is to increase physical activity and improve safety among students through policy, systems and environmental changes.

The regional networks were formed in order to foster a greater relationship with the regional government bodies and to influence the funding streams that are developed in the updates to their Regional Transportation Plans (RTP). The RTP is a long-range plan (25 years). Within the RTP is the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). The TIP is a shorter-term plan, typically covering three years at a time. Through policy initiatives, the regional networks are working to ensure that the federal dollars that flow through the RTP are spent on projects that improve walking and bicycling, especially Safe Routes to School. Regional network policy initiatives can have a major effect on regional spending. 

You can follow activities of the regional networks in our blog section, the Greater Washington, DC area website, the Pacific Northwest website and the California state website, which features sections for the Bay area and Southern California regions where you can find their regional platforms,  meeting announcements, and local success stories. You can also download Regional Impacts: A Compilation of Lessons Learned from the Regional Network Project, our 2013 report on significant policy changes in our targeted regions over the past two years.

Atlanta Regional Network

In January 2011, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) became the contractor for the Atlanta network. Work at the regional level continues in 2012, with efforts focused on opportunities involved in the process of adopting Plan 2040, the Atlanta Regional Commission’s regional transportation plan (RTP). To learn more about the efforts in Atlanta or to become involved directly, contact:

Doug Joiner, Atlanta Regional Network Manager
National Association of Chronic Disease Directors 
atlantaregion@saferoutespartnership.org
(678) 522-8777

Denver Regional Project

Between January 2012 and December 2013, the National Partnership focused efforts on conducting research, identifying baseline information and providing regional policy recommendations specific to Safe Routes to School. This policy primer identified key opportunities for the short-term as well as longer-term efforts. 

Greater Washington, DC Area Regional Network

The Greater Washington, DC area network formed in January 2010, and has developed a policy platform to identify goals.  It achieved policy successes by convincing the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) to recognize and support Safe Routes to School in the region and to work to add Safe Routes to School projects as separate line items in the MWCOG’s Transportation Improvement Program. In Fall 2010, the MWCOG revised the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan for the National Capital Region to include the goals and best practices for walking and bicycling programs—including Safe Routes to School; performance indicators and relevant baseline conditions; and a list of major bicycle and pedestrian projects drawn from local, state and agency plans, which the region would like to carry out by the year 2040. In 2012, the TPB adopted a regional Complete Street policy that encourages local agency jurisdictions to adopt local Complete Streets policiesTo learn more about the efforts in the Greater Washington, DC area or to become involved directly, contact:

Bill Sadler, Washington DC Regional Policy Manager
Safe Routes to School National Partnership
bill@saferoutespartnership.org
(847) 732-4007

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Pacific Northwest Regional Network

The Pacific Northwest regional network formed in January 2014, and has developed a policy platform to identify goals.  The purpose of the Pacific Northwest regional network is to bring together advocates, schools, health, transportation and planning professionals from around the greater Portland Metro region, Salem, and Vancouver, WA, to support walking and bicycling policy within communities to create a region where walking and bicycling are safe and convenient. To learn more about the efforts in the Pacific Northwest area or to become involved directly, contact:

Kari Schlosshauer, Pacific Northwest Regional Policy Manager
Safe Routes to School National Partnership 
kari@saferoutespartnership.org
(503) 734-0813

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San Francisco Bay Area Regional Network

The Healthy Transportation Network – Bay Area is a new network as of January 2012, in partnership with TransForm. The Bay Area network developed a policy platform to identify its high-priority goals.  The primary goal is to ensure that transportation policy in this region will be infused with a concern for the health and well-being for all the Bay Area communities. The revision of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's (MTC) regional transportation plan was a major focus of the network’s efforts in early 2012. Through relationship building with the MTC staff, the development of an effective advocate and agency network and strong leadership from National Partnership staff, the Northern California regional network project was the key player in ensuring that MTC agreed to provide $20 million of new Safe Routes to School funding to the nine Bay Area Counties over the next four years through the One Bay Area Grants (OBAG) program. Additionally, the MTC is requiring all Bay Area jurisdictions which directly receive OBAG funding to pass Complete Streets policy resolutions by January 31, 2013To learn more or become involved directly, contact:

Marty Martinez, Bay Area Policy Manager
Safe Routes to School National Partnership
marty@saferoutespartnership.org
(415) 637-6488

Southern California Regional Network

The Southern California Safe Routes to School Network, formed in January 2010, is working with partners and government agencies to leverage additional funding resources and supportive policies to advance Safe Routes to School in Southern California.  Our Regional Scope includes two Metropolitain Planing Organizations which are comprised of 7 Counties: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura.

We are working to share best practices and maximize the variety of areas of Southern California expertise and leadership to:

  • Increase physical activity in school aged children by increasing opportunities for children to walk and bicycle to schools.
  • Leverage additional resources and policy changes to support walking and bicycling to schools and improvements to the built environment.
  • Build partnerships with regional and local agencies, non-profits and community members to ensure that Southern California SRTS and SR2S funds are being expended on quality projects in the region, and that these funded projects are being constructed.

To read more about what the Southern California Regional Network is doing in  your county read our Southern California Active Transportation Platform  or visit our Network Page which details our policy wins.

Jessica Meaney, Southern California Policy Director
Safe Routes to School National Partnership
jessica@saferoutespartnership.org
(213) 210-8136

 

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We encourage residents and organizations in Bay Area, Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, Atlanta and the Greater Washington, DC area to get involved with their regional project.