Greater Washington Region
The Greater Washington regional network works within the boundaries of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG). COG staff supports the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB). The TPB is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Greater Washington region. The Greater Washington region spans eight counties, the District of Columbia and numerous towns and cities.
In the COG region, walking and bicycling comprise nine percent of trips, 30 percent of fatalities and two percent of funding. Within different communities, there are two full-time Safe Routes to School coordinators, two part-time coordinators and one additional school district-wide program run by a non-profit organization.
The Greater Washington regional network focuses on three goals:
- Create demand for walking and bicycling.
- Leverage resources for Safe Routes to School, walking and bicycling.
- Increase physical activity through Safe Routes to School, walking and bicycling.
Detailed information on the work of the Greater Washington regional network may be found in the Greater Washington Platform.
Case Studies and Fact Sheets
Communities are tackling Safe Routes to School, walking and bicycling in various ways throughout the region. Some policies and programs are highlighted below.
- Alexandria City Schools, VA Safe Routes to School program: This program is a partnership between the school system and TrailsforYouth.org, a local non-profit.
- District of Columbia Safe Routes to School program: The full-time coordinator has a defined process in which she works with committees at individual schools to craft a Safe Routes to School plan. The plan is then implemented by the school.
- Montgomery County, MD Safe Routes to School program: Staffed with a full-time coordinator, the program has recently partner with the County’s pedestrian safety division to educate high school students on safe walking.
- Prince William County Public Schools, VA bicycle education: Physical education teachers are implementing the Bike Smart Virginia curriculum which includes on-bike instruction and bicycle safety. Questions of liability, safety and teacher training were addressed.
- Takoma Park, MD Safe Routes to School program: In the summer of 2012, this program won recognition from the James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School committee.
- Vienna, VA Area Safe Routes to School program: Led by parents, this program has spread to seven schools with Walking Wednesdays and Wolfie’s Bike Train. The video clip is from the perspective of the students. Their insight is impressive!
- Implementing Complete Streets policies: Complete Streets policies ensure that all users of all abilities are considered when designing, building and maintaining a road. Arlington, VA and Washington, DC have not only successful Complete Streets policies but successful implementation.
- Policies that advance walking and bicycling: Three communities have taken different approaches to ensuring their safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.