Bikes Belong Funds the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and Encourages Organizations to Join

8-10-05

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 10, 2005 

Contact:
Tim Blumenthal
, Bikes Belong Coalition executive director, 303/449-4893
Deb Hubsmith, Safe Routes to School National Partnership coordinator, 415/454-7430

Bikes Belong Coalition announced today that Deb Hubsmith of Marin County, California, has been selected to coordinate the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. This fast-growing network of organizations and professional groups is working to set goals, share best practices, secure funding, and provide detailed policy input to implementing agencies for Safe Routes to School, a new $612 million federal program. Bikes Belong is also asking bicycle and pedestrian groups across America to join the partnership by signing the Memorandum of Understanding.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership, funded initially by Bikes Belong, is designed to ensure that the Safe Routes to School money authorized by the new federal transportation bill is put to the best possible use. The funds will be available to all 50 states during the next five years to build facilities and run educational programs that will create safe ways for kids to pedal and walk to school. The Safe Routes program addresses the alarming trend toward child obesity and inactivity, while also reducing traffic congestion and air pollution.

Hubsmith, who developed one of the first Safe Routes to School pilot programs in the U.S. and is a national leader in the movement, has been tapped by Bikes Belong to coordinate the effort during the next six months. Hubsmith will collaborate with existing bicycle and pedestrian organizations and other interested parties to:

  • Build the Safe Routes to School National Partnership
  • Synthesize Best Practices for Safe Routes to School
  • Provide policy guidance for the Federal Highways Administration and State Department of Transportation
  • Generate media attention for Safe Routes
  • Create resources to help communities and states launch new Safe Routes to School programs

"Safe Routes is a vitally important program that needs to start fast and strong on the national level," said Tim Blumenthal, executive director of Bikes Belong Coalition. "We are very pleased to work with Deb Hubsmith, who has tremendous experience in this field."

Hubsmith said, "Through Safe Routes to School, we will create a new era for bicycling and walking in America. I’m so grateful that Bikes Belong Coalition is taking a leadership role in launching the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. This collaborative effort will benefit children and communities in all 50 states."

Join the partnership today!