2007-2008 Legislative Archives

This page includes archives of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership's legislative actions in 2007 and 2008.  Since this is a historical archive, links may not work.  Current information on our legislative priorities is available on our National webpage. You may also visit our legislative archives by year:  2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008-2007.

Legislative Archives 2007-2008

Congress Working on Multi-Billion Economic Stimulus Bill
December 16, 2008
As a way to address the worsening economy, Congress is considering passing an economic stimulus or recovery bill early in 2009 that could include billions of dollars for infrastructure funding for short-term projects and longer-term projects that could be built in two years or less. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is working with a coalition of organizations to make the case that funding for bike/ped infrastructure projects, including Safe Routes to School, should be included in the bill. We are currently collecting information on unfunded SRTS infrastructure projects that could be completed in two years or less to document the need for Safe Routes to School funding in the economic stimulus/recovery bill. To provide information about your SRTS infrastructure project, please fill out our project information survey no later than December 30. The survey can be accessed at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=mBJC8OIeo6s3ffEIyfA9ww_3d_3d.

Safe Routes to School: Steps to a Greener Future
December 2008
This report indicates how Safe Routes to School is reducing carbon emissions and air pollutants. The report profiles five communities that have made strides in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and harmful pollutants around schools through the implementation of Safe Routes to School programs. The five case studies documented in this report demonstrate initial promising successes, and show how one school’s effort often spreads to additional nearby schools, furthering the environmental impact. Columbia, MO; Las Cruces, NM; Longmont, CO; Marin County, CA; and Windsor, VT are featured.

Safe Routes to School: Leads to Greater Collaboration with Public Health and School Officials
December 2008
This report demonstrates how Safe Routes to School is a collaborative effort involving multiple organizations, including state Departments of Education and state Departments of Public Health. Additionally, the report addresses how school siting decisions at the state and local levels affect opportunities to walk and bicycle to schools, which in turn affects opportunities for physical activity. The four case studies showcase examples of collaboration between public health and school officials at the state level through Safe Routes to School Advisory Committees, school siting guidelines, state standards for physical activity or wellness policies and more. California, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Oklahoma are featured.

Organizations Work Together in Support of Linking Health and Transportation
November 7, 2008
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership took the lead in circulating an organizational sign-on letter that asks Congress to include health performance outcomes in the next transportation bill. A total of 170 organizations signed on in support of a transportation bill that encourages projects that are safe, allow for active transportation, and not detrimental to the environment.

President-Elect Obama Supports Safe Routes to School
November 5, 2008
Earlier this year, Senator Barack Obama met in Chicago with board and staff members of Bikes Belong, the Partnership’s parent organization. Mr. Obama told the bike group’s leaders that if elected president, he would support funding for bicycling, walking and Safe Routes to School in the next federal transportation bill. That same week, Mr. Obama celebrated his consolidation of the Democratic Presidential nomination by riding bikes with his two young daughters in a Chicago park. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership will work closely with Bikes Belong and the America Bikes coalition to ensure that the new Obama administration is fully briefed on the tangible benefits and significant progress of Safe Routes to School programs as they prepare their legislative agenda.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Releases “Active Transportation for America” Report to Congress
October 20, 2008
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) released the “Active Transportation for America” report to Congress at a press conference including Representative James Oberstar (D-MN), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Funded by Bikes Belong Coalition, the report findings quantify for the first time the significant contribution that bicycling and walking can make to our nation’s transportation system and makes the case for increased federal investment in bicycling and walking.

Partnership Submits Comments on the US DOT’s Vision for the Next Transportation Bill
October 3, 2008
In July 2008, the US Department of Transportation released its vision for the next transportation bill. To read their report, please click here. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership submitted official comments in October 2008 indicating that the report does not include walking and bicycling as a mode of transportation, nor does it recommend health as a performance outcome for transportation projects.

Safe Routes to School: Increases Physical Activity and Improves Health
September 2008
This report indicates how Safe Routes to School is being institutionalized at select schools, and providing a mechanism to improve student and school health. It provides local case studies from Benton County, OR; Eau Claire, WI; Flagstaff, AZ; and Garfield, NJ that detail how SRTS can lead to improved public health. Click here to view the complete report.

Partnership Releases Reauthorization Recommendations
September 2, 2008
Congress will be taking up the next transportation bill in 2009. In collaboration with our partners and SRTS supporters, we have developed a platform outlining changes that are critical to the continued growth and success of Safe Routes to School. We will be working to educate Members of Congress about the benefits of SRTS and build support for our recommendations over the coming months. You can help advance these recommendations by inviting your Member of Congress to a local SRTS event. To learn how, please review our Toolkit for Building Congressional Champions.

Rep. Matsui Introduces Complete Streets Bill in US House; Senator Coleman Signed on to Senate Version of Bill
May 1, 2008
Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA), took an important step for safer, better designed streets today by introducing the Safe and Complete Streets Act of 2008 into the US House. The bill would make sure that roads built and improved with federal funds safely serve everyone using the roadway – including pedestrians, people on bicycles or those catching the bus, as well as those with disabilities.

“Once again, gas prices have hit record highs this week. As American families continue to feel the pain at the pump due to the skyrocketing costs of gasoline, they are driving less and less,” said Rep. Matsui. “By diversifying our roadways, we can provide real alternatives to travel by car.”

Meanwhile, Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) signed on this week as first Republican co-sponsor of the Senate version of the bill, S2686, the Complete Streets Act of 2008, introduced a few weeks ago by Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Thomas Carper (D-DE). This is the first time that comprehensive complete streets bills have been introduced in the House and Senate.

No Child Left Behind
March 26, 2008
The Partnership is working with the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity to secure language in the No Child Left Behind reauthorization related to physical activity and Safe Routes to School. California Congresswoman Linda Sanchez introduced HR3438 regarding the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act. Her main focus was gang prevention and bullying, however, she also included language that sets forth ideas for incorporating physical activity into the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act. Advocates believe that there will be no major action on the bill until after the election, but efforts are continuing to include grants for non-infrastructure Safe Routes to School programs when the next Education Act comes to fruition. For more information, please visit the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity.

Transportation Tomorrow Report Ignores SRTS
March 14, 2008
In January 2008, the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission released a report called “Transportation Tomorrow” with recommendations for the future of federal transportation policy, programs, funding, and revenue generation. Unfortunately, the report ignored Safe Routes to School, walking and bicycling. Congressman James Oberstar, Chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee invited Deb Hubsmith, Director of the SRTSNP, to submit official written testimony to Congress in response to the report.

National Complete Streets Bill Is Introduced in the Senate
March 3, 2008
On Monday, March 3, 2008, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced Senate bill S. 2686, The Complete Streets Act of 2008. The Complete Streets Act of 2008 was introduced to ensure that all users of the transportation system, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users as well as children, older individuals, and individuals with disabilities, are able to travel safely and conveniently on streets and highways. The bill would require that State DOTs and MPOs develop complete streets policies for the use of federal funds. Co-sponsors and supporters of S. 2686 are essential - please call or write to your Senator today to gain their support. Visit the Complete Streets website for talking points, fact sheets, and updated information. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is supporting this bill, as complete streets help to make our roadways safer for everyone, including children, the most vulnerable users.

House Committee Holds Hearing on SRTS; Partnership Testifies
October 2, 2007
Deb Hubsmith, Director, Safe Routes to School National Partnership; Scott Bricker, Interim Executive Director, Oregon Bicycle Transportation Alliance; and others testified before the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit regarding the federal Safe Routes to School program. Opening statements from Members of Congress and witness testimonies are available at the Committee’s website. Also available is Deb Hubsmith’s written testimony and a photo of the hearing.