Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #98: April 2014
Safe Routes to School E-News is a monthly email newsletter published by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership (National Partnership), which is leading the national movement for Safe Routes to School by coordinating and energizing more than 600 organizations, government agencies, schools and professional groups. Our mission is to advance safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, and in daily life, to improve the health and well-being of America’s children and to foster the creation of livable, sustainable communities.
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In this issue:
- Equity Through Street Scale Technical Assistance Empowers All Communities
- Boost Walking and Bicycling Through Long-Term Policy Change With Technical Assistance from the National Partnership
- The Latest from Capitol Hill
- Get Your School Moving this Spring with Fire Up Your Feet
- Register for Our Next Free Webinar
- Send us Your Success Stories
- Study Shows Increase in Biking and Walking in CA
- Job Opening: Fire Up Your Feet Coordinator in Mid Atlantic Region
- State and Regional Network Update
- Highlighted Blogs
Active transportation “isn’t just an issue of recreation; it’s an issue of equality, bringing people together, expanding the middle class, and helping people who are trying to get into the middle class.” - US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx
Secretary Foxx’s words come to life through the National Partnership’s collaboration with Voices for Healthy Kids ® on Active Places, where we actively engage with communities around the country providing assistance and coaching to increase access to parks, playgrounds, school gyms, walking paths and other opportunities to be physically active. Recent street scale victories in Sodus, NY and Walthill, NE show that small communities make a big impact when community members are involved in decision-making. Read more about how these communities are making progress through street scale work with our technical assistance here.
For more than a decade Safe Routes to School programs have flourished across the country using the power of quality programming to raise awareness and change habits Now, communities just like Sodus, NY and Walthill, NE are boosting walking and bicycling to school through sustainable, long-term policy change. The National Partnership can help your community or school district build local leadership, partnerships and community support, establish walking and bicycling policies and programs that advance healthy, active lifestyles, and institutionalize ongoing funding and policy change that support active transportation as a permanent part of your community’s healthy future. Learn more about the individualized technical assistance we can provide to your community.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) issued its long awaited rule on how safety measures will be implemented on our roads, and the news isn’t good for bicyclists and pedestrians. While we work on Capitol Hill to ensure the safety of all road users is taken into account when spending federal safety dollars, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership called on its supporters this week to contact USDOT and stand up for people walking and bicycling.
Also of note in Washington D.C. this week, the Senate EPW Committee held a hearing on local perspectives in transportation, and bicycling and walking were front and center. You can read more about the hearing on our Federal Policy Blog. We also issued the final quarterly State of the States report for 2013. The numbers, while low, were consistent with the slowing that we generally see at the start of each fiscal year. Read our full report and analysis here.
Schools play a big role in encouraging active lifestyles for students of all ages and ensuring kids get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Fire Up Your Feet helps students, families and school staff make small lifestyle changes that can yield big rewards in terms of overall health. Even better, more than $70,000 in awards will be given out nationally to support active schools. The Fire Up Your Feet Activity Challenge kicks off April and May in select states and regions. Sign up today!
Already signed up? Check out our promotional resources to share information about Fire Up Your Feet with schools in your district or community. If your school is not in a Fire Up Your Feet region, you can use our programmatic resources to help you increase physical activity or to do a healthy fundraiser centered around physical activity.
Our monthly technical assistance webinar series features expert speakers, a chat feature for participants, and archived downloadable post-webinar recordings. Join us for our next webinar:
Recruiting and Training Volunteers for Long Term Success!
May 15th at 2pm Eastern – Register here
Join our expert panel of presenters for part one in a series of two webinars that will explore tried and true methods for recruiting and training volunteers to participate in Safe Routes to School Programs. The second webinar in this series will take place June 19.
Does your school or community have a success story to share about active transportation? Submit your success stories about increasing opportunities for physical activity through Complete Streets, shared use agreements and Safe Routes to School and we might spotlight your story nationally and on our Facebookpage!
A sea of change is underway in how Californians choose to travel. Since 2000, rates of walking, bicycling, and transit use doubled and the driving rate decreased 11 percent according to the California Household Travel Survey. A report on the comprehensive travel survey results that was announced by Caltrans in March showed that walking rates jumped from 8.8 percent to 16.6 percent, bicycling rates increased from 0.8 percent to 1.5 percent, and transit use increased from 2.2 percent to 4.4 percent of mode share. All told, trips by foot, bicycle, or transit total nearly 23 percent of all trips statewide on an average day in California. Read more.
The Fire Up Your Feet Coordinator in the Mid Atlantic region will assist with implementation of the Fire Up Your Feet program. This position will focus on achieving school engagement goals nationwide, with a particular focus on the Mid Atlantic region and Northern Virginia. See the job announcement here.
Economic benefits of Complete Streets
Cities and counties around the country are beginning to realize that developing Complete Streets is not just a great way to improve safety on the roadway. It also helps support the local economy by encouraging people to spend money in their own communities and supports economic development. The National Partnership has compiled research that documents the benefits of Complete Streets from around the country and developed a fact sheet that can be used as a tool to impact policies at the local and regional levels. Download the PDF here.
Complete Streets policy approved in Chattanooga
This month the Chattanooga City Council voted to approve a new Complete Streets policy for the city. This policy follows a letter to the editor that was featured Chattanoogan in which Christy Smith, Tennessee Advocacy Organizer, challenged the city to join the other major cities in Tennessee which have prioritized access to safe active transportation. Christy worked with the city planning department to help craft a strong policy and organize community support in favor of making the streets safer for all users. This policy passed the first required vote by the city council and assuming it passes the second and final vote, Chattanooga will be the latest great city to making bicycling and walking safety a priority. In Ohio, the Toledo Area Metropolitan Council of Governments (TMACOG) also voted to adopt a Complete Streets policy.
Celebrating Women in Active Transportation and in Mississippi(Jay Thompson)
Freedom in the Form of a Bicycle (Maggie Cooper)
For more information, contact: