Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #95: January 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:
1. Unveiling Our New Legislative Platform and Examining State Implementation Decisions
2. Economic Benefits of Safe Routes to School and Livable Streets
3. Reminder: Applications Due Jan 10 for Southern States Coordinator
4. Upcoming Conferences to Attend
5. Register for Our Next Free Webinar: Liability 201
6. National Partnership Welcomes New Staff
7. State and Regional Network Updates
8. Highlighted Blogs
9. Featured State: Oregon
Unveiling our new legislative platform and examining state implementation decisions
It’s hard to believe it’s already 2014—and even harder to believe that means that the MAP-21 transportation law is just nine months away from expiring. Check out our latest federal policy blog to learn more about our federal legislative platform, which includes priorities around the Transportation Alternatives program, safety, data collection, health and equity. And, please review our newest update to the Transportation Alternatives state snapshot chart, which details state decisions on the implementation of the Transportation Alternatives program.
While it doesn’t seem all that long since MAP-21 passed, we will need your help this year in making phone calls and sending emails to Congress at critical junctures, and in inviting members of Congress to join you at Safe Routes to School events. So please stay tuned – we look forward to working with you to make sure 2014 is the year that a transportation bill supportive of Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking is passed.
Several recent studies have reinforced the link between livable streets and economic benefits for communities. A recent NYC DOT report found that redesigned streets that encourage walking and bicycling led to gains in retail activity. Another studyreleased by Active Living Research last month found that walkable shopping districts can prosper as a result of demographics, public policies encouraging higher densities, and changing lifestyle preferences.
While ongoing research is needed to fully understand the economic benefits of Safe Routes to School programs, evidence finds that infrastructure improvements create lasting benefits, which improve the routes to school, increase safety and add opportunities for physical activity for everyone. These benefits impact the budgets of schools and governments nationwide.
Of particular interest is the potential savings from reducing school busing costs. Conservatively assuming that 5% of today’s school busing costs are for hazard busing, making it safe for those children to walk or bicycle instead could save approximately $1 billion per year in busing costs. Stay tuned for the National Partnership’s report on school busing costs due out this spring.
For more information on Safe Routes to School and the economy, browse the economy section of our library of resources and watch our past webinar recording here.
The southern states coordinator will play a critical role supporting the successful execution of the Safe Routes to School state network project, in partnership with the state network manager and state advocacy organizers. The primary goal of the southern state coordinator is to maximize the effectiveness of the state network project in four southern states (Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee) in collaboration with field staff already located in those states. In addition, the southern states coordinator will facilitate opportunities for multi-state collaboration, throughout the south, leading to regional policy victories, increasing the profile of the National Partnership in southern states and cultivating new funding partners.
Please see the full position announcement for more information about the position, qualifications, salary range and application instructions. Applications are due by January 10, 2014.
The 2014 National Bike Summitwill unite the voices of bicyclists on Capitol Hill to advance bicycle safety, funding and equity. Join more than 700 participants from all 50 states as we build momentum in Congress for a Bicycle Friendly America. The 2014 Summit will be held March 3-5 in Washington, D.C., including the National Women's Bicycling Forum from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 3. Click here to learn more and register today! Sign up beforeJanuary 22 to save $100!
The 11th annual Active Living Research conference, Niche to Norm, recognizes the importance of advancing active living from an emerging research field with limited results and impact to well-accepted findings that regularly guide decision-making across sectors to create more active communities. The conference takes place March 9-12 in San Diego, CA. Visit the 2014 Conference website for a complete overview of the program and for information on how to register.
Also, don’t miss these conferences: New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, Bicycle Leadership Conference, the Partnership for a Healthier America’s Building a Healthier Future Summit, and the National PTA Convention.
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:
Liability 201: Thinking Through Your Community's Safe Routes to School Liability Concerns
January 16th, 2013 @ 2pm Eastern - Register here
Join us for our upcoming webinar, Liability 201, where we will host experts on the sometimes confusing topics of Safe Routes to School and liability. Our speakers will review basic liability concepts and then delve into the more detailed issues related to the implementation of walking school buses, bike trains and remote drop offs. Additionally, our panelists have agreed to field your questions ahead of time! If you have specific situations you'd like them to discuss during the webinar, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org before January 14th.
The National Partnership is pleased to welcome Peter Kodzis as our new finance director. In this role, he manages the organization’s financial, accounting and risk management operations. He provides financial leadership, including planning, development and monitoring of budgets, expenditures, income and cash flow. Peter brings to the organization over twenty years of senior level professional experience in operations and financial management at non-profit organizations focused on climate change and pollution prevention, conservation of natural resources, promoting commuting alternatives and transit oriented developments, improvement of the health and well-being of underserved population, and fostering the creation of livable, sustainable communities.
The regional network project concluded 2013 by producing a report that looks at some of the significant policy changes in our targeted regions over the past two years. The report, Regional Impacts: A Compilation of Lessons Learned from the Regional Network Project, highlights the importance of a regional focus and network building and provides a model for other regions to consider.
We also want to give a shout out to two of our regional team members. On the heels of Christine Green being recognized by the Fairfax Advocates for Better Biking (FABB) for her advocacy efforts, this past week, Jessica Meaney, Southern California policy director, was honored by LA Streetsblog with their “2013 Streetsie Advocate of the Year.”
Lakeside Middle School Wins Red Ribbons and Gold Stars (Rosie Mesterhazy)
Youth-Proposed Pedestrian Safety Policy Adopted in Maryland(Christine Green)
Oregon’s commitment to Safe Routes to School efforts continues to be strong. At the state level, working from the federal MAP-21 direction, the Oregon Department of Transportation made a decision to support Safe Routes to School. For the 2015-2018 federal grant years, the TSD-SRTS program has $500,000 per year for non-infrastructure projects. This includes education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation activities.
On the infrastructure side, Safe Routes to School projects are no longer limited to previous cycles’ $500,000 cap but will now have to compete with other multimodal active transportation projects in the STIP Enhance program. Enhance projects are infrastructure projects that enhance, expand, or improve the transportation system. The 2015-18 STIP Enhance solicitation closed in November 2012. The applications are being prioritized by local Area Commissions on Transportation in a complex process that will result in the Oregon Transportation Commission approving the final STIP to be sent to the US DOT in February 2015.
Initial announcements for the 2019-22 STIP Enhance solicitation for infrastructure will be released in fall 2014. For more information, visit Oregon Safe Routes or the ODOT website.
For more information, contact: