Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #88: June 2013
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:
A new study from U.S. PIRG and the Frontier Group shows that after decades of steady growth, U.S. driving rates have slowed – and even stalled. The Millennial generation is leading the change and drove 23 percent fewer miles on average in 2009 than people of the same age group did in 2001—a greater decline in driving than any other age group . Rising gas prices and municipal smart growth strategies are also fueling the shift. What does this mean for the future of transportation and Safe Routes to School?
Within a few short weeks, we may have a new U.S. Secretary of Transportation—Anthony Foxx, the current mayor of Charlotte, NC. In this month’s federal policy blog, learn more about Mayor Foxx’s transportation priorities based on his work in Charlotte and his recent Senate confirmation hearing. And, we’ve included our recommendations for steps Secretary Foxx could take in his first 100 days at the U.S. Department of Transportation to advance Safe Routes to School!
In addition, states did a good job in the past three months of awarding and obligating remaining Safe Routes to School funds. See how your state stacks up in our latest State of the States quarterly report and continue to work with your DOT to get projects built.
A new report out from the Institute of Medicine examines the status of physical activity and physical education efforts in schools, how physical activity and fitness affect health outcomes, and what can be done to help schools get students to become more active. Read the report here. We’re pleased to note that the recommendations include efforts for school siting, joint use and traffic calming as ways to get schools to create environments where students can get 60 minutes of physical activity/day.
The National Partnership is pleased to welcome three new staff to our team.
Mikaela Randolph joins us as our shared use campaign manager, working with states and localities nationally to advance shared use agreements and policy adoption ensuring that underserved communities have access to physical activity opportunities.
Ryan Day joins us as our state network manager, guiding the work of the state advocacy organizers working in seven network states: California, Florida, Ohio, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
Catherine Baker joins us as our active transportation policy fellow, serving as the primary point of contact for active transportation policy in the Greater Washington, DC region while Christine Green is on leave.
Early-bird registration rates are available until June 28 for the 4th Safe Routes to School National Conference, held in Sacramento, CA, August 13-15, 2013. To register, visit the conference website at www.saferoutesconference.org. Don’t miss out on participating in more than 60 sessions, seven tours of model projects and programs, networking opportunities, and exciting interactive features including an on-site Charitable Bike Build.
You can register for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s FREE Annual Meeting on August 12 in Sacramento at the same time as you register for the conference. We encourage you to come early to Sacramento participate in our event which will include interactive roundtable discussions, giving you an opportunity to both share and learn more about how to be as effective as possible in advancing your goals.
Our monthly technical assistance webinar series features expert speakers, a chat feature for participants, and archived downloadable post-webinar recordings. Join us for these upcoming webinars:
Maximizing City Involvement in Safe Routes to School: Educating Municipal Transportation Departments and Practitioners
June 20th, 2013 @ 2pm Eastern – Register here
We’ll discuss how Safe Routes to School advocates can support municipal transportation departments and practitioners in identifying ways to safely get children active commuting to school.
Harnessing the Power of GIS for Safe Routes to School
July 11th, 2013 @ 2pm Eastern – Register here
practitioners in identifying
Our state advocacy organizers in our seven network states ( CA, FL, MS, NC, NJ, OH, TN) continually look for opportunities to collaborate and share resources to efficiently advance state-level policy change, even crossing state borders to work together. One recent example is the “team” approach our Mississippi and Tennessee advocacy organizers used in attending the TN Bike Summit in Memphis, which passed a Complete Streets policy this year and will be installing bike lanes on 51 miles of city streets. The geographic synergy between Memphis, Tennessee and northern Mississippi presented a perfect opportunity for our team to think regionally, with both of our advocacy organizers attending. Visit the Safe Routes to School National Partnership Tennessee Blog to learn more about the summit.
Given that it was “Bike Month,” May was a month of celebrations, and there were plenty of examples of phenomenal events. Within the regional networks, we highlight the amazing events in the Greater Washington, DC region. Schools and communities throughout the region participated in Bike to School Day, and at the end of that particular week, in
Trails and Trips Boost Ohio’s Economy (Kate Moening)
There are three pieces of great news coming out of Minnesota! In May 2013, the Minnesota legislature agreed to provide $500,000 in state dollars for the 2013-2014 Safe Routes to School program. This is the first-ever commitment in the MN state transportation budget to ensure that state funds are available to improve conditions for children to safely walk and bicycle to school. This funding will support non-infrastructure and help communities plan Safe Routes to School programs, provide training for staff and volunteers and reinforce other non-infrastructure programs that are crucial to a successful Safe Routes to School. Minnesota also recently included a clause in its Transportation Finance bill that requires MNDoT to fund the federal Transportation Alternatives program (TAP) at previous SAFETEA-LU levels (33 percent higher than TAP), despite the federal cuts to Transportation Alternatives. The initial estimate is that MN, as a result of the clause, will be spending $6 million more a year for bicycle and pedestrian projects. Additionally, in 2013, the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School program announced the awards for $3.8 million in federal grant funding for Safe Routes to School. The 2013 grant cycle received 102 applications requesting almost $15 million in funding. The money can be used for infrastructure improvements, such as sidewalk and trail repairs, education and enforcement, and planning assistance. Read more about Minnesota’s Safe Routes to School program here.
For more information, contact: