Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #85: March 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:
Can you feel the momentum building for getting kids active in schools? Can you feel the walking movement growing? Can you hear the call to action to ensure our communities are designed to help people move?
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership will be doing a lot in the coming months to inform our partners, grow the movement, and capitalize on the momentum. We must: if we continue on the current trends of physical inactivity, this generation of children is expected to be the first to have a shorter lifespan than their parents.
You have probably been hearing a lot about the sequester—but what you may not have heard is that Highway Trust Fund programs, including Transportation Alternatives, are mostly exempt from the sequester. We are also actively working to secure a performance measure for bicycle and pedestrian safety. These performance measures will drive state spending for the foreseeable future, and with bicycle and pedestrian fatalities increasing and states spending next to nothing on bicycle pedestrian safety, it is a critical battle. Get more on the sequester and performance measures in this month’s federal policy blog.
Finally, it’s important that we don’t forget about the past. The majority of states still have funds remaining from the old Safe Routes to School program available for more grant cycles. Take a look at our latest State of the States report to see what funding your state has remaining, and check in with your state’s Safe Routes to School coordinator to see what your state’s plans are for spending any remaining funds.
The National Partnership is pleased to announce that new staff member Maggie Cooper has joined the staff as our Technical Assistance Manager. Maggie provides policy-related technical assistance to communities through contracts (such as the Community Transformation Grants) , federal grants, local grants, our national learning network, and fee-for service. Maggie also develops publications and other resources, communicates regularly with local-level decision makers, and assists in fundraising efforts for the organization.
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is also hiring a State Network Manager. Applications are due March 19, 2013 by 9:00 a.m. ET. Learn more about how to apply by reading the job announcement.
The Call for Session Proposals for the conference is now closed. Conference organizers received more than 190 proposals for presentations, panel sessions, and tours of local model projects! The conference program will include many dynamic case studies and speakers highlighting some of the most exciting and innovative SRTS projects, programs and strategies being implemented across the country.
Interested in participating as a Conference Sponsor? There are several exciting opportunities to get your name attached to this important event, and contribute in a meaningful way to the success of the conference, and the Safe Routes to School movement.
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership also encourages you to come to Sacramento a day early to attend our Annual Meeting which will take place on Monday, August 12 from 1-5 PM, followed by a Safe Routes Social. Those of you from California can also sign-up for a Lobby Day on the afternoon of Thursday, August 15 right after the conference ends. Online Registration for the conference, our Annual Meeting and the California Lobby Day will launch in early April. Visit the conference website for more details on registration and sponsor levels and benefits.
National Bike to School Day takes place on May 8, 2013. Register today! National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for schools across the country to join together and to build on the energy of National Bike Month. Get involved by visiting walkbiketoschool.org to learn more about the event, download free planning resources, and register an event for a chance to win prizes for your school.
National Bike to School Day is a great encouragement activity for schools participating in Fire Up Your Feet. Check out our resource library for information on how to organize a walk or bike to school event.
Our monthly technical assistance webinar series features expert speakers, a chat feature for participants, and archived downloadable post-webinar recordings. See the National Learning Network page for registration for future webinars. Upcoming webinars:
Maximizing Local Impact of Safe Routes to School: Educating Local Elected Officials
March 21, 2-3 p.m. Eastern
Authentic Middle School Youth Engagement in Safe Routes to School
April 4th, 2013 @ 2pm Eastern
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
The first item on Robert Fulghum’s famous list in “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” is “Share everything.” Is it really that simple? The Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s state-level advocacy work with shared use (joint use) agreements reveals many complexities – but most can be overcome with relationship building (another Fulghum list item - “….hold hands, and stick together.”).
Our seven state advocacy organizer in our State Network Project states (CA, FL, MS, NC, NJ, OH, and TN) have been effectively building relationship and discovering new friends to “hold hands” with during their advocacy around shared use agreements, especially in lower-income communities. For example, in MS our state advocacy organizer learned that working with the faith-based community leaders to understand how shared use agreements can support the community has galvanized the concept of shared use advocacy initiatives, along with broader Safe Routes to School initiatives. Read more in the MS blog on how faith based communities can play a vital role in supporting shared use agreements. And read more on our State Network Pages (CA, FL, MS, NC, NJ, OH, TN) on shared use action teams to learn how you can get involved and how to improve “sharing” within your community.
Resources from the regional network project continue to emerge. A recently-completed report on the state of transportation financing in Los Angeles County is among the latest additions to our library. In order to better understand the funding sources and opportunities that exist for pedestrian and bicycling projects and to document the flow of current Los Angeles County transportation revenue streams, Jessica Meaney, Southern California policy director has led the efforts to research, interview and meet with various experts and stakeholders for over six months throughout Los Angeles County. This research parallels results of a 2011 survey of metropolitan planning organizations on bicycle and pedestrian planning.
Wake County Child Pedestrian Safety Action Network Moving Forward! (North Carolina State Network)
Supporting the Synergy of Health and Transportation Planning (Tennessee State Network)
The Nevada statewide Safe Routes to School program is in its third round of national Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funding. Funding started in 2008 and the third round of SAFETEA-LU money is funded in 2012 and 2013. The state program covers the major urban areas in the state along with rural areas with a mixture of infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects. Approximately $10 million dollars has been spent or committed so far. There have been 25 projects with 12 partners in the state.
For more information, contact: