Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #75: March/April 2012
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 550 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. The Latest from Capitol Hill
90 day extension slows progress
March has been a busy month for transportation, with the Senate passing MAP-21 after including better provisions for bicycling and walking, and the National Bike Summit. But, that momentum has ground to a halt with the House opting to pass a 90-day extension rather than passing the Senate’s bill. We are pushing the House to either pass MAP-21 or to vote to restore funding for Safe Routes to School and Transportation Enhancements; you can help too! + Read more
2. National Partnership’s Call for Steering Committee Nominations
Deadline to apply is May 10; all nominees must be partner affiliates
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership (National Partnership) is now accepting nominations for several Steering Committee positions. Our Steering Committee, a diverse group of up to 21 members, functions as the National Partnership’s Board of Directors and holds decision-making responsibility for the National Partnership. The estimated time commitment for Steering Committee members is eight hours a month. Applications are due May 10, 2012. For detailed information on the call for nominations and to download the nominations form, click here.
3. Help Us Welcome Our Newest Staff
National Partnership hires six staff to help support the state network project
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership recently hired six new staff members as advocacy organizers to support our Safe Routes to School state network project thanks to the generous support of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The state advocacy organizers are focused on advancing policy reform, which will result in the award and obligation of federal transportation funds, street-scale improvements and joint-use agreements. Please join us in welcoming the following new staff members, and reach out to get involved in your state:
- Carol Pulley - Florida Advocacy Organizer
- Jay Thompson - Mississippi Advocacy Organizer
- Laura Torchio, AICP - New Jersey Advocacy Organizer
- Terry Lansdell - North Carolina Advocacy Organizer
- Kate Moening - Ohio Advocacy Organizer
- Rebecca Wynd - Tennessee Advocacy Organizer
4. State Network Project News
State Network Project 3.0
Since its inception in January 2007, the state network project, primarily funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has provided positive impacts to Safe Routes to School programs, policies and projects in every state and Washington, DC. So follow us as our full-time staff in our seven participating states focus on three policy priorities and affect major changes. Even if you aren’t in one of these states, there will be a lot to see and learn to implement where you live to bring about the permanent change we all want – a healthier future for everyone. You can also review our prior successes through this 2010-2011 final report. + Read more.
5. Regional Network Project News
Including what MAP-21 means for MPOs
Kaiser Permanente provided the National Partnership funding in 2010 to begin working in the Southern California, Washington, DC and Atlanta regions, and they renewed funding in 2012, adding the San Francisco Bay Area to the roster of regions. With our ongoing funding, we hired full-time regional policy managers in each of these areas, who all started in January.
Our work in the regions focuses on policy changes at the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPOs) and local levels. We also work to change or increase funding allocations to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure—and of course, Safe Routes to School—at every opportunity. Decisions at the local level have such a significant impact on how our communities are built and increasingly, how public funding is utilized. And if MAP-21 becomes law, MPOs will have even greater decision making power. + Read more
6. Fired Up for the First-Ever National Bike to School Day
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 – in conjunction with National Bike Month
Adding to the fun and excitement of National Bike Month in May will be the first-ever National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 9, 2012! “Celebrating Bike to School Day will increase the excitement surrounding 2012 National Bike Month,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists and National Partnership Steering Committee member. “Bike Month – including Bike to Work Week and Bike to Work Day – has grown year after year and we’re pleased to add a school-and kid-focused event to the celebration this year.” National Bike to School Day will be a great way to generate excitement about bicycling and reinforce safe bicycling skills; events can take place on May 9 and other days throughout May. Share your photos and stories with us on our Facebook page and for step-by-step guidance in planning your Bike to School Day activity, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org launching on April 9.
7. Roadmaps to Health Call for Grant Applications and County Health Rankings Release
Proposals are due May 2 for 2012 Roadmaps to Health
The 2012 Roadmaps to Health Community Grants call for proposals is now available, and there will be a webinar for potential applicants on April 10. The grants will support two-year state and local efforts among policymakers, business, education, health care, public health and community organizations. Up to 20 coalitions will be awarded grants to create policy or system change to address the social and economic factors that impact the health of people in their community.
County Health Rankings will be released on April 3, along with an opportunity to apply for prize funding. This collection of 50 reports – one per state – helps community leaders see that where we live, learn, work, and play influences how healthy we are and how long we live. +Read more
8. Weight of the Nation Documentary Series Airing on HBO
Airing May 14-16, documentary shines spotlight on obesity epidemic
Following on the heels of April’s Public Health Week focus, May will shine a spotlight on the national obesity epidemic during a four-part documentary series Weight of the Nation airing on HBO May 14 through 16. Be sure to check out the Weight of the Nation website which will soon feature trailers and more information about screenings across the country. The National Partnership is committed to growing awareness about Safe Routes to School, keep on top of all that is happening to grow the movement on our Facebook and Twitter sites and our new blogs.
9. Highlighted Blogs
Check out some recent blogs from National Partnership staff
It's a No Brainer: Active Kids = Smarter Kids
Managing Our Systems for an Effective State and National Learning Network
10. Featured States
Highlighting Arkansas and California
In the most recent application call, Arkansas received 36 applications requesting approximately $7 million dollars in projects. Because of the limited funds only 20 applications were selected with a budget of $1.5 million. As usual, the request for funding far outweighs what is available to applicants. +Read more
On October 17, 2011, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) awarded $66 million to local and regional agencies for a total of 139 federally-funded Safe Routes to School projects.
A total of 99 infrastructure projects for approximately $50 million were funded with a maximum funding award of $900,000. The types of projects that were funded include bike lanes, traffic calming, sidewalks and other safety projects to benefit children walking and bicycling to school. Up to 10 percent of the construction funds could be used in a combined project to encourage the safe use of the infrastructure improvements. +Read more
Safe Routes to School News throughout the Country
- Streetfilms: America Tells Congress to Preserve Bike/Ped Funding, including Deb Hubsmith
- Springfield, MO: Doctor Speaks-Up for Safe Routes to School on Capitol Hill
- Los Angeles, CA: Middle School Student Writes Letter to Local Councilman for More Bikes Lanes
Help Grow the National Partnership!
Joining the National Partnership is free. Please encourage other organizations, schools, businesses, and government agencies to join the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, a network of more than 550 organizations and agencies.
Funding for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership has been generously provided by the Bikes Belong Coalition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kaiser Permanente, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, SRAM Cycling Fund, individuals and partner affiliates.
For more information, contact: