Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #80: September 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 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. National Partnership Releases Air Quality Report
Safe Routes to School and Traffic Pollution: Get Children Moving and Reduce Exposure to Unhealthy Air
The National Partnership is pleased to announce the release of a new resource guide, Safe Routes to School and Traffic Pollution: Get Children Moving and Reduce Exposure to Unhealthy Air, produced with Consulting for Health, Air, Nature, & a Greener Environment, LLC (CHANGE). It is our hope that this guide inspires practitioners around the country to pursue actions that reduce traffic pollution while also encouraging and enabling more children to safely walk and bicycle in cleaner air. This publication examines the following: the health impacts on children from exposure to traffic pollution; how Safe Routes to School programs can potentially impact children’s exposure to traffic pollution; and strategies and practice approaches that can mitigate exposure to traffic pollution. This publication was made possible through support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Public Health Association. +Read more
2. Implementing MAP-21 – the New Transportation Law
Taking the fate of Safe Routes to School into our hands
It has been two months since the new transportation law, MAP-21, was passed by Congress. And we are now one month away from October 1, when the MAP-21 provisions go into effect. While we were not pleased by the consolidation of Safe Routes to School into the new Transportation Alternatives program and the funding cuts, states do have the flexibility to maintain their Safe Routes to School processes mostly as-is and can transfer money into Transportation Alternatives to alleviate the funding cuts. For that to happen, every Safe Routes to School advocate needs to join the fight in their state to ensure that the state department of transportation makes full use of every available Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking dollar.
We urge you to take an hour to watch our webinar on the Safe Routes to school impacts of MAP-21 to get informed. And, then take a look at our checklist of concrete things you can do in the next month to take ownership over your state’s funding for Safe Routes to school and your own program. At the national level, we are engaging a wide range of national groups that can help join the state Transportation Alternatives campaigns, and are working with the US Department of Transportation to ensure that their implementation guidance is supportive of maintaining Safe Routes to School.
3. Supporting Your Efforts This Fall with Clif Kid
Partnering with Clif Kid for a healthy Walk and Bike to School Day
Clif Kid is supporting schools around the country with Walk and Bike School Day kits complete with tips for a great Safe Routes to School activities, reflective stickers, 250 Clif Kid snacks and a congratulations banner kids can sign. They are helping us build awareness through a contest and promotions that you may have seen on their Facebook page and have generously made additional kits exclusively available to us. Through school relationships with the National Partnership staff spread around the country, we are reaching out to our contacts to distribute these 700 kits. You can visit our website and share the link to the landing page with your contacts to receive one of our exclusive kits – but hurry they are going fast!
4. Safe Routes to School National Conference to Be Held in Sacramento
Save the date: August 13-15, 2013!
Drum roll please. The fourth Safe Routes to School National Conference will be taking place in Sacramento, California from August 13-15, 2013. The local host, Local Government Commission (LGC), was chosen through a very competitive application process. The Local Government Commission brings many valuable partners to the table that will build on the successes of past conferences and make this an extraordinary learning opportunity for Safe Routes to School practitioners, advocates, policymakers and government employees. So mark your calendars and plan to join us in Sacramento. You won’t want to miss this Conference! You can sign up for updates from the conference organizers today at www.saferoutesconference.org, and check out the official press release here.
5. State Network Project News
Acting on action plans
The state network project’s advocacy organizers have been hard at work on many tasks, and they just completed one of the most critical - the action plans. Each of the network states has prepared its own action plan that is being presented to their respective networks for comment and adoption. The action plans are public, living documents that are reviewed and revised regularly. The plans serve as an important tool for the state advocacy organizer to get stakeholders and other interested people to the table, providing for a focused dialogue on starting a collaboration process. From there they can get into the details of policy change. +Read more
6. Regional Network Project News
Motivating updates from our regions
As our children head back to school, they receive a significant share of attention in the media and elsewhere. National Partnership staff working at the regional level have had various opportunities to remind their partners and constituents that our work focuses on children, too. Whether it’s keeping them safe, improving their health or giving them opportunities to find their passions, we have shared our recent experiences. Check it out. We hope you are inspired and motivated, too.
7. September Is National Childhood Obesity Month
Celebrate by walking and bicycling to school
Every person in the US can be an important part of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month by taking small steps (think walking and bicycling to school!) that add up to a big difference: eating more balanced meals and snacks, engaging in physical activity more regularly and sharing your personal plan and commitment with family and friends of all ages. We encourage you to use Childhood Obesity Month to get ready for Walk and Bike to School Day (October 3) and Month (the whole month of October). +Read more
8. Two New Complete Streets Resources
Complete Streets is growing in popularity; 146 new policies adopted nationwide in 2011
In August, the National Complete Streets Coalition released two new Complete Streets resources, the Complete Streets Local Policy Workbook, a guide based in existing examples from around the country to help walk you through developing the right policy for your community, and the latest edition of Complete Streets Policy Analysis, where you can find many examples of well-written existing policy language, often in your own region or state. They strongly encourage you to think carefully about your community’s needs, vision and goals. Draw from existing best practices, but be sure to tailor that language to best fit your community.
9. Highlighted Blogs
Check out some recent blogs from National Partnership staff
School Districts: The Key to Our Success?
We’ve Got You Covered: Geographic-Specific Research
10. Featured States
Highlighting Virginia and Washington
In March of 2012, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) announced the selection of 28 schools in 18 localities throughout the Commonwealth to receive infrastructure funding totaling $5.9 million. The projects selected for funding include a variety of treatments to improve walking and bicycling conditions. These include the traditional sidewalk projects as well as a few trails, crosswalks, signage and a school dropoff/pickup area redesigned to more safely accommodate pedestrians. +Read more
The Washington State Safe Routes to School program has strong state support. In 2005, the state legislature made a 16 year commitment towards the safety of children walking and bicycling to school. Since that time there have been: four complete funding cycles; $31 million awarded – about $21 million in federal funds and $10 million in state funds; a 21 percent increase in children walking and bicycling to school; Washington State Safe Routes to School was codified into state law RCW 47.04.300 in 2009; and 95 projects – with 39 complete and 56 underway. The most common project activities have been sidewalks, crosswalk improvements, traffic calming measures, shared use paths, increased emphasis traffic patrols and education/promotion (such as walk to school day). Examples of recently completed Safe Routes to School projects are available online. +Read more
Safe Routes to School News throughout the Country
Butte, MT: Safe Routes Planned for Six Local Schools
Columbia, MO: Police Step Up School Zone Enforcement
New Jersey Wheels Out $175K in Bike Path Aid
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 600 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.
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