The use of policing as a way to keep Black and Brown people under control is not new. Policing has long been used as a way to uphold racial segregation and to keep Black, Brown, Indigenous and other people of color in check. Policing has been applied as a way to keep white people seemingly safe and separate from ‘the other.’
The United Way of Central Alabama started work on Safe Routes to School as part of a pilot where community members identified student safety and walkability high on their list of priorities. After funding in 2012 through RWJF Healthy Kids Healthy Communities and the CDC Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiatives, they rolled out a walking school bus program and support other bicycle and pedestrian education and advocacy efforts.
Safe Routes to School has been a formal program through the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) since 2012 when the city council adopted a strategic plan and a Pedestrian Coordinator position was brought into the department. That role has now evolved into a singular SRTS coordinator. In recent years, the program has been built on a model that is grounded in a close relationship with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
After waiting until nearly halfway through FY2018 to set spending levels, Congress is out of the gate quickly on the FY19 appropriations process. The process of setting spending levels is easier this year, because the FY18 spending package included a two-year agreement on funding levels that were significantly more generous than what the Trump administration had proposed. As an example, the transportation-housing spending max spending level for FY19 is more than $1 billion higher than the FY18 cap, w