March 2015 E-news

Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #109: March 2015

Safe Routes to School E-News is a monthly email newsletter published by the Safe Routes Partnership (Safe Routes 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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  1. The Latest from Capitol Hill 
  2. Conference Updates from Staff Around the Country
  3. Join Us for Our Next Webinar: Biking and Communities of Color: Friend or Foe?
  4. Save the Date for the Fire Up Your Feet Spring Challenge
  5. New Safe Routes Partnership Resources Translated into Español
  6. See What’s New in the Shared Use Clearinghouse
  7. Register for National Bike to School Day
  8. News from the Field
  9. Highlighted Blogs

1. The Latest from Capitol Hill

What’s at stake this spring in Congress

While Congress debates about how to fund our transportation shortfall, the transportation committees are actively working on drafting the policy and making decisions.  That means this spring is a critical time to make our voices heard on behalf of Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking.  Read our federal update to learn more about what we’ll be pushing for on Capitol Hill this spring and how we can connect at the National Bike Summit from March 10-12 in Washington, DC. 

2. Conference Updates from Staff Around the Country

Motivational speeches and exciting news from San Diego to Washington, DC

With staff attending various conferences last month, we thought it would be inspiring to share some motivational highlights from their experiences:

  • Partnership for a Healthier America’s Building a Healthier Future Summit - Our Fire Up Your Feet Program has been a supporter of Let's Move! Active Schools, and we are excited to announce that the entire Safe Routes Partnership now joins with Let's Move! Active Schools and will be working together to ensure our schools and communities are designed to move.  Learn more about how your school can benefit from Let's Move! Active Schools.
  • Project Play Summit – the new surgeon general, Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A shared how he hopes to “help move sports out of the entertainment category and into the health category”, and we were on hand to keep up the drumbeat of shared use agreements, walking and bicycling along with our friends from Specialized, Kaboom! and the YMCA.  Check out the recently released, Sport for All, Play for Life: A Playbook to Get Every Kid in the Game. (especially play number five!)
  • Active Living Research - Sara Zimmerman, technical assistance director, accepted the Translating Research to Policy Award, on behalf of Deb Hubsmith, founder of the Safe Routes Partnership. Deb's energy and effervescence in her advocacy work was praised, as well as her role in advocating for research and using it to inform practice.  Thank you ALR and thank you Deb for your continued leadership and tenacity. 

3. Join Us for Our Next Webinar: Biking and Communities of Color: Friend or Foe?

March 18, 2015 at 1:00pm ET - register here

When advocating for improvements to community safety, health, physical activity and food access, there is one common solution - mobility.  Having active transportation options to access one's everyday needs is a right that everyone should have.  Biking in communities of color is not new, yet, in so many neighborhoods, the appearance of protected lanes is deemed the beginning of gentrification.  Fortunately, there are bike advocates around the country who are producing results that show biking as a solution to community revitalization and not a trigger for displacement.

4. Save the Date for the Fire Up Your Feet Spring Challenge

More ways to win and support your active school this spring

The dates have been released for the Fire Up Your Feet Spring Challenge! Spring, walk or bike into action April 13 to May 15, 2015 in all regions excluding Oregon and SW Washington which will be May 1-31. Register now and take advantage of resources and information to help your school stay active and encourage walking and bicycling all year long.

This spring, Fire Up Your Feet is offering even more awards to schools participating in the Fire Up Your Feet Activity Challenge. With multiple awards in several categories, your school has even more chances to win awards to support physical activity and wellness programs.

5. New Safe Routes Partnership Resources Translated into Español

 The Safe Routes Partnership is excited to share two publications we recently translated into Español – Overcoming Obstacles in Underserved Communities (Superación de los Obstáculos en las Comunidades Marginadas) and Using the Transportation Alternatives Program of MAP-21 to Impact Your Local Community (Usando el Programa de Alternativas de Transporte de MAP-21 para  Impactar a Su Comunidad Local). Help spread the word about these two great resources now available in Español to assist communities in navigating federal policy to best support healthy community design and active transportation in marginalized communities. 

6. See What’s New in the Shared Use Clearinghouse

Have you visited our Shared Use Clearinghouse recently? With hundreds of resources already categorized for easy searchability and new resources being added as they are developed, the clearinghouse provides a space for existing shared use efforts to connect to each other and elevate the national discourse around shared use. Browse through the clearinghouse and check out our highlighted resources – ranging from reports on joint use to videos showing examples of shared use projects to inform and inspire your local efforts. 

7. Register for National Bike to School Day

Bike to School Day is May 6, 2015. At the Walk and Bike to School website, you can see who is biking in 2015 (more than 2,200 schools participated in 2014) and find useful planning tools like safety tips, how to get the community involved, how to best build excitement around your event, promotional ideas and more. National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for schools across the country to join together to celebrate and to build off of the energy of National Bike Month, and can be a great way to motivate both kids and adults in your community to add physical activity into their daily lives through bicycling to school. So register your event and start planning today!

8. News from the Field

California Communities Gear Up for Cycle 2 of the Active Transportation Program

California communities are preparing for the second call for applications under the Active Transportation Program (ATP), which is expected to be issued on March 26, 2015, with applications due on May 31.  According to CalTrans, the total available for funding under the ATP’s Cycle 2 is $360 million.  The Safe Routes Partnership, along with other key partners, hosts a webinar on Wednesday, March 11 to prepare for ATP Cycle II, and will have resources for potential applicants on the state website. You can register for it today by clicking here.

9. Highlighted Blogs

A Movement for Healthier and Happier Lives (Community Commons)
Interactive Map: How Americans Get to Work (

For more information, contact:

Margaux Mennesson, Communications Manager
Safe Routes Partnership