Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #114: August 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.
To receive future issues of E-News, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- #10YearsofSRTS: Smart Steps and a Clear Vision
- Save the Date for the Fifth Safe Routes to School National Conference
- The Latest from Capitol Hill
- Myrtle Beach Reaches Complete Streets Finish Line
- Safe Routes Partnership Welcomes Two New Board Members
- Beat the Heat with Fire Up Your Feet
- Washington’s Gov. Inslee Protects Historic Bicycle and Pedestrian Investments
- Register for our Next Webinar: The 6 Es of Walk to School Day Encouragement
- News from the Field
- Highlighted Blogs
When Deb Hubsmith founded the Safe Routes Partnership in 2005, her vision for the Safe Routes to School movement was much broader than the $612 million in initial funding outlined in the SAFETEA-LU legislation. From the very beginning, Hubsmith believed that Safe Routes to School had the potential to transform our cities and towns into healthy, active communities where all people can walk, bicycle, and be physically active. But first, she recognized that from the get-go, states would need guidance and leadership to administrate the program successfully and effectively.
In our latest installment of the #10YearsofSRTS blog series, read about how Hubsmith, with support from PeopleForBikes, created a national network of organizations, agencies, and individuals who have grown the movement for Safe Routes to School and healthy community design.
Don't miss this opportunity to join the American Heart Association's Carter Headrick in showing our gratitude and appreciation to Deb Hubsmith for her tenacious pursuit of Safe Routes to School and making the world a better place for us all.
April 5-7, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio
Save the date for this essential opportunity to join hundreds of advocates and supporters from around the country for networking and sharing best practices, with leading keynote and breakout sessions that will inform and inspire your work. Plus, you'll have plenty of time to network and share with colleagues from across the country in Ohio's vibrant capital city Columbus, named the 2015 Intelligent Community of the Year. More information will be coming soon to http://www.saferoutesconference.org.
Start thinking now about the sessions you would like to present. The call for proposals will be open September 8 through October 31.
Building on last month, Congress continued full steam ahead on a transportation bill, only to run into a roadblock at the last minute. Early in the month, the Senate Commerce committee passed its portion of the transportation bill, which was combined with the bill that the Senate EPW Committee had passed in June, plus transit and funding provisions. After several weeks of speeches, negotiations and attempts to offer amendments, the Senate passed the DRIVE Act on July 30 with a vote of 65-34. Most of our asks for strengthening the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) were included, as was Complete Streets language. Even so, there is room for improvement in the overall bill in many areas.
With the expiration of transportation funding and policy looming, the House opted to give themselves more time to either review the DRIVE Act or come up with their own bill and funding. So both the House and Senate passed an extension of the current MAP-21 law and funding through October. We will be shifting our focus to the House to push for further improvements from the Senate bill. For the first time, it does appear that both the House and Senate are united in wanting the transportation debate settled by year’s end.
The oceanfront city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – permanent population 27,000 – explodes with tourists and temporary workers from all over the world during the summer. With as many as 450,000 people congregating on the seven-mile stretch of beachfront, restaurants, and shops in any given week in the summer, it’s critical that the town’s transportation system is able to handle the large influx of visitors. Central to the experience of visiting Myrtle Beach is the ability to get out of the car and enjoy the town by foot or by bike. Inspired by the Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets, Myrtle Beach worked with the Safe Routes Partnership’s technical assistance team to develop and pass a Complete Streets policy, ensuring that the needs and safety of people bicycling and walking will be considered in all public and private projects going forward. Read more on our blog.
The Safe Routes Partnership is pleased to welcome two new members to the board of directors. Alice Cahn and Michael Payne bring a wealth of experience, the willingness to roll up their sleeves and get to work as well as a commitment to the sustainability of our organization.
Alice Cahn is a consultant and project director in the social responsibility and youth and family media business. Most recently Alice spent 10 years at Turner Broadcasting directing content and the development of pro-social initiatives across divisions.
Michael Payne has served as Executive Director of BikeHouston since January 2014. He joined with the goal of taking BikeHouston from being a volunteer organization with limited resources to a professionally staffed, self-sustaining bicycle advocacy organization. Before joining BikeHouston Michael spent 16 years working on sustainable development issues in the private sector.
You can read more about the Safe Routes Partnership Board of Directors and its other members here.
Summer is still in full swing, but it won’t be long before we're organizing back-to-school supplies and packing up backpacks. Squeeze the most out of these fleeting summer days by being active as a family! Some of our favorite summer activities include bike rides to the local park, morning walks before the sun starts sizzling, and classic neighborhood games like capture the flag and hide and seek. Meanwhile, be inspired by more stories from cool schools.
Last month, just days after the Washington state legislature passed landmark legislation authorizing $325 million for Safe Routes to School and bicycle and pedestrian funding, advocates were stunned to learn that Governor Inslee was considering accepting the “poison pill” that would wipe away the historic investments in bicycling and walking in exchange for a low carbon fuel standard. Over the course of eight days, advocates and champions of bicycling and walking worked furiously to mobilize Washingtonians to send the message to Governor Inslee that there was “broad, bipartisan and statewide support for a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build bikeways and safer sidewalks for Washingtonians.”
Thanks to the quick action from Washington Bikes and other statewide and national groups, the Inslee administration announced they would retain the investments. Read more from Washington Bikes.
Wednesday, September 2 at 1:00 pm Eastern
The 6 E’s of Walk to School Day Encouragement
- Energizes the school community
- Efficiently planned
- Engages volunteers
- Equity ensures easy participation for all students, staff and parents
- Elected officials are present and recognized
- Extras like walk audits, bike parking and Fire Up Your Feet to take your event to the next level!
Whether this is your first time coordinating a Walk to School Day event, or whether you’re a Walk to School Day pro looking for fresh tips and ideas, the Safe Routes Partnership and our partners are here to help you incorporate the 6 E’s and ensure your most successful event yet!
Continued Support for the Bay Area's Regional Safe Routes to School Program
There is good news coming from the San Francisco Bay Area. Staff for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has proposed continuing to fund the Regional Safe Routes to School (RSTS) program for an additional six years at $5 million per year from Cycle 2 of the One Bay Area Grant (OBAG). This continued support for Safe Routes to School ensures that children will benefit from healthier, safer communities. Read more here.
A Brief History Lesson: Academic Performance and Physical Activity (Christina Galardi)
From Coast to Coast, Canada Has Crossed a Protected Bike Lane Tipping Point (PeopleForBikes)