Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #108: February 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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- Save the Date for the Safe Routes to School National Conference in Columbus, Ohio
- The Latest from Capitol Hill
- Having Déjà Vu? It Must Be Groundhog Day
- North Carolina: Writing the Next Chapter of Its Transportation Legacy
- Oregon’s Malabon Elementary Wins PeopleForBikes Award with Fire Up Your Feet
- 50 Years After Selma, Taking a Stand for Health Equity and the Right to Walk Safely
- Complete Streets Reach Beyond Ethnic, Political and Regional Bounds
- News from the Field
- Highlighted Blogs
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), the Safe Routes Partnership and the National Center for Safe Routes to School are pleased to announce that the fifth Safe Routes to School National Conference will be held in Columbus, Ohio from April 5-7, 2016. The conference brings together program representatives, state departments of transportation, planners, elected officials, and community members to provide an opportunity for individuals, agencies, and organizations involved with Safe Routes to School to network, engage in educational opportunities, become inspired, and form partnerships to enhance their Safe Routes to School work. Conference information and updates will be posted at www.saferoutesconference.org.
Congress Casts About for New Funding Solution
As the new Congress convenes, pressure is on legislators to keep transportation dollars flowing. The current transportation law, MAP-21, expires in just four months in May 2015. Congress must find at least $16 billion per year just to keep transportation spending at current levels. Read our federal update to learn more about the funding options being floated on Capitol Hill.
In addition, we applaud Secretary Foxx for challenging mayors to make bicycling and walking safer. Has your mayor made the pledge?
In honor of the classic movie Groundhog Day, each Mondayduring the month of February we’ll be highlighting a different webinar from our archives on our Facebook page. New to the Safe Routes to School movement? Catch up on concepts like building your own Safe Routes to School district policy, working together with student transportation departments, and more. Seasoned advocate? Just like Bill Murray in the movie, you’ll be surprised to find how your experiences bring new perspective to familiar lessons.
February “Groundhog Day” Webinar Schedule:
- Feb. 2: Managing and Retaining Volunteers for Long-Term Success
- Feb. 9: Build Your Own District Policy to Advance Safe Routes to School
- Feb. 16: Bicycle Safety Education: Implementing the Best Curriculum for Your Community
- Feb 23: Buses, Boots and Bicycles: Getting SRTS and Student Transportation Departments to Work Together
The Safe Routes Partnership has published a new report, “North Carolina: Writing the Next Chapter of Its Transportation Legacy." The report considers the state of walking and bicycling infrastructure in North Carolina, citing the state’s poor track record of safety statistics for non-motorized transportation, with state funding levels for needed bicycle and pedestrian improvements falling far below what is needed or what is promised through state-level policy.
The report is being released as the newest NC General Assembly convenes in Raleigh, and calls for state agencies and policymakers to assess the wide-reaching impacts of past decisions on transportation policy and spending, particularly regarding non-motorized transportation. The report demands much greater consideration for bicyclists and pedestrians in our state, particularly in minority communities. Read more.
It all started when Malabon Elementary School parent Norene Walters’ bike was stolen from the school last September. Norene, used to staying active by biking in every morning with her three children, could have used the incident as an excuse to stop riding. Instead, she used it as motivation to get more kids and families on bikes – and earn awards from PeopleForBikes and Fire Up Your Feet to support Safe Routes to School and bike to school programs at Malabon Elementary. Read more about Norene’s story on PeopleForBikes.org.
Save the date for the Fire Up Your Feet Spring Activity Challenge! Check the dates for your state or region here.
When Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders decided to march from Selma to Montgomery 50 years ago, their attempt to do something as simple as walking was viewed as blatant insubordination. While America has come a long way from those days, there are still many around the country who do not have the right and ability to access certain areas. Read reflections on health, equity and race and our challenge to build an equitable movement on our blog.
Whether around the lakes in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on the Omaha Reservation in Walthill, Nebraska, or in the small immigrant Village of Sodus, New York, making sure streets are safe for everyone to walk, bike or take a bus has no ethnic, political or regional bounds. As each community faces different challenges, there is a national focus to ensure that rural, lower income communities and communities of color are able to advance healthy community design through Complete Streets policies. Read more on PreventObesity.net.
In the Portland metropolitan region, January ended with the launch of a new series, “How We Get There Matters” anIntertwine Alliance forum on active transportation sponsored in partnership with Metro, the Safe Routes Partnership’s regional network in the Pacific Northwest, and Portland State University’s Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation. More than 70 attendees participated in the forum on January 27. Representatives from planning, advocacy organizations, health, environment, trails, finance, and more came together to discuss different ways to define “projects of regional significance” and help develop plans to guide future investments in transportation. More information.
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