Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #101: July 2014
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 email@example.com.
In this issue:
- Shared Use Clearinghouse Elevates National Discourse Around Resources and Best Practices
- Buses, Boots, and Bicycles: Exploring Collaboration Between Safe Routes to School and School Busing Professionals
- The Latest from Capitol Hill
- We’re Hiring a Southern California Policy Manager
- Challenge Awards Go to 91 Schools to Support Walking, Bicycling and Physical Activity
- Join Us at our Annual Meeting at ProWalk ProBike
- New Report Aims to Catalyze Improvements to Modeling and Data Collection
- Partner Highlight: PeopleForBikes
- News from the field: Southern States
- Highlighted blogs
School districts and municipal organizations increasingly see shared use agreements as one of the most promising strategies to create opportunities for physical activity within a neighborhood or community. As the trend of shared use spreads across the country, easy access to up-to-date information and resources is key to ensuring that shared use agreements become an indispensable part of any community’s toolkit to improve public health and increase physical activity.
That’s why the Safe Routes Partnership is excited to announce the launch of the Shared Use Clearinghouse, a website designed to improve access to shared use resources that will aid communities and school districts in developing successful shared use agreement. With hundreds of resources already categorized for easy searchability and new resources being added as they are developed, the clearinghouse will provide a space for existing shared use efforts to connect to each other and help elevate the national discourse around shared use.
Student transportation departments usually focus on busing children to school, but there is great potential for collaboration with Safe Routes to School advocates. Buses, Boots, and Bicycles: Exploring Collaboration Between Safe Routes to School and School Busing Professionals to Get Children to School Safely and Healthily, a new report released by the Safe Routes Partnership, presents a comprehensive look at student transportation in the United States and proposes ways that Safe Routes to School professionals and transportation directors could collaborate more effectively to ensure that all children safely access their local schools.Download the report here.
On July 17 at 2 p.m. Eastern, the Safe Routes Partnership is hosting a free webinar with representatives from student transportation departments and Safe Routes to School programs to discuss the implications of the report and to share experiences and ideas for working together. Register here.
No Clear Path Forward for Transportation Financing in Washington D.C., New State of the States Report
Here in Washington D.C., we had all hoped lawmakers would come up with a four to six year solution to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent. Yet we are now facing the unfortunate reality that at least one short term patch will be required to give Members of Congress time to sort through a growing stack of short and long-term financing plans. A failure to extend the trust fund beyond July could jeopardize 112,000 construction projects, nearly 700,000 jobs, and of course, Safe Routes to School projects across the country. In this week’s blog we look at several proposals put forward by lawmakers, new attacks on TAP funding by Senator Toomey (R-PA), and some good news for Safe Routes to School in our newest quarterly State of the States Report. Read more on our blog.
Apply by July 16
The Safe Routes Partnership is seeking to hire a regional policy manager in Southern California. The regional policy manager maintains the regional network in Southern California (including the counties of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura, as well as San Diego County). The goal is to increase funding and improve policies that result in more infrastructure and programs to support safe walking and bicycling for children and families, especially in lower-income communities. Click here for the full job description.
Students, families and school staff at 91 schools have a reason to celebrate this summer, because their efforts at tracking their physical activity helped them earn awards in the Fire Up Your Feet Spring Challenge! Challenge Awards will help schools support walking school bus programs, the purchase of bike racks, safety vests, incentives for Walking Wednesdays, and much more. The enthusiasm among students, parents and teachers also shows how demand is rising for physical activity and school wellness. Click here for a list of all the winning schools.
The fall activity challenge takes place October 1-31, 2014 and is open to any K-8 school in select states and regions. Register now for the October Fire Up Your Feet challenge and we’ll send you reminders as the school year starts up again! Also, be sure to check out our healthy fundraising option for your next school fundraiser, available for any school group across the country.
Join the Safe Routes Partnership for networking with fellow Safe Routes to School advocates and discussion of topics important to you at roundtable breakout groups. The meeting will be held during the ProWalk ProBike conference on September 10 in Pittsburgh. Lunch will be provided to those that RSVP in advance. Click here to RSVP.
To better understand the current state of active transportation data collection and modeling in California, the Safe Routes Partnership regional network project staff conducted a series of structured interviews with modeling professionals across California in the fall of 2013. The Safe Routes Partnership has compiled the results from these interviews into a report titledImproving Modeling and Data Collection to Improve Active Transportation to provide policy makers a series of recommendations they can implement to improve data collection and modeling for active transportation. While this report specifically focused on efforts in California, many of the recommendations will apply to states across the nation.
Our longtime partner PeopleForBikes has been busy this summer spreading the word about making bicycling better for everyone, including at the Tour de France – how cool is that? PeopleForBikes is the movement to improve bicycling in the U.S. By collaborating with millions of individual riders, businesses, community leaders, and elected officials, we’re uniting Americans to boost bicycling on a national level for results that can be seen locally. Add your name to the movement at www.peopleforbikes.org and make bicycling better in your community!
Momentum is building for walking and bicycling in the southern United States. For evidence, just look to cities like Memphis, TN, which just opened up a car-free corridor along the Mississippi River, and the state of Tennessee, which recently became the first southern state to endorse NACTO’s urban street design guide.
Seeking to broaden these effects to the rest of the region, where many communities still face hurdles in supporting walking and bicycling, the Safe Routes Partnership recently hosted four focus groups with the goal of identifying the greatest challenges to widespread adoption of active transportation in the South. These focus groups brought together diverse stakeholders from eight different states, with voices from government, private companies, non-profits, and medical organizations. The State Network team is generating a report with the key takeaways from these focus groups, which will be available in a few weeks.
Do you have a success story to share from a southern state? Tell us!
For more information, contact: