Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #113: July 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.
- Safe Routes to School: The Story Begins
- Two New Reports Explore Equity and Violence Prevention in Active Transportation
- Register for our Next Webinar on Active Transportation and Equity
- Join the Conversation on Intergenerational Walking
- The Latest from Capitol Hill
- Portland Moves to Adopt Vision Zero Policy
- The Benefits of Cities that are Designed to Move
- News from the Field
- Highlighted Blogs
The year was 1999. The place: Marin County, California. A pair of women, Deb Hubsmith and Wendi Kallins, were carpooling to coalition meetings in support of a rail line from Marin County to Sonoma when they began brainstorming how to start a school-based program that would encourage non-motorized transportation to school.
That grassroots effort, inspired by similar programs in Denmark and Massachusetts, would eventually become a national Safe Routes to School program in all 50 states and Washington, DC. In the decade since the birth of Safe Routes to School nationally in 2005, guided by Hubsmith's leadership and vision for Safe Routes to School, our nation has undergone profound changes in the way we think about the intersection of health and physical activity, of transportation and community design, and of equity and active transportation.
As we celebrate #10yearsofSRTS and the 10th anniversary of the Safe Routes Partnership this summer and leading up to the National Conference in April, we will be publishing a series of blog posts highlighting pivotal moments in the evolution of Safe Routes to School and the intersection of health and physical activity.
Celebrate with us. Read the beginning of the story on our blog, and share your own story with us.
We all need transportation to get to school and work, buy food, find housing, and live our daily lives. But low-income people and people of color in the United States face transportation hurdles that can mean that just accessing basic needs is time consuming, dangerous, and almost impossible – and that can include the trip to school.
The Safe Routes Partnership has released two new reports that explore the issues that arise when social inequities and the threat of violence create barriers to active transportation and opportunity for low-income communities and people of color. These publications were made possible through a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Public Health Association.
At the Intersection of Active Transportation and Equity: Joining Forces to Make Communities Healthier and Fairer explores the complexities of equitable active transportation and the issues that arise at the junction of efforts to advance walking and bicycling and work to increase health, fairness, and opportunity for all communities.
Taking Back the Streets and Sidewalks: How Safe Routes to School and Community Safety Initiatives Can Overcome Violence and Crime provides a primer for Safe Routes to School professionals looking to address community safety threats that may discourage or endanger students walking or bicycling to school, explains the relevance of Safe Routes to School to violence prevention proponents, and sets out strategies for collaborating to reduce violence and crime, and increase safety and health for children and youth.
Active Transportation and Equity: Key Challenges and Opportunities from the Field
Tuesday, July 21 at 10am PT/1pm ET
As the United States is wrestling with race and class in many arenas, these issues have come to the forefront in the world of walking, bicycling, and Safe Routes to School. Straight talk on equity is welcome when it comes to active transportation, health and safety -- but what does equity and active transportation mean in practice at the local and regional level? Join the Safe Routes Partnership's webinar to hear why equity is crucial in the world of active transportation, how equity is being prioritized in the field, and learn about best practices in bridging the gap between community need and active transportation's benefits.
This month, we're excited to lead conversations on intergenerational#walking with Every Body Walk. Growing up walking to school, the park, and other destinations sets kids on a path of lifelong health and wellness. That's why we're committed to advancing Safe Routes to School, Complete Streets, and other policies that ensure kids can walk safely in their communities. Join us and share your reflections on intergenerational walking with Every Body Walk on Facebook and Twitter this month!
After months of fits and starts on transportation, June was a very busy month on Capitol Hill with progress for Safe Routes to School, bicycling, and walking. During consideration of a transportation appropriations bill, the House rejected an amendment that would have prevented local jurisdictions from creating safe routes to transit—a victory that also provides a yardstick for how Representatives might vote on similar bicycling and walking issues.
And in the Senate, the Committee on Environment and Public Works passed its six-year transportation bill, the DRIVE Act. While we’d like to see a few more refinements, the bill sustains the Transportation Alternatives Program and shifts decision-making on TAP projects to the local level. Finally, both the Senate Finance and the House Ways and Means Committees held hearings on how to solve the transportation funding shortfall, with the July 31 expiration of the current transportation law looming.
Stay tuned—during July we are likely to see further committee action on transportation and a floor debate over another extension to current law.
No loss of life is acceptable on our city streets
After a series of incomprehensible tragedies happened in the City of Portland and the surrounding region this past May, advocates and activists issued a strong call for a citywide commitment to Vision Zero. With much of the groundwork already laid -- our partners Oregon Walks and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance had been pushing for a Vision Zero policy for more than five years -- City Council was positioned to act quickly, and they did. After passionate testimony and discussion, Portland City Council adopted the Vision Zero resolution unanimously. Read more about how Portland aims to achieve zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries by 2025.
An active city prioritizes physical activity in all of the places people work, learn, live travel, and play. And more than 500 findings support the benefits of cities that are designed to move – including economic growth, better safety, a cleaner environment, improved health of community members, and a more engaged society.
A new report, Designed to Move: Active Cities, is a blueprint for city leaders in creating an active city, regardless of city size or location. The report shows that cities with physically active populations are not only more economically competitive - they also benefit from increased productivity, improved school performance, higher property values, and improved health and well-being.
Ohio Safe Routes Academy Puts "Meat on the Bones" of Local Programs
The “meat” of successful, sustained Safe Routes to School programs is found in applying actions from the four non-infrastructure “E’s” – education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation. But people often wonder what projects, programs, and policies are out there, and how will they work in MY community? Ohio is paving the way to for communities to explore those questions through the Safe Routes Academy, a series of grant-funded, on-demand workshops designed to provide training on how to implement non-infrastructure walking and bicycling safety programs beneficial for students, families, and residents in Ohio. Read More.
Graduate Student Learns to Count on Walk and Bike to School Day (Christina Galardi)
Schools Bank Extra Credit With PeopleForBikes and Let’s Move!Active Schools (Fire Up Your Feet)