Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #112: June 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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- Director's Outlook: Help Inform Our Strategic Direction
- The Latest from Capitol Hill
- New Research on the Impact of Safe Routes to School Programs on Walking and Bicycling
- Celebrating 10 Years of Safe Routes to School
- Register for Our Next Webinar: When Safe Routes to School Meets Violence Prevention
- Welcome Our New Senior California Policy Manager
- Fire Up Your Feet Awards Announced
- News from the Field
- Highlighted Blogs
1. Director's Outlook: Help Inform Our Strategic Direction
Dedication. Passion. Commitment. These are all words that describe our Safe Routes to School champions across the nation, as evidenced not only by the great turnout for Bike to School Day but also by the increases we continue to see in bicycling and walking to school. As the school year winds down for our students, teachers, school administrators and parents, I must say thank you to all of you for your efforts this year to continue to drive change for our children and communities. We all know that active kids do better, and we know that walking and bicycling to school should be the norm. While it has only been two months since I took the position of Executive Director for the Safe Routes Partnership, I still could not be more excited and committed to supporting and expanding our work for many years to come. As such, I have an invitation for you.
Five years ago, the Safe Routes Partnership released a strategic plan after an extensive process to garner input from the field, champions, staff and partners. This summer we are gearing up to start this process again. Those of you reading this e-newsletter are key stakeholders who give passion and power to our movement every day. What challenges do you see impacting our work to encourage biking and walking to school and in everyday life? What opportunities are there that we have not harnessed? What would you like the Safe Routes Partnership to do in the future to help your efforts? Send me your comments email@example.com — we want to hear from you! Read more on our blog.
2. The Latest from Capitol Hill
Is it Groundhog Day? Federal Transportation Bill Extended Again
Congress has once again voted to extend current transportation law--this time only until July 2015. Two months from now we could face a make-or-break moment--can Congress actually do a long-term bill with a funding solution or will they extend current law again? Members of Congress continue to debate, and some critics point to the tiny amount of bicycle and pedestrian spending as one of the reasons for our transportation funding shortfall. Learn more and take action to counter critics in our latest federal policy blog.
3. New Research on the Impact of Safe Routes to School Programs on Walking and Bicycling
Research studies indicate that Safe Routes to School has increased rates of walking and biking and improved safety. Studies also show the program is an economically sound investment that can decrease health costs and school transport costs. Download the research review. A few research highlights show that:
- Actively commuting to and from school could improve mental and physical health.
- Unsafe routes make it harder for students to walk or bike to and from school. Safe Routes to School has made it safer for students to walk or bike to or from school.
- Communities can take action on Safe Routes to School through subdivision regulations that require sidewalks, education facility plans that ensure access to school by foot and bicycle, school wellness policies that include Safe Routes to School, and capital improvement plans that prioritize engineering improvements near schools.
Help spread the word with this sample tweet!
#SRTS has increased # of students who #walk or #bike to & from school. New report from @AL_Research bit.ly/SRTSreview
4. Celebrating 10 Years of Safe Routes to School
Did you know that it’s been 10 years since the first Safe Routes to School legislation was signed into law? August 2015 marks the 10-year anniversary of SAFETEA-LU that included $612 million for Safe Routes to School programs in all 50 states and Washington DC.
Over the past 10 years, champions for Safe Routes to School and physical activity have made extraordinary strides in states, cities, and nationwide to transform our streets and communities. As the Safe Routes Partnership celebrates our 10th anniversary, we want to hear from you about the changes your community has experienced over the past decade. Can you identify a pivotal moment that strengthened your city's commitment to walking, bicycling and healthy community design? How are things different for a child entering school in your city or state today compared to 10 years ago? Share your stories and reflections with us here.
5. Register for Our Next Webinar: When Safe Routes to School Meets Violence Prevention
Register here for our next webinar, When Safe Routes to School Meets Violence Prevention, taking place Thursday, June 25 at 10am PT/1pm ET. Speakers will talk about the impacts of violence on youth and communities, strategies to make routes to school safe from violence and crime and how we can work collaboratively to create communities where kids can be active and safe.
- Carmen Burks, Safe Routes to School Program Director, Cincinnati Public Schools
- Jamecca Marshall, Program Manager, Prevention Institute
- Sara Zimmerman, Technical Assistance Director, Safe Routes Partnership
6. Welcome Our New Senior California Policy Manager
We are excited to announce that Chanell Fletcher is joining the Safe Routes Partnership as our new Senior California Policy Manager. Chanell most recently led ClimatePlan’s state and regional policy efforts while deepening engagement in ClimatePlan activities. In 2012, Chanell was selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s internship program where she worked in the Office of the Secretary of Transportation analyzing the new transportation bill, MAP-21, and how it connected states’ performance measures and overall funding needs. Chanell received a Master’s in Public Administration from San Francisco State University and studied history at the University California, Santa Cruz. Chanell will start with the Safe Routes Partnership on June 16.
7. Fire Up Your Feet Awards Announced
“Fire Up Your Feet has really taken off. The staff participates in Fire Up Your Feet Fridays as much as the kids! It has become a great way to start off our Fridays and we look forward to it each week!” - Nevada Coordinator, Myrtle Tate Elementary
What a spring! More students, families and schools than ever before got fired up for physical activity during the Fire Up Your Feet Spring 2015 Activity Challenge. The results are rolling in, and winners have been announced in Metro Atlanta, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Southern Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia, Washington DC and Wisconsin. Click the link for each region to see a list of all the winners in your area. Winners in Oregon and SW Washington will be announced mid-June.
8. News from the Field
The Mayor of Portland’s initial proposed budget allocated $60,000 for Safe Routes to School, but after persuasive testimony from many members of the community at a budget hearing last week, the Mayor’s updated budget includes funding for the full request from Portland Bureau of Transportation for $300,000 to support expansion of Safe Routes to School programming to middle schools and high schools. It is significant win to have Portland expand their support for the 10-year-old Safe Routes to School program to include older students. More details.
9. Highlighted Blogs
Shared Use, Joint Use, Community Use, Oh My!!! (Mikaela Randolph)
Baltimore: The Historical Ramifications of Being Cut-Off (Keith Benjamin)
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