May 2012

Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #76: May 2012

Happy National Bike to School Day! Share your stories on our Facebook events page.

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 500 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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In this issue:

1. CDC Gives the Safe Routes Partnership the “Game Changer” Award at Weight of the Nation

2. Weight of the Nation Spotlight Grows

3. Local Host Sought for Safe Routes to School National Conference

4. The Latest from Capitol Hill

5. Safe Routes to School State of the States Quarterly Update

6. State Network Project News

7. Regional Network Project News

8. Safe Routes Partnership’s Call for Steering Committee Nominations

9. Highlighted Blogs

10. Featured States

1. CDC Gives the Safe Routes Partnership the "Game Changer" Award at Weight of the Nation

In recognition of its seven-year track record promoting safe walking and bicycling routes to school for children and fighting obesity, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented the Safe Routes Partnership with the 2012 Game Changer Award. Safe Routes Partnership director, Deb Hubsmith, accepted the award at the Weight of the Nation Conference in Washington, DC, a gathering of public policy-makers and health leaders engaged in obesity prevention and control initiatives. Read our press release and our blog.

2. Weight of the Nation Spotlight Grows
HBO documentary airing May 14 and 15

Start making plans now to take a front row seat next Monday and Tuesday as HBO launches an unprecedented public health campaign and documentary series, The Weight of the Nation. The Weight of the Nation four-part film series was developed by HBO Documentary Films and the Institute of Medicine in association with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, and in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.  We applaud our partners, the CDC and Kaiser Permanente, for their outstanding leadership with this effort and for helping to shape the discussion about obesity solutions such as Safe Routes to School.

The four-part series is just the beginning of this outreach effort. Many of our staff have already participated in local screenings of this transformative series that is prompting discussion and catalyzing local action to end obesity; you can find a list of screenings here. HBO and its partners have developed a comprehensive array of tools to encourage collaborations with local coalitions and partners to host a screening, a panel discussion or an event. Additionally, the take action section provides a personalized list of actions you can start taking right now and social media connections to spread the word and take action with others. We look forward to being a part of the continued dialogue this campaign will generate and encourage our supporters to see the documentary and participate in the discussions. Safe Routes Partnership staff is located throughout the country and may be able to participate in your local event or panel discussion, contact staff in your area or Beth Richards at

3. Local Host Sought for Safe Routes to School National Conference
Applications are due June 22

We are excited to announce that the National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Safe Routes Partnership are now seeking proposals from host agencies to organize the 4th Safe Routes to School National Conference in August 2013. This event will enhance the momentum of the Safe Routes to School movement and bring an expected 500-700 conference attendees to your city. The deadline for proposal submissions is June 22, 2012. To download the complete request, please visit  A telephone conference call will take place on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 from 1:00 - 2:30 eastern to further discuss and field questions surrounding this request for proposals (RFP). You need to register for the call in advance by visiting +Read more

4. The Latest from Capitol Hill
Transportation Conference Committee gears up

After March ended with Congress extending the current transportation law until June 30, 2012, Congress shifted gears and on April 18, the House passed another transportation extension and used that to request a conference committee with the Senate on a long-term bill. A total of 47 Members of Congress have been appointed to a conference committee to negotiate a final transportation bill. Negotiations began on May 8; we are in for an interesting ride. Stay posted for action alerts and get ready to respond to defend Safe Routes to School funding! +Read more

5. Safe Routes to School State of the States Quarterly Update
State spending rebounds in second quarter of FY12

The State of the States update for the second quarter of FY2012 shows a total of $812 million in Safe Routes to School projects announced by state Departments of Transportation, with $499 million in funding obligated. In this quarter funding announced and obligated picked up significantly. A total of 22 states had an increase in their amount announced, and all but nine states had an increase in their obligation figure. We urge all Safe Routes to School advocates to work with their state Departments of Transportation to get funds awarded and obligated. +Read more

6. State Network Project News
We are hiring in TN – help us find a high quality state advocacy organizer

The Safe Routes Partnership is looking for an energetic and dynamic professional to work as the state advocacy organizer in Tennessee. Applications are due on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm pacific with an anticipated start date of Monday, June 4, 2012. The job description and specific details on applying are included here. Spread the word to your colleagues and friends in Tennessee!

7. Regional Network Project News
Updates from three of our regions

The regional network project policy managers have been making major impacts in each of their regions in the past month. They have worked with partners throughout the region to highlight a variety of approaches taken to implement Safe Routes to School in order to promote the program and ultimately, increase demand (Greater Washington, DC). They have capitalized on relationships with other advocates and with local and regional decision-makers to leverage funding and continue to make active transportation more integral in the regional planning process (Southern California). They have framed their messages in light of specific challenges within their regions to withstand opposition and continue to push for policies that ultimately make healthier communities (San Francisco Bay Area). Contact us to get involved in influencing your region. +Read more

8. Safe Routes Partnership’s Call for Steering Committee Nominations
Deadline to apply is May 10; all nominees must be partner affiliates

The Safe Routes Partnership (Safe Routes Partnership) is still accepting nominations for several Steering Committee positions. Our Steering Committee, a diverse group of up to 21 members, functions as the Safe Routes Partnership’s Board of Directors and holds decision-making responsibility for the Safe Routes Partnership. The estimated time commitment for Steering Committee members is eight hours a month.  Applications are due May 10, 2012. For detailed information on the call for nominations and to download the nominations form, click here.

9. Highlighted Blogs
Check out some recent blogs from Safe Routes Partnership staff

A National Conversation About Bicycling to School
Hand Holding: One of My Favorite Parts About Safe Routes to School

10. Featured States
Highlighting Delaware and Washington, DC


As of March 31, 2012, 37 elementary and middle schools in Delaware have ongoing school-level Safe Routes to School programs. This represents about 20 percent of Safe Routes to School-eligible Delaware public schools, including charter schools. Private schools serving students in grades K-8 are also eligible. Six schools in Delaware were awarded consultant planning assistance in January 2012 using federal Safe Routes to School program funding. Planning of infrastructure projects is currently underway at these schools, three of which are in New Castle County, two in Kent County and one in Sussex County. The most commonly requested infrastructure improvements requested in Delaware are bike racks, school zone signage, sidewalks, ADA curb ramps and crosswalk striping. +Read more

Washington, DC
Safe Routes to School is on a roll in Washington, DC! The District of Columbia Safe Routes to School program continues to offer Safe Routes to School planning assistance to any school that requests it. Eight schools are currently receiving this assistance, for a total of 30 schools since the start of the program. DC schools are also able to request in-classroom pedestrian safety education for students in grades K-2 and bicycle safety education for students in grades 3-8. This past summer, the DC Safe Routes to School program completed construction on a $2.2 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) project to fill sidewalk gaps and make other safety improvements near schools. +Read more

Safe Routes to School News throughout the Country
Huffington Post: Bikes Belong’s Tim Blumenthal on Bike Fever

Minneapolis, MN: Schools Find Active Kids Make Smarter Students

Indianapolis, IN: USDOT Secretary LaHood Pushes for Safe Routes to School

Help Grow the Safe Routes Partnership!

Joining the Safe Routes Partnership is free. Please encourage other organizations, schools, businesses, and government agencies to join the Safe Routes Partnership, a network of more than 500 organizations and agencies.

Funding for the Safe Routes Partnership has been generously provided by the Bikes Belong Coalition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kaiser Permanente, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, SRAM Cycling Fund, individuals and partner affiliates.

For more information, contact:

Brooke Driesse, Communications Manager
Safe Routes Partnership