November 2013

Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #93: November 2013

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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In this issue:

1. Three Actions to Take for Health in November
2. Reading the Tea Leaves for the Next Transportation Bill
3. LA County: 40% of Toll Road Revenue to Fund Active Transportation Projects
4. Record Number of Schools "Fire Up" for Physical Activity in October
5. Safe Routes Partnership Welcomes New Staff
6. Register for Upcoming Webinars
7. Regional and State Network Update
8. Highlighted Blogs
9. Featured State

1. Three Actions to Take for Health in November

You might have heard that Safe Routes Partnership director Deb Hubsmith was diagnosed in October with acute myeloid leukemia. Her prognosis is great and she is, of course, amazing her doctors with her positive attitude and strength! She is now in the hospital healing and she greatly appreciates the outpouring of support from the community. As Deb takes this time to focus on healing, she draws strength from knowing that Safe Routes to School champions are working hard to continue to advance the movement – and she has suggested three actions that you can take this month to continue to increase momentum for walking, bicycling, and increasing physical activity in our daily lives.

2. Reading the Tea Leaves for the Next Transportation Bill

Congress resolved the government shutdown after two weeks, but only funded the government until January 15, 2014. Congress is undertaking budget negotiations on how to fund the rest of the fiscal year. While we’d hoped those negotiations would be broad and include a funding solution for the hole in the highway trust fund, that now seems unlikely. So, in less than a year, Congress will have to resolve a major funding hurdle to continue funding for surface transportation, including Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking. In our latest federal policy blog, we read the tea leaves from the budget talks and learn from a recent water infrastructure bill that passed the House with hugely bipartisan support.

3. LA County: 40% of Toll Road Revenue to Fund Active Transportation Projects 

LA County celebrated a victory last month when the Metro Board of Directors adopted a Toll Road Revenue Allocation Plan that targets 40 percent of revenues generated to be invested in active transportation projects within 3 miles of the I-110 and I-10 corridors. The policy will help ensure that communities members and all travelers along these corridors benefit from  projects that include congestion reduction, improved safety and access, transportation options, and air quality/environmental improvements. Read more on the Safe Routes Partnership’s Southern California Regional Network blog.

4. Record Number of Schools "Fire Up" for Physical Activity in October 

Our tabulators are hard at work tallying up the winners of the October Fire Up Your Feet activity challenge! We are thrilled to announce that more than 440 schools in 11 states and regions participated in the month-long challenge to walk, bicycle, and increase physical activity in daily life.

In the words of Myford Elementary School parent Stephanie Bertino, “the students have been really "fired" up about being active. It has been impressive and rewarding to see the number of students participating. I've even had a parent come to tell me that they started to exercise due to this program being promoted at a school!” Stay tuned at for the official winners announcement during the week of November 11.

5. Safe Routes Partnership Welcomes New Staff

Sara Zimmerman joins the team as Technical Assistance Director, working to support communities in obtaining the resources and advice they need to increase physical activity and safe walking and bicycling for children and adults. Sara worked most recently for ChangeLab Solutions, a national nonprofit that helps communities overcome legal and policy barriers to healthy communities. At ChangeLab Solutions Sara worked as a senior staff attorney and program director and developed a new program area focusing on active transportation. Sara has worked in New Orleans and now lives in Berkeley, California, with her spouse, three children, three cats, and a dog.   
We welcome Kari Schlosshauer as the new regional policy manager for the Willamette Valley region in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to joining the Safe Routes Partnership’s staff, Kari served as a manager of sustainable transportation projects at the Department of Transport in Melbourne, Australia, where she managed behavior change and grant-funded infrastructure projects. She has also lived and worked in Seattle, Copenhagen, Berlin and Vienna advocating for active transportation all along the way.
Sophia Mellow is serving as the Fire Up Your Feet coordinator in Southern California, where she will be engaging with schools, districts and community members to expand the Fire Up Your Feet program. Sophia comes to Fire Up Your feet with a strong non-profit background focused on member and volunteer engagement, partnership marketing and development, and has been an active Safe Routes to School volunteer at her son’s school.

6. Register for Upcoming Webinars

Our monthly technical assistance webinar series features expert speakers, a chat feature for participants, and archived downloadable post-webinar recordings. Join us for these upcoming webinars:
Shared Use: Is It In You? Engaging Key Stakeholders in Shared Use Strategies
November 7th, 2013 @ 2pm Eastern - Register here
Making use of school facilities that would not otherwise be used after school hours allows for a more efficient use of public space and money, and is a promising strategy to combat childhood obesity. This webinar will focus on providing tools to engage key stakeholders in the discussion around shared use agreements.
Empowering Lower-income Communities to Take Advantage of MAP-21 Funds
November 21st, 2013 @ 2pm Eastern - Register here
More street scale projects can be built in lower-income communities and communities of color by training advocates nationwide on how to have successful meetings with local elected officials about existing funding for pedestrian and bicycle projects, including the new MAP-21 funds. Speakers will provide perspective on the importance of MAP-21 funding in underserved communities, overcoming disparity and violence and increasing health benefits through street scale improvements, and identifying tools and best practices for implementation on the regional, state and local levels. 

7. Regional and State Network Update 

Last week, the Greater Washington DC regional network co-hosted the first ever Safe Routes to School regional meeting, with the National Capital Transportation Planning Board, the region’s metropolitan planning organization (MPO). More than 60 advocates and professionals attended. This meeting reflects a sea change in getting staff from local jurisdictions, partners and advocates in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. to understand how Safe Routes to School has been growing throughout the region. As a result, we look forward to greater sharing of best practices and increased efforts to track data throughout the region as a whole.
At this year’s Southern Obesity Summit, November 17th through 19th, Jay Thompson, Christy Smith, and Mikaela Randolph will be presenting about the efforts of the Safe Routes Partnership to increase walking and biking as a key strategy in the fight against childhood obesity.

8. Highlighted BlogsJoin the Safe Routes Partnership at the Southern Obesity Summit(Christy Smith)

San Francisco Family Makes Bicycling to School a Way of Life(Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools)

9. Highlighted Blogs

Join the Safe Routes Partnership at the Southern Obesity Summit (Christy Smith)
Virginia Models Successful Partnership Between Transportation and Education (Christine Green)

10. Featured State: Pennsylvania

Since 2005, Pennsylvania has funded more than 100 local Safe Routes to School projects totaling more than $17 million in infrastructure and noninfrastructure projects. PennDOT's Safe Routes to School program is school focused. Applicants for infrastructure funding and noninfrastructure grants must be a staff member of a school district or an individual school, additionally the application requires involvement of a local and regional government staff member. Safe Routes to School projects require no local matching funds. Visit the Pennsylvania Safe Routes to School program website for more information.


For more information, contact:

Margaux Mennesson, Communications Manager
Safe Routes Partnership