October 2014

Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #104: October 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 650 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.

The Safe Routes Partnership is on Facebook and Twitter. Join us!

In this issue:

  1. Fired Up for International Walk to School Day
  2. Apply to Host the Next Safe Routes to School National Conference
  3. Welcome Carol Goss as our Newest Board Member
  4. The Latest from Capitol Hill
  5. Safe Routes Partnership Welcomes New Staff
  6. Heroes for Healthy Kids Activate and Motivate with Fire Up Your Feet
  7. See you at the 8th Annual Southern Obesity Summit
  8. Spotlight on New Resources
  9. Fairfax County Adopts its First Health Impact Assessment
  10. Highlighted Blogs

1. Fired Up for International Walk to School Day on October 8

October is the month to join millions of families around the globe in celebrating International Walk to School Day onOctober 8. Integrating exercise into everyday life creates a lifelong commitment to physical activity, plus active kids are healthier and do better in school. October is a great month to join one of the thousands of walking school buses or bike trains.
If you’re looking for resources to start or enhance an event at your school, here are a few tips.

  • Make Fire Up Your Feet your first stop for information and support for joining the movement for healthy, active schools. Read more about Fire Up Your Feet in article 5 of this newsletter.
  • Share this infographic about the benefits of walking and bicycling for kids, your community and the planet.
  • Don’t forget to register your Walk to School Day event at walkbiketoschool.org to ensure your efforts are counted as part of the nationwide movement for walking and bicycling.

Then, following your Walk to School Day event, share yourstories, blog posts, Instagram photos, and Vines with us so we can amplify your community’s efforts to build the movement for walking and bicycling. 

2. Apply to Host the Next Safe Routes to School National Conference

The Safe Routes Partnership is so pleased to announce we are accepting applications to host the 2015-16 Safe Routes to School National Conference. Join past host cities like Sacramento, Minneapolis, Portland and Dearborn in showing off your city and state’s Safe Routes to School programs, bicycling and walking infrastructure, and healthy community design initiatives to conference attendees. Learn more by reading ourRequests for Proposals. Applications are due by November 12, 2014.

3. Welcome Carol Goss as our Newest Board Member

The Safe Routes Partnership is pleased to welcome Carol Goss as our newest board member. Carol  is a fellow in the Advanced Leadership Initiative program at Harvard University. Prior to joining Harvard, Goss served as president & CEO of The Skillman Foundation, where she led the commitment to advancing safety for children and Safe Routes to School. During her tenure as CEO, the Foundation added safety as a priority area, with the aim to increase the felt and real safety of children, grow the work of resident leadership councils on safety, and prioritize the development of safe routes to school. 
“I am extremely pleased to be joining the board of the Safe Routes Partnership for Safe Routes to School. This organization’s mission is aligned with my personal and professional belief in identifying ways to support and keep children healthy and safe,” said Goss.

4. The Latest from Capitol Hill

We are excited to showcase a new State of the States report, highlighting the rollout of Transportation Alternatives Program funding. Our first TAP State of the States report shows that states have made some progress in spending federal TAP funding, with 17% of funds ($217,693,441) now obligated.  In total, $52,338,024 has been announced for Safe Routes to School Projects from MAP-21 funding.  
This quarter’s report for dedicated Safe Routes to School funding from SAFETEA-LU shows a slight increase in new funding obligated for projects, at $25,135,632, bringing total state and federal spending on Safe Routes to School Projects to more than $1 billion across the nation!
Be sure to check out our recent blog entry on Secretary Foxx’s exciting new announcement of a major new bicycle and pedestrian safety initiative at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and with Walk to School Day just around the corner, don’t miss last month’s blog with resources to help you invite your elected members of Congress to your school’s events!


5. Safe Routes Partnership Welcomes New Staff

We are pleased to welcome Demi Espinoza as our Southern California policy manager. Demi will work to increase funding opportunities and improve transportation policies that support safe walking and bicycling for children and families.
We also welcome Bill Sadler as Greater Washington, DC policy manager. Bill will be working with local and regional government agencies, community partners and other organizations to increase funding and improve policies that result in more infrastructure and programs dedicated to walking and bicycling in the greater Washington, DC area.


6. Heroes for Healthy Kids Activate and Motivate with Fire Up Your Feet

Today marks the first day of the Fire Up Your Feet Fall Activity Challenge and we commend our participants for their dedication to helping support a healthier school environment. If you are located in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Metro Atlanta, Oregon, SW Washington, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Maryland, Virginia, or Washington DC, it’s not too late to sign up and begin tracking your activity to help your school win awards this fall! If you are interested in bringing Fire Up Your Feet to a new community, contact Beth Richards at beth@saferoutespartnership.org.

7. See you at the 8th Annual Southern Obesity Summit

The 8th Annual Southern Obesity Summit (SOS) is being held in Louisville, Kentucky, October 5-7, 2014. Hundreds of participants from sixteen southern states will meet to share strategies in the fight against obesity. This year the Safe Routes Partnership will be involved in four activities to get participants talking about policy and program initiatives related to childhood obesity across the south. Christy Smith, Tennessee Advocacy Organizer and Carrie Turner, Southern States Coordinator will be presenting during the breakout sessions and hosting a social event to meet other advocates from across the south. After presenting, Christy and Carrie will moderate a discussion on the challenges, barriers and successes of active transportation in the south during a lunch and learn on physical activity.  During a work group session on physical activity Christy and Carrie will be assisting Scott Bricker of America Walks to discuss regional strategies on physical activity.
If you are attending the conference in Kentucky, be sure to stop by and say hello during one of these events. For more information and a complete listing of breakout sessions and activities, visit the Southern Obesity Summit Website.


8. Spotlight on New Resources


Our technical assistance team has released a few new resources to help you advance walking, bicycling and Safe Routes to School:

Safety for All Ages: Safe Routes to School in Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Communities
As the fastest-growing racial group in the U.S., Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders have a key stake in the transformation of American streets. These communities are pioneering innovative, multilingual approaches to safe streets and healthier communities, with equity and intergenerational cooperation at the heart of the work. 
Making Our Communities Healthy Through Bicycling and Walking
The number of children who bicycle or walk to school in the United States has plummeted, due to a combination of concerns about safety, access, and a lack of infrastructure. Meanwhile, childhood obesity has skyrocketed and school-related road traffic has dramatically worsened. Safe Routes to School addresses these problems by making it safer for more kids to walk and bicycle to and from schools. 


9. Fairfax County Adopts its First Health Impact Assessment

Fairfax County, Virginia released its first Health Impact Assessment (HIA) last month. The Safe Routes Partnership’s regional policy manager for the region, Christine Green, provided technical assistance on the process. The HIA focused on the Richmond Highway -- an important artery that connects major commercial, residential, and recreational points in Northern Virginia. It bisects the southeastern region of Fairfax County which is one of the most economically disadvantaged and transit dependent areas of the county. Health and transportation partnerships are key in our work to keep people safe and increase walking, bicycling and transit access. Both bring a unique perspective to the table and when paired together create a better outcome for the community. Read more.

10. Highlighted Blogs

“A Sound Mind in a Sound Body”: Physical Fitness AND Academic Achievement! (Jane Ward)
Fire Up Your Bike Ride to School (PeopleForBikes)

For more information, contact:

Margaux Mennesson, Communications Manager
Safe Routes Partnership