Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #118: December 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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- Thank You for Your Support Over 10 Years
- The Latest from Capitol Hill
- Early Bird Registration is Now Open for the Safe Routes to School National Conference
- Fire Up Your Feet Schools Walk and Bike to Victory
- Deadline Extended to Dec. 18 for Senior Manager Development Position
- Write This Way: School Policies Supporting Active Transportation and Physical Activity
- The Next Generation of Bike Advocacy
- Still Time to Register for Our Dec. 8 Webinar
- News From the Field
- Highlighted Blogs
As we celebrate 10 years of Safe Routes to School we are expressing our gratitude for the support and dedication of Safe Routes to School champions like you who have made a difference. But despite all our progress in the past 10 years of Safe Routes to School, there are still kids all across the country who do not have the option to walk or bicycle. Kids whose neighborhoods lack safe sidewalks and bike paths. Kids for whom the threat of violence or crime prevents them from enjoying the nearby playground. Kids who are stuck inside because their street is too dangerous to play on.
Please consider making a donation to the Safe Routes Partnership this holiday season to help us advance Safe Routes to School, walking, bicycling, and physical activity to ALL kids and communities.
Congress Moves Five-Year Transportation Bill; Funding for Safe Routes to School is Locked In
By early next week, Congress is expected to have passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which is the final transportation agreement negotiated between the House and Senate. Once signed into law, a new five-year transportation law will be in effect.
Fortunately, we were able to preserve funding for Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking and obtain a few policy improvements in the FAST Act. There is a small increase in funding for TAP (which is renamed the STP Setaside), nonprofits are eligible to compete for funding, and the competitive structure with shared decision-making between state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations is maintained. We also have five years of certainty that the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) will continue to provide hundreds of millions of dollars of funding for Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking infrastructure and programming across the country.
Thanks so much to advocates like you that have shared your Safe Routes to School stories with members of Congress to help us achieve this victory! Learn more about the details of the legislation and the impact on Safe Routes to School in our federal policy blog.
Save $50 on registration for the Safe Routes to School National Conference by registering before January 15! The National Conference will take place April 5-7, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio, featuring diverse panels and presentations, with keynote speakers including Gil Penalosa with 8 80 Cities, Kevin Carroll, author of What’s Your Red Rubber Ball?!, Dr. Ihouma Eneli & Dr. Michael Patrick of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Jennifer Toole of Toole Design Group. Register today!
Congratulations to the 133 schools that won awards in the fall Fire Up Your Feet Activity Challenge! Check out this inspiring story from Bathgate Elementary in Mission Viejo, CA Bo Glezos is the beloved crossing at Bathgate. He walks an average of 12,000 steps each day he assists students walking safely to and from school, and helped students walk their way to a Fire Up Your Feet victory.
The Safe Routes Partnership is seeking a driven and committed professional with a passion for fundraising to be our new Senior Manager Development. The deadline to apply for this position has been extended to December 18. Click here for the full job description.
The Safe Routes Partnership is also seeking two program-oriented individuals to support our grant-funded physical activity program, Fire Up Your Feet. Applications are due December 4 – visit our website for more information about these positions and instructions on how to apply.
To increase physical activity opportunities available through schools over the long term, we need to put it in writing – through policy. Our analysis of research on existing policies at the state, district, and local level shows that there is a lot of room to strengthen and expand policies that support Safe Routes to School and active transportation. Read more.
In North Dakota, 11-year-old Simon Haug was given an assignment in school to write a persuasive essay. The topic he chose? Convincing his friends and classmates to ride bikes and join PeopleForBikes. If this is the future of bike advocacy, we’re in good hands.
On Dec. 8, the Safe Routes Partnership is co-hosting a webinar with the National Center for Safe Routes to School discussing the role of MPOs in supporting Safe Routes to School. Hear from three MPO representatives about how they’ve used TAP funds to support a range of Safe Routes to School projects in their communities. MPO staff and advocates alike can learn how scoring criteria, carefully crafted applications and funding set asides can help ensure that Safe Routes to School remains strong under TAP. Register here.
Preparing for a New Round of Funding in Southwest Washington
As part of our efforts to promote Safe Routes to School in the Pacific Northwest region, we are working with the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) on outreach efforts in Southwest Washington in advance of WSDOT’s call for projects for funding which is anticipated in early 2016. Outreach efforts include a webinar on December 15 as well as a workshop on January 6, hosted by Kaiser Permanente. These events are designed to provide background on Safe Routes to School, information on the call for projects and examples of best practices. These efforts are instrumental in helping communities and schools prepare strong, effective proposals for Safe Routes to School programs. Read more.
Fire Up Your Feet Winners Know Achievement and Wellness Go Hand in Foot (Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools)
11 Tips to Make Walking a Natural, Enjoyable Part of Your Day(Every Body Walk)