February 2022 E-News

Safe Routes Partnership E-News
Issue #191: February 2022

Safe Routes Partnership E-News is a monthly email newsletter published by the Safe Routes Partnership. We are also on Facebook and Twitter. Join us!

  1. Why Safe Routes to Parks?
  2. Special Edition: What's Going on with Legacy Safe Routes to School Funds
  3. Welcome Maria Sipin!
  4. Do you ride a bike? If you are 50 or older, tell us about why you do or don’t.
  5. Upcoming Webinar Series: Let’s Get Together: Engaging Communities and Creating Change through Safe Routes to School

1. Why Safe Routes to Parks?

Safe Routes to Parks is a movement that aims to make park access safe, convenient, and equitable for people walking and biking. In this short explainer video, we outline what that means and how it can apply in communities. Share this video to get conversations started in your community about park access and how it can be more safe, convenient, and equitable.

2. Safe Routes to School Legacy Funds - State of States September 2021

At the end of fiscal year 2021, we re-visited state implementation of the federal Safe Routes to School funds. As a reminder, Congress last apportioned Safe Routes to School funds to states in 2012, but these funds do not expire, so states have access to them until they expire. We last analyzed state implementation of federal Safe Routes to School funds at the end of 2018. Since 2018, 32 states have made progress implementing Safe Routes to School programs and projects with the legacy Safe Routes to School funds. One state (Alaska) de-obligated a significant amount of Safe Routes to School funding (18% of their total apportionment), which means they now have a balance of Safe Routes to School funds available again. A handful of states de-obligated small percentages of funds, which means they also have Safe Routes to School funds available to spend. On the whole, states have done a fantastic job implementing the Safe Routes to School program, having spent 91% of funds, but money still remains and states can and should spend it on Safe Routes to School projects and programs. Does your state have legacy Safe Routes to School funding available? Check our chart and read the February 2022 blog post for ideas on how to use these funds. 

3. Welcome Maria Sipin!

Maria Gabrielle Sipin serves as our new Technical Assistance Manager! In this role, they are responsible for advancing the technical assistance and policy-related work of the Safe Routes Partnership with an emphasis on accessible processes and racial justice outcomes. This work involves a spectrum of activities such as strategizing, forming, researching, implementing, and evaluating to best support partners, priorities, and goals for transportation projects and policies for healthy communities. Learn more about Maria and their role at Safe Routes Partnership here.

4. Do you ride a bike? If you are 50 or older, tell us about why you do or don’t.

Researchers at the Mineta Transportation Institute, San Jose State University, are conducting a survey to gather your thoughts and preferences about cycling among older adults. With more people of all ages riding a bike, we want to learn more about how and why older adults (50 and older) do so. Is it to remain physically active? Is it to be social? Is it for fun and relaxation? The 50+ Cycling Survey will help answer these questions, similar to what we know about kids that walk or bike to school. This survey will remain open until March 31st, 2022. Take the survey here.

 5. Upcoming Webinar Series: Let’s Get Together: Engaging Communities and Creating Change through Safe Routes to School

To mark the launch of our new toolkit, Let’s Get Together: A Guide for Engaging Communities and Creating Change, the Safe Routes Partnership is hosting a free two-part webinar and Zoom networking session for Safe Routes to School practitioners and champions. Join us on Wednesday, February 23rd at 3pm for an in-depth look at the new guide and how to apply its principles to Safe Routes to School programs. The session will highlight Safe Routes Partnership’s community engagement framework and tips and strategies for implementation. Check out the guide here!

Then, join us the following Wednesday, March 2nd at 3pm ET for an informal Zoom session to connect with other practitioners and share community engagement successes, challenges, and ways that the Partnership can support your work going forward.