Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #131: January 2017
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- Hold State DOTs Accountable in Using TAP Funding
- Free Webinar: How to Start a Walking School Bus Program at Your School
- Regional Policy Highlight: The Latest in California
- #MoveEquity Tweetchat: Protecting Kids from Hateful Harassment and Bullying
- New Year's Resolution: Fundraise the Active and Healthy Way with Active Schools Fundraising
- Best New Bike Lanes of 2016 Blog
- Ways to Support the Safe Routes Partnership
- Featured Partner: Dero
Congress has reconvened and is getting organized, appointing new committee members and preparing to consider President-Elect Trump's nominees to head various agencies. Now is a good time to focus on your state's spending priorities. Our most recent quarterly tracking report on the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) shows a big jump in funds transferred away from biking, walking, and Safe Routes to School and into roads. Plus, 12 states transferred funds for the first time. This is very troubling, and we call upon advocates to ask your DOT to reverse these transfers. Read more in our federal policy blog.
Join this webinar on January 11 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern to learn about the Safe Routes Partnership’s new toolkit, Step by Step: How to Start a Walking School Bus at Your School, an easy-to-follow guide to getting a walking school bus up and “walking” in your community!
During this webinar, we will introduce the concept of a walking school bus, review how to use the toolkit, and provide time for communities to ask questions about planning their program. Register here.
It was a busy month in California, with advances in a number of policy areas:
- We partnered with the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability to ask that the Department of Pesticide Regulation amend their policy around notifying schools and day care centers about pesticide spraying. The current policy would only require notification for spraying within a quarter-mile buffer zone during school hours; we asked that it be expanded to a mile and for additional hours to better protect children walking and biking to and from school and after-school events.
- The California Transportation Commission released a final draft of its Regional Transportation Plan Guidelines, which provide the baseline requirements that MPOs must abide by when developing their long-range transportation plans. The updated guidelines have stronger language on public health, active transportation, and equity, which we applaud, though improvements could still be made particularly in better connecting transportation and housing and local and state planning efforts.
- The California state legislature is again going to attempt to pass a transportation funding package, after a deal failed to be reached late last year. The new “California Rebuild” package does include new funding for the California Active Transportation Program, but the package is overly oriented towards road and highway construction.
Recently, our country has seen an alarming increase in hateful bullying and harassment based on race, ethnicity, or gender, with a disturbingly large number happening to kids in school settings. Working with students and guided by school protocols, youth advocates, Safe Routes to School practitioners, active transportation proponents, and community organizations have an important role to play in rejecting hateful behavior.
Join us on Twitter on January 18 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern for a #MoveEquity tweetchat to share resources, examples, and tools, and discuss our shared role in protecting kids most at risk of hateful harassment and bullying on the way to school, at school, and in our communities.
Get ready to fundraise for your school or organization this spring! Create your fundraising activity, then customize your page and select emails to send to friends and family or promote via social media – and before you know it, you'll have reached your goal!
Stay tuned -- in February we will announce new promotions. Click here to learn more and sign up.
The best new bikes lanes in 2016 are helping to create connected networks for safer riding. Check out PeopleForBikes' top ten list.
Take advantage of discounts for products that support walking and biking. These partners generously offer discounts on select products with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Safe Routes Partnership. Click here to learn more.
Looking for bike parking solutions? Dero knows bike parking. Inside and Out™. Dero offers innovative bicycle parking and transit solutions, such as bike racks and custom bike storage. Get 15 percent off select Dero bike racks with the code SRTS and the Safe Routes Partnership will receive a portion of the proceeds. Click here for more details.