January/February 2013

Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #84: January/February 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.

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

To receive future issues of E-News, email info@saferoutespartnership.org.

In this issue:

1. Call for Session Proposals for Safe Routes to School National Conference

2. Implementing MAP-21 – The New Transportation Law

3. Safe Routes Partnership Welcomes New Staff and Hiring Again

4. The Walking Movement Gets Moving

5. Webinars to Help You With MAP-21 and More

6. Thank You For Your Valuable Contributions

7. State Network Project News

8. Regional Network Project News

9. Highlighted Blogs

10. Featured State

1. Call for Session Proposals for Safe Routes to School National Conference
Access the form and instructions here: http://saferoutesconference.org/program/cfsp/form

The call for session proposals for the fourth biennial Safe Routes to School National Conference is open through February 15.

The conference, Building on Success—Projects, Programs, People, will be held August 13-15, 2013, in Sacramento, with August 12 being the day for the Safe Routes Partnership's annual meeting.

Suggested session themes include: increasing Safe Routes to School programs and policies in low-income communities, rural areas and on tribal lands; engaging and empowering youth in Safe Routes to School work (including sessions that feature youth leaders as presenters); and encouraging stronger involvement among the education community in Safe Routes to School endeavors.

To access the form and instructions, go to http://saferoutesconference.org/program/cfsp/form.

2. Implementing MAP-21 – the New Transportation Law
Putting Safety at the Forefront?

At the state level, advocates in several states have been pushing to retain a standalone Safe Routes to School program, and to supplement federal Transportation Alternatives funding with dollars from the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). Advocates in Colorado and Washington state have already won the fight; read our latest blog post for a new research study and a safety data memo from California that you can use to make a similar case in your state.

At the federal level, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has released the full funding tables for all transportation programs, including Transportation Alternatives. Now, any of the larger metropolitan areas that are eligible to run grant competitions under Transportation Alternatives can see exactly how much funding they will receive. Advocates should reach out to their metropolitan planning organizations to discuss their plans for the Transportation Alternatives competition and to get involved advocating to shape the program. We are also waiting for the final guidance for Transportation Alternatives and the sample application best practices, which should be issued in the next few weeks. + READ MORE

3. Safe Routes Partnership Welcomes New Staff and Hiring Again
Thank you for your continued support of Safe Routes to School

We are pleased to welcome two new staff to the Safe Routes Partnership. Joining as Communications Manager is Margaux Mennesson who manages all communications and marketing activities for the Safe Routes Partnership, including production of the E-News, our website, press materials, and other publications. Many may know Margaux from her days with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in Portland; she will continue to work from the City of Roses.

Ruthie Flores Retana joins our staff as School and Family Engagement Manager. This new position focuses on the national expansion of our Fire Up Your Feet program which encourages families, students, and schools to work together and create active lifestyles which inspire our children to be healthy and physically active. Ruthie, a native Angeleno, has focused her career on communications and community engagement and currently serves on the UCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Girls, Inc. Latina Initiative Advisory Board.

Now Hiring: Full-Time Operations Manager for the Safe Routes Partnership

The Safe Routes Partnership is seeking an energetic and detail-oriented professional with strong technical skills to serve as our new Operations Manager. Applications will be accepted until February 1. Required qualifications for the Operations Manager position include: a bachelor’s degree; strong technical ability; proven experience managing membership databases; must be a problem-solver and detail-oriented; and have three years’ experience working on similar projects. + READ MORE

4. The Walking Movement Gets Moving
Our Leadership and Partners Play Key Roles

The Safe Routes Partnership has stepped up to take a leadership role: Deb Hubsmith to co-chair the newly formed national walking collaborative. 

At the Every Body Walk! Conference in Washington, DC on December 5, we were so pleased to join with many of our partners to launch the creation of a national agenda to catalyze and enhance walking and walkability through the nation. More than 100 leaders in attendance joined America’s top doctor, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, to discuss shared goals for growing the walking movement. Dr. Benjamin set the tone as she discussed the joy of walking. “We have to make being healthy joyful,” she said. “One person’s joy might be to run a marathon, another person’s is just to fit into an old pair of jeans. And another’s is just to sit up all day with their grandkids. We have to stop telling people what they can’t do … We have to tell them what they can do. They can go out for walks.”

Following the inspiration from many thought leaders, participants dove into action-oriented planning regarding marketing and media, state and local policy, partnerships, research and evaluation, the National Physical Activity Plan, and planning for an even larger fall 2013 Summit. These work groups have continued to meet since December, resulting in the formation of the Every Body Walk! Collaborative whose goals are to get more people walking and to ensure that there are safe places to walk. This new collaborative, which is growing the national walking movement, is being co-chaired by Tyler Norris, vice president of Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente, and Deb Hubsmith, director of the Safe Routes Partnership. Additionally, Kaiser Permanente chose America Walks to serve as the backbone organization for the quickly expanding movement. Read more about the Every Body Walk! Collaborative here.

5. Webinars to Help You With MAP-21 and More

February 7, 2013 @ 2-3pm ET
Matching Funds Under MAP-21 (register here)

February 21, 2013 @ 2-3pm ET
Maximizing Statewide Impact of Safe Routes to School: Educating Governors and Department of Transportation Officials (register here)
March 7, 2013 @ 2-3pm ET
How and Why to Be a Safe Routes to School Policy Advocate (register here)
Find out about the rest of our spring 2013 webinar series here.

6. Thank You For Your Valuable Contributions

A special thanks to everyone who contributed to the Safe Routes Partnership’s year-end appeals. This year many donated online and we also benefited from the PeopleforBikes.org appeal; thank you! These dollars are very valuable to us because they provide unrestricted support for key aspects of our work, namely our federal advocacy efforts and staff in Washington, DC and legislative work at the state level in California. Combined with support from our entire steering committee, we raised a record amount from individuals in 2012; thanks again. Your continued support through donations and as partner affliates helps to grow the Safe Routes to School movement and inspires new advocates to be champions for safe and healthy sidewalks, pathways and communities.

7. State Network Project News
2013 New Year Resolutions

What better way to ring in the 2013 New Year than to reflect on what we are thankful for and resolve to improve. For our state network project, the Safe Routes Partnership is thankful to have a dynamic, passionate and talented group of state advocacy organizers in our seven network states (CA, FL, MS, NC, NJ, OH and TN) and robust funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. And as the state network team embarks on a second year together, our resolution for 2013 is to build on the momentum created in 2012 and reach farther to engage more active and diverse partners.
If you are looking to get more involved or to stay informed, please read about our 2013 goals for the state network project on the Safe Routes Partnership blog.

8. Regional Network Project News

Through our regional network project where we have dedicated full-time staff in several major metropolitan regions across the country, we have been learning a great deal about how to advance policy change which benefits active transportation. Coupling our experiences with federal legislation giving MPOs more authority over allocating federal funds, the Safe Routes Partnership’s list of resources for working at the regional level is growing. We have recently published two action briefs (Safe Routes to School: A Regional Government Primer for Practitioners and Safe Routes to School: A Primer for Regional Governments) and hosted two webinars on working at the MPO level. Furthermore, we have a number of case studies from the Greater Washington, DC regional network. We will share many more lessons learned and best practices throughout 2013.

9. Highlighted Blogs
Check out some recent blogs from Safe Routes Partnership staff

Learning from work in multiple jurisdictions
Safe Routes to School in California by the Numbers

10. Featured State
Highlighting Rhode Island

Rhode Island has awarded Safe Routes to School projects in two rounds which includes more than $6 million in funding For Round 1, ten Safe Routes to School programs in seven cities and towns involving 30 schools have been awarded. At this time, they are in various stages from “in process of being implemented” to completion. For Round 2, twelve programs in ten cities and towns involving 16 schools have been awarded and all are in the process of being implemented (infrastructure and non-infrastructure). A Rhode Island Safe Routes to School program always consists of non-infrastructure activities (education, encouragement, law enforcement and evaluation) and usually infrastructure (construction). + READ MORE

Safe Routes to School News throughout the Country
Reading, MA: Final Steps of New School 'Safe Route' to be Celebrated
Brainerd, MN: Crowd Gathers for Safe Routes to Schools Proposal
New York City, NY: Safe Routes to School, Pedestrian and Bicycle Funds at Risk Despite Proof of Benefits

Help Grow the Safe Routes Partnership!

Joining the Safe Routes Partnership is free. Please encourage other organizations, schools, businesses, and government agencies to join the Safe Routes Partnership, a network of more than 600 organizations and agencies.

Funding for the Safe Routes Partnership has been generously provided by the Bikes Belong Coalition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kaiser Permanente, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, SRAM Cycling Fund, individuals and partner affiliates.

For more information, contact:

Margaux Mennesson, Communications Manager
Safe Routes Partnership