Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #181: April 2021
- Register Today: Where’s the Money? Funding Your Active Transportation Project
- Taking Steps toward Mobility Justice: An Invitation to Learn More and Take Action
- Two New Safe Routes to Schools Resources: A Place It! Guide and Engineering Solutions Guide
- Let Your Voice Be Heard with the Caltrans Active Transportation Survey
- Help Make the MUTCD Better for People Walking and Rolling
- Making Sense of Infrastructure Stimulus, Earmarks, and Surface Transportation Reauthorization
Infrastructure improvements are often the costliest components of initiatives to support walking and rolling. Safe Routes Partnership will host a free webinar to teach active transportation advocates the frequently used sources of funding for active transportation projects in the US, how to find out what funding is available for their community, and tips for navigating the funding process. Safe Routes Partnership will be joined by speakers from Oklahoma and South Carolina who will share how they were able to successfully fund and implement active transportation infrastructure projects in their communities. Register for the webinar here.
- Marisa Jones, Policy and Partnerships Director, Safe Routes Partnership
- Michelle Lieberman, Consulting and Program Support Director, Safe Routes Partnership
- Brenda D. Hughes, Lowcountry Region Community Health Coordinator, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
- Arianna Derr, Director, Mayes County HOPE Coalition
- Doug Moore, Community Development Manager, Institute for Building Technology and Safety
Transportation inequity didn’t happen overnight. We built it this way through policy and funding decisions. The good news is we can use the same tools to work with communities and address the ongoing effects of inequitable decisions. Safe Routes Partnership has released a new resource, Taking Steps toward Mobility Justice: An Invitation to Learn More and Take Action, which outlines three actions that advocates can take to understand how people move through their communities and resources to address the inequities built into our transportation system.
Safe Routes to Schools will equip you with the tools to engage students, families, and staff of all backgrounds in imagining, designing, and building more walkable and roll-able routes to school, through A Place It! Guide to Safe Routes to Schools.
This guide covers everything from why it’s important to engage people with their hands (as opposed to simply talking about Safe Routes to School), to materials needed, to outcomes and where they can lead. It also looks at how you can adapt the Place It! workshop method to different audiences and environments (e.g., in person or virtual). Ultimately, this guide can serve equally as a starting point for planning a series of engagement activities to a resource to consult when planning a workshop itself. View the guide here.
Engineering Solutions Guide for Safe Routes to School
The Engineering Solutions Guide for Safe Routes to School covers street design strategies to address traffic safety concerns commonly identified in school areas and along the routes to school.
The guide includes evidence-based strategies that work to keep kids safe by constructing streets, sidewalks, and paths that inherently reduce or eliminate unsafe behaviors and conflicts between drivers and people walking or biking. The guide features 17 fact sheets on engineering solutions’ key features, estimated costs, safety considerations, safety outcomes, and opportunities for public art in rural, suburban, and urban routes to school. Check out this resource here.
Caltrans Districts 7 (Los Angeles and Ventura Counties) and 12 (Orange County) are looking for public input to identify locations for bicycle and pedestrian improvements on the state highway system. You can play a critical role in shaping the plans by participating in this map-based survey. Survey responses will provide specific data about the type and location of needed improvements, allowing Caltrans to evaluate these locations in developing future projects.
To take the survey, please visit survey.catplan.org and click on District 7 (Los Angeles and Ventura Counties) or District 12 (Orange County). This survey is also available in Spanish. Click here for more information about the Caltrans Active Transportation Plans.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is taking public comment on the update to the MUTCD through May 14th. This is the first update to the manual since 2009. We encourage you to review the draft update and submit your comments saying you want the MUTCD to support, rather than hinder, walking and rolling.
Where to Look and How to Comment
The draft update to the MUTCD can be found online here (see MUTCD Proposed Text). For our Safe Routes to School community, Chapter 7 addresses school areas. However, other areas of the MUTCD such as Chapter 8 Bicycles also affect walking and rolling. If you are looking for more information, FHWA and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals have recorded webinars about the process and proposed changes. We also invite you to read the comments other organizations are making in support of walking and rolling: here by May 14th.
For national news followers, it’s hard to open the paper (err - scroll Twitter) and not be bombarded with headlines about President Biden’s plans for infrastructure stimulus and the re-emergence of earmarks after a decade-long moratorium. We are paying close attention to these developments, however, our organization’s federal advocacy efforts remain focused on the reauthorization of a surface transportation bill. Read more in our latest federal blog post.