Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #161: August 2019
- Walking and Rolling Back to School: A Checklist to Build Momentum in Your Community
- "But How Will We Pay For It?" Active Transportation Funding Mechanisms: Municipal Bonds 101
- Senate Transportation Bill Takes Big Strides for Biking and Walking
- A Checklist for Facilitating Community Engagement During Safe Routes to Parks Visioning Activities
- Two California Communities Build Support for Walking, Rolling, and Safe Routes to School
- Free Webinar - Building Our Future: Engaging and Empowering Youth in Vision Zero
- States Get More TAP Funds Out the Door
- Safe Routes to School Launch Communities Receive California ATP Funding
1. Walking and Rolling Back to School: A Checklist to Build Momentum in Your Community
School doors are beginning to reopen across the country, and back-to-school season is one of the best opportunities for Safe Routes to School champions to work with school staff, parents, and community members to create a supportive, encouraging environment for walking and biking for the rest of the year. Looking for support and ideas to build momentum for safe, equitable transportation options in your community? Here are three things you can do:
- Register for the Safe Routes to School National Conference. Whether you’re an active transportation professional, community advocate, or school champion, the conference offers program sessions and activities for a range of skill levels and focus areas. Topics include Safe Routes to School 101, active transportation planning and policy, safe routes to parks and healthy food, bike share and the future of transportation - just to name a few. You’ll go home with new strategies and techniques to share to continue building the movement. Browse the full program online and register today!
- Start a Walking School Bus program to welcome families to the world of walking to school. Our step-by-step guide outlines how to plan and implement a walking school bus for your school, and includes proven tools, tips, and resources for a fast and easy start.
- Get ready for Walk to School Day on October 2! Visit walkbiketoschool.org to register your event and access tools, ideas, and resources on walking to school.
2. "But How Will We Pay For It?" Active Transportation Funding Mechanisms: Municipal Bonds 101
One way to fund active transportation improvements is through municipal bonds. A new fact sheet from the Safe Routes Partnership, “But How Will We Pay For It?” Active Transportation Funding Mechanisms: Municipal Bonds 101,” covers what bonds are, how they can be used to pay for active transportation infrastructure, and provides advice for advocates interested in using this method to pay for active transportation.
3. Senate Transportation Bill Takes Big Strides for Biking and Walking
In case you missed it, last week the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unveiled its transportation reauthorization legislation. It includes major new funding for the Transportation Alternatives Program and safety for people walking and biking, plus a climate title and many new provisions to help make communities more accessible and healthier. While there’s a long ways to go in the legislative process, this is a great start! Read all the details in our federal policy blog post.
4. A Checklist for Facilitating Community Engagement During Safe Routes to Parks Visioning Activities
Community engagement is most effective when residents are involved in ongoing, collaborative efforts to improve walking, biking, and access to parks. However, constraints on time and funding can mean that organizations are limited to holding one-time community engagement events. This checklist from the Safe Routes Partnership aims to support organizations in hosting a thoughtfully facilitated, engaging community visioning activity around Safe Routes to Parks efforts.
5. Two California Communities Build Support for Walking, Rolling, and Safe Routes to School
With support from Kaiser Permanente, the Safe Routes Partnership has policy managers working in California regions to increase funding and improve safety for walking and biking. Read more about how community members and advocates in two communities worked together to achieve wins for walking, biking, and Safe Routes to School:
- Muscoy, CA is an unincorporated area in San Bernadino County with a population that is 82 percent Latinx and predominantly low-income, and has one of the worst air quality scores in California according to CalEnviroScreen. Through a combination of grassroots organizing, tactical urbanism events, technical assistance, and community workshops, local residents and advocates have built significant momentum and support among community members and decision makers for better walking conditions and Safe Routes to School. Read the case study.
- The Modesto Airport Neighborhood is a suburban community in the Central Valley that has not historically received much in the way of Safe Routes to School investment and attention. In 2018, Modesto was selected to participate in the Safe Routes Partnership’s Safe Routes to School Launch program, which provided free technical assistance and support to help the community develop a comprehensive Safe Routes to School Action Plan. As a result of these efforts and ongoing technical assistance, the neighborhood secured $6.1 million in funding through California’s Active Transportation Program Cycle 4 to fund new sidewalks and bicycle paths. Read the case study.
6. Free Webinar - Building Our Future: Engaging and Empowering Youth in Vision Zero
On September 5, join this free webinar hosted by the Safe Routes Partnership and Vision Zero Network to learn how to engage and empower youth in Vision Zero initiatives. Panelists will share their experiences building effective partnerships between schools and community organizations to create youth-centered safety programs. Learn how a Los Angeles organization is inspiring a life-long love of cycling in young people via P.E. Bicycling Classes. Discover the fun world of traffic gardens, also known as safety towns, and how they are transforming bike education around the DC Metro region. Celebrate youth entrepreneurs who are using fashion and design to advance safe transportation in their community.
7. States Get More TAP Funds Out the Door
Our TAP tracking chart shows that in the second quarter of 2019, states obligated $182 million in TAP funding—30 percent better than last quarter. States also cut in half the amount of funds that could potentially lapse at the end of September, with only 9 states (AZ, AR, DC, HI, MS, NH, NY, SC, WY) having more than 5 percent of TAP funds at risk. It’s particularly critical that states obligate as much as possible in this last quarter of FY19 so that no funds lapse, and also because a rescission planned for July 2020 will be based on the amount of unobligated funds as of the end of September 2019. We also saw five states (AZ, MN, NH, NC, and TN) transfer a total of $32 million away from TAP into other transportation programs.
8. Safe Routes to School Launch Communities Receive California ATP Funding
Three communities that participated in the Safe Routes Partnership’s Safe Routes to School Launch program secured funding through California’s Active Transportation Program (ATP) to fund key biking and walking projects that will help improve safety for students and people of all ages. Only 61 projects out of 554 applications were funded during ATP Cycle 4, so the awards speak to the degree of each community’s needs and the quality of their applications.