Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #173: August 2020
- Back to School 2020: Recommendations for Safe Routes to School Programming
- Limited Edition 2020 Safe Routes T-Shirt on Sale!
- TAP Obligation Rates Rise
- California Directs $100M in Highway Repair to Complete Streets
- Back to School with the 2020 State Report Cards
- Boost Access to Green Spaces with the Safe Routes to Parks Walk Audit
- Start a Walking School Bus to Get Kids Back to School Safely
- News and Links
The Safe Routes Partnership has released the first set of comprehensive guidance for implementing Safe Routes to School programs during the 2020-21 school year with our new guidebook, Back to School 2020: Recommendations for Safe Routes to School Programming. We’re offering crucial guidance for Safe Routes to School and active transportation professionals, educators, and caregivers across the nation as schools prepare to resume learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance was developed by the Safe Routes Partnership and the Back to School 2020 Working Group: a women-led, diverse group of 18 Safe Routes to School and community leaders from across the country.
The recommendations are short-term, actionable, and designed for you to adapt and modify to fit the unique needs of your school, district, or community. They include a variety of ways for you to help kids and families stay safe and active during COVID-19, along with a few longer term considerations as your program evolves. The guide also offers trauma-informed engagement approaches to Safe Routes to School and opportunities to collaborate with community partners to deliver essential needs and services.
Whether students are gearing up for remote learning or heading back to school in person this fall, transportation and physical activity are still essential needs for families and students everywhere. Show off your support for safe, healthy streets in all learning environments with this limited edition Safe Routes 2020 t-shirt. All proceeds will benefit the Safe Routes Partnership's ongoing commitment to support walking, biking, and active communities. The shirt is available in standard and fitted styles and in sizes XS-4XL. Orders close on 8/31!
The data is in for the third quarter of FY2020, and it's positive news from our quarterly TAP tracking chart. Only one state (NM) transferred funding away from TAP to other road priorities, and states obligated $157 million in funding to implement TAP projects and programs. With one quarter yet to go in the fiscal year, 39 states have already obligated all the funds that will lapse (or expire) at year's end.
Last year, Gov. Newsom vetoed a Complete Streets bill. Advocates pushed the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) to demonstrate a commitment to Complete Streets. In May and June, the California Transportation Commission approved a total of $100 million to go to Complete Streets projects. The funding will be taken from other highway repair projects that can be delayed or reduced in scope.
If your school or district is facing school bus cuts or new school travel patterns, now is the time to read up on how your state's policy supports active travel to school. Making Strides: 2020 State Report Cards on Support for Walking, Bicycling, and Active Kids and Communities is a report that helps state leaders and decision makers prioritize transportation and physical activity investments, resources, and policies that support active communities. Click here to explore the report, fact sheets, guides to using the information, and detailed maps showing each state’s status and progress across various indicators of support.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been more frequently taking advantage of their local parks and green spaces. This is a great time to engage people in the Safe Routes to Parks improvement effort through socially distanced and individually paced walk audits. Check out the Safe Routes to Parks Walk Audit Toolkit for tips on planning walk audits, a template handout, and more resources.
Shout out to Commute Options in Bend, OR and Blue Zones Project - Hawaii for sharing photos and spreading the good word about walking school buses with Good Morning America last week! Walking and biking are safe, physically distanced & active ways to go back to school. Looking for resources to help your school and community walk back to school? Check out Step by Step: How to Start a Walking School Bus at Your School.
Whether your school is returning to distance learning, in-person, or a hybrid of both, Safe Routes to School programs play a crucial role in supporting community members with safe, active travel options. Use the sample messages below or in our Back to School MessagingToolkit to help spread the word
- Looking to add variety to your usual walks or rides while distance learning? Practice the route to school so you're ready to roll when school meets again in person.
- With staggered schedules and online classes, it can feel like getting your kids to school in a safe and healthy way is yet another thing to figure out. Let us help! The Safe Routes to School program is here to help support our school community travel to and from school. One solution: Walking School Buses http://bit.ly/WSBToolkit
- Riding the bus or driving to school are not the only options! Walking and biking are healthy choices during the pandemic because they happen outside, can be done while maintaining safe physical distance, and help your kids arrive at school ready to learn https://gma.abc/2F9kZi3
- Pedestrianize Main Street to Save It (Streetsblog)
- 14 Stories from Black People Who Love Bikes (Bicycling)
- Reread: Safe Routes for Youth: Supporting and Empowering Teen Leaders in Vision Zero (Safe Routes Partnership)
- New York City Has 2,300 Parks, But Poor Neighborhoods Lose Out (New York Times)