Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #153: December 2018
To receive future issues of E-News, sign up here.
- Last Call for Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities Applications – Due December 10!
- #SafeRoutesGives for Healthy, Equitable Communities
- Now Hiring: Southern California Policy Manager
- Infographic: On the Path to Safe Routes to Parks
- 2019 Safe Routes to School Conference Will Begin Accepting Program Proposals January 7
- 2018 Election Results: What Do They Mean for Active Transportation?
- Making Stockton, California Healthier and More Accessible
- ICYMI: New Report on Complete Streets and Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans
- PeopleForBikes on How Bike-Related Ballot Measures Fared
- It's a Match: How Walk With Us El Monte Adapted a Walking School Bus Program to Fit Their Community
The Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program is still accepting applications for awards for eleven grantee communities in 2019 until December 10. This program provides tailored technical assistance for eleven communities to develop Safe Routes to Parks action plans and awards $12,500 to each community to begin implementation of those plans. Click here for more information about the program and how to apply.
The holiday season is one of the most critical times of the year for non-profit organizations like ours to raise funds through charitable donations. We appreciate your support and your receptiveness as we increase our messaging frequency this month.
The Safe Routes movement is, at its core, about giving back to communities – giving kids the ability to walk and bike to school safely, giving families the opportunity to be physically active together in their neighborhoods, and giving everyone fair and equitable access to school, jobs, parks, healthy food, and community connections.
We could not do this work without your support. Thank you. Give Now
The Safe Routes Partnership is now accepting applications for a Southern California Policy Manager. This position will build on existing work in the greater Los Angeles region, specifically in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. The primary focus of this position is to increase funding and improve policies that prioritize more infrastructure and programs that support safe walking and bicycling for children and families, especially in low-income, underserved, and historically marginalized communities. Click here for more information.
Everyone deserves safe and easy access to parks, but not all communities have that opportunity. Safe Routes to Parks are of particular concern in communities lacking infrastructure, for example sidewalks, crosswalks, and speed humps to support safe walking and bicycling; where violence and crime are prevalent; and where there are high rates of weight-related diseases or conditions.
But how does a community create Safe Routes to Parks? This infographichighlights the features and steps to creating Safe Routes to Parks, along with the many benefits of increasing access to nature and physical activity.
Mark your calendars to submit a session proposal for the Safe Routes to School Conference program starting January 7 through February 22. We’re seeking program proposals that exchange ideas and share knowledge about the most creative and innovative approaches to creating walkable, bikeable, healthy, and equitable communities where people can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
The conference will be held at the Hilton Tampa Downtown November 12-14, 2019. Visit saferoutesconference.org for details on the application process and other conference information.
The votes are (mostly) in, and Democrats gained the majority in the House and Republicans retained the majority in the Senate. Read our latest federal policy blog for more on key transportation leaders and what's on tap for 2019.
The City of Stockton, located in the inland Central Valley in California, is going through a process of updating its General Plan, which lays out the city’s vision for future growth. At a series of workshops, community members raised issues such as the understandability and accessibility of the plan process and impacts on elderly and disadvantaged communities. Advocates have been weighing in on the plan, and have succeeded in getting the plan to address public health.
In October and November, the Planning Commission heard from city staff about the latest draft of the plan. The Safe Routes Partnership joined a number of partners under the umbrella of the Healthy Neighborhoods Collaborative to make comments that would improve the plan’s ability to create healthy, equitable and sustainable neighborhoods. Many of these recommendations were adopted by the Planning Commission, including ensuring accordance with the city's new Safe Routes to School Plan, increasing signage to improve walking and bicycling, prioritizing active transportation access to healthy food retail, electrification of buses, increasing coordination with nonprofit groups, and developing a parks plan with wider community input. The next step is for the plan to be adopted by the City Council in December.
Complete Streets policies and bicycle and pedestrian plans are two key tools used by cities and counties to support community visions and goals for health. Healthcare and public health professionals can play a central role in advancing strong policies and plans that support walking, biking, and healthy, active communities. A new report from the Safe Routes Partnership, Complete Streets Policies and Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans: Key Tools for Supporting Healthy Communities, helps healthcare and public health stakeholders understand what goes into Complete Streets policies and bicycle and pedestrian plans.
PeopleForBikes tracked bike-related ballot initiatives and they fared well in the 2018 midterm elections. In one of the most crucial wins for bike funding, Proposition 6 was defeated in California, saving $100 million in annual funding for bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Across the country, voters approved almost $2 billion of improvements to bike infrastructure, greenways, and parks over the next decade. Review outcomes of other bike-related ballot measures here.
Walking school buses are one of the most effective ways to change how kids travel. That’s why it’s inspiring to hear about successful walking school bus programs that find fun and creative ways to get kids moving.
A year-long walking school bus initiative at Durfee Elementary School in El Monte, California, took the walking school bus model and adapted it to fit with the needs of local kids, families, and an enthusiastic non-profit partner. The results were exciting!