Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #172: July 2020
- Still Time to Register for Tomorrow's Webinar Exploring the 2020 State Report Cards
- Protecting Black Lives in Parks and Public Spaces
- Join Breakout Calls on Safe Routes and Back to School 2020
- House Transportation Bill Advances with More Infrastructure Priorities
- Salem-Keizer Approves Investments in Safe Routes, Biking and Walking
- Safe Routes to School and the Path Forward: Engagement
- Bringing Flashing Stop Signs and A Community Park Celebration to South Wenatchee, Washington
- Celebrate Parks and Recreation Month in July!
- News and Links
The Safe Routes Partnership and the YMCA of the USA have released Making Strides: 2020 State Report Cards on Support for Walking, Bicycling, and Active Kids and Communities, 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.
There’s still time to register for our free webinar on Thursday, July 9 (tomorrow!) to get an inside look at the 2020 State Report Cards and learn how to use them to inspire change in your state.
As communities across the country navigate the safest ways to continue life during the COVID-19 pandemic, many state and local governments are encouraging or requiring the use of masks in public spaces, limiting the size of group gatherings, and mandating six-foot social distancing. These measures are critically important to slowing the spread of the virus. However, when it comes to enforcing these new regulations, data already shows that Black and Latinx people are disproportionately cited for violating social distancing regulations. The Safe Routes Partnership rejects reliance on police as the primary strategy for promoting safety in public spaces – in parks, while social distancing, at protests, and in general – and urges communities to look to alternative ways to promote safety and protect human rights.
We know from discussions on the listserv, questions in our inboxes, and overwhelming interest in the Back to School 2020 workgroup that people are interested in connecting with and learning from one another about how to safely support Safe Routes to School as the 2020 school year kicks off. To help facilitate that connection, the Safe Routes Partnership is holding informal Zoom calls in July for you to connect with one another. The next call will take place on July 21. The calls will not be facilitated by our staff, but we will provide the virtual space and behind the scenes organizing to make them happen. Learn more and sign up here.
The House INVEST Act, which includes $7 billion for active transportation, has been combined with a number of other infrastructure priorities (green energy, housing, school facilities, and more). The whole package was passed by the House of Representatives last week, though Republicans are objecting to the cost and climate provisions. Read more about the process and next steps in our federal policy blog.
SKATS, the regional transportation planning agency for Salem/Keizer, Oregon, approved their 2021-26 Transportation Improvement Plan, including $35 million for biking and walking, $2 million for upgrading transit vehicles, and $570,000 for Safe Routes to School programming. The Safe Routes Partnership provided comments in support of investments that improve safety and access for people who walk, bike, and take transit and we are pleased by SKATS' decisions.
Over the last several months, the COVID-19 pandemic and protests for racial justice and against police brutality have prompted our team at the Safe Routes Partnership to critically examine many of the systems, strategies, and programs that support Safe Routes. As a result of this work, and with collaboration and support from our partners in the field, we recently announced an update to the 6 E’s framework of Safe Routes to School, dropping “Enforcement” entirely and adding “Engagement” as the leading E. Authentic community engagement is critical to ensuring that your program outcomes are successful and sustainable in the long run – not just in terms of objective measures of success, such as increased rates of walking and biking and better safety outcomes, but also in making sure the program reflects the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of your community and school district.
A local park had recently reopened with major improvements in the agricultural town of South Wenatchee, WA, but park access was still challenging – especially for people biking and walking. Here's how an intergenerational coalition of organizations and neighbors built support for a safer route to the park.
July is Park and Recreation Month! Every day, in communities across the country, the people of parks and recreation are providing essential services and making their communities better places to live, work and play. This year's theme is "We Are Parks and Recreation," and the Safe Routes Partnership is excited to join NRPA in highlighting the diversity of park and recreation professionals and showcasing their work in community parks. Learn more about how communities are improving safe walking and biking access to local parks through our Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program, and plan to share your park and recreation story using the hashtag #WeAreParksAndRec in July.
- Bicycles Are Pushing Aside Cars on Europe’s City Streets (Bloomberg)
- How to End Anti-Blackness in Cities (Curbed)
- US Jaywalking Laws Target People of Color. They Should be Abolished (The Guardian)
- Reread: At the Intersection of Active Transportation and Equity (Safe Routes Partnership)
- Equitable Enforcement to Achieve Health Equity (ChangeLab Solutions)