Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #159: June 2019
- The Program is Live for the Safe Routes to School National Conference
- How a Pop-Up Art Crosswalk Transformed Park Access in Houston’s Near Northside Neighborhood
- June Webinar: A Sneak Peek at the 2019 Safe Routes to School National Conference
- Supporting Healthy Kids and Communities Through Safe Routes to School in Minnesota
- Turning Action Plans into Funding for Safe Routes to School in California
- Congress Shifts Into Gear on Transportation Reauthorization
- Southern California Communities Getting Air Quality Monitoring
- Vision Zero: Centering Community in the Public Engagement Process
We’re excited to showcase the most innovative and diverse Safe Routes to School National Conference program yet. Visit our website to check out the breakout sessions, hands-on workshops, mobile workshops, and more. Early bird registration rates are available through June 30!
In Houston's Near Northside neighborhood, residents came up with an idea to slow drivers down near a local park: a pop-up art crosswalk. With a grant and technical assistance from the Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communitiesprogram, CAN DO Houston worked with residents to transform streets and improve park access at Castillo Park and a nearby school in the Near Northside community – leading to a commitment from the city for permanent change.
Join us for a sneak peek at the 2019 Safe Routes to School National Conference! At the conference in Tampa this November, hundreds of Safe Routes to School and active transportation professionals will come together to exchange ideas and share knowledge. Get a taste of the exciting conference program by joining this free webinar featuring speakers from each of the conference tracks who will give us a preview of their sessions. You will hear about two Safe Routes to School programs that found their strength in creative partnerships, strategies to grow a Safe Routes to School program intentionally and sustainably, a coalition that brought together diverse voices to advance Vision Zero, and Florida’s bicycle and pedestrian safety education programs for all ages.
- Amir Emamian, Program Manager, Safe Routes to School, City of Austin
- Areiona King, Safe Routes to School Coordinator, BikeWalkKC
- Janis McDonald, Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Portland Bureau of Transportation
- Gena Torres, Executive Planner, Plan Hillsborough
- John Egberts, Program Administrator, University of Florida
Safe Routes to School programs are so popular in Minnesota that sometimes when the state puts out a call for proposals, community requests end up exceeding the available funding by as much as five to one. Nearly 500 schools have been awarded Safe Routes to School funding through MnDOT since 2005, and more than 110,000 students are currently benefitting from Safe Routes to School programs at their schools, by walking and biking to and from school more often.
A look back at how Minnesota’s Safe Routes to School program has evolved since 2012 shows how a successful legislative campaign, fueled by strong community demand, has led to a formalized, state-funded program with a long-lasting impact for students and communities.
In the latest round of the California Active Transportation Program (ATP), past participants in our Safe Routes to School Launch Program found their hard work paid off, literally, as three of these communities will receive funding to put projects and programs in place that support more kids safely walking and bicycling to school. The City of Willits will receive funding for expanded Safe Routes to School programs along with trail improvements. The Airport Neighborhood surrounding Orville Wright Elementary School in Modesto will receive funding for sidewalks, bikeways, and safety education. Rancho Cordova will improve conditions for walking around six schools.
Safe Routes to School action plans developed by the Safe Routes Partnership for each of these communities helped identify local needs, form project applications, and show community support. We can’t wait to see what great things these communities will do with their funding! Are you interested in developing an action plan for your community? The Safe Routes Partnership’s Consulting Services team can help.
After talks on a large infrastructure package failed, Congress is now refocusing on the transportation reauthorization. The Senate is expected to go first, sometime this summer. Read our federal policy blog post for more details!
Three Southern California communities (Boyle Heights, Muscoy, and West Long Beach) are getting new plans for monitoring their air pollution, which will then feed into new plans for reducing pollution or mitigating its impacts. For Muscoy, the Safe Routes Partnership has a seat on the steering committee and is pushing for air quality monitors at school, mapping out polluting truck routes, and engaging students in air quality science.
Meaningful public engagement can make or break a worthy campaign, including any Vision Zero effort. We joined Vision Zero Network to explain the power dynamics of various engagement processes and discuss strategies that prioritize equity and inclusivity on the path to safe mobility. Read more and watch the webinar.