Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #168: March 2020
- Just Released: Safe Routes to Healthy Food Report and Action Agenda
- Now Hiring: Technical Assistance Manager
- New Bill Would Expand Safe Routes
- Welcoming the Safe Routes to Parks 2020 Grantees
- Safe Routes Opposes Salem Policy Restricting Access to Public Sidewalks
- Two New Safe Routes to Parks Resources: Health Impact Assessments and People Powered Implementation
- Live in Colorado? Take the Safe Routes to School Program Census!
- Investing in Health: Robust Local Active Transportation Financing for Healthy Communities
- New Research: Victim-Blaming in News Stories Reduces Readers' Support for Pedestrian Safety Improvements
- More News
Whether people are shopping at a supermarket or corner store, getting food from a food pantry, eating at a local restaurant, or picking up produce at a farmers market or community garden, everyone needs a safe and reliable way to get to the places where they obtain foods. No one should have to risk their life or spend hundreds of hours a year traveling simply to access healthy food. Our new report, Safe Routes to Healthy Food Report and Action Agenda: Connecting Active Transportation to Healthy Food Access, reviews the scope of the problem of transportation access to healthy food, describes a vision for addressing it, and lays out a set of recommendations for policies and practices that can let people safely access healthy food by foot, bicycle, or transit.
The Safe Routes Partnership is seeking an energetic and detail-oriented professional with strong knowledge of Safe Routes to School plus active transportation technical assistance skills to join the Safe Routes Partnership as our Technical Assistance Manager. This position is responsible for advancing the technical assistance and policy-related work of the Safe Routes Partnership in support of the Safe Routes to School, active transportation, transportation equity and healthy communities movements. Responsibilities include providing program and policy-related technical assistance through contracts and grants, developing resources and publications, and providing support to prospect and secure mission-related consulting work.
The Safe Routes Partnership is pleased to be working with Congressman Anthony Brown (D-MD) and several other House Democrats on HR 5891, the Safe Routes to School Expansion Act. The legislation would make Safe Routes to School projects more widely eligible for safety funding. Learn more in this month’s federal policy blog.
The Safe Routes Partnership is excited to introduce the 2020 Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities grantees. These eight grantee communities will work closely with the Safe Routes Partnership staff to develop action plans aimed at improving safe, equitable access to local parks in their communities. Grantee communities will receive training, individualized consultation and technical assistance, connection with peer communities to learn from one another, an in-person workshop in their community, as well as grants of $12,500 each to begin the implementation of their Safe Routes to Parks action plan.
We are working on the ground in Salem, Oregon on a wide range of issues intersecting with Safe Routes to School and safe, healthy communities. We are joining with partners to oppose a “sit-lie” ordinance that, if passed, would prevent people from sitting or lying on public sidewalks. We oppose this inhumane approach and restricting access to public areas like sidewalks and instead encourage Salem to identify solutions for affordable housing and social services. To learn more about our work with partners on this issue, please visit our Regional Network blog.
People Powered Implementation: How Advocates Can Support the Implementation of Safe Routes to Parks
Community advocates can help bring plans to life. While there are many ways that neighbors and residents can help to improve safe, equitable park access, this fact sheet provides four examples of how community advocates can participate in the implementation of Safe Routes to Parks efforts and highlights stories of advocates using these strategies.
Health Impact Assessments: A Tool to Focus on the Health Effects of Park Access
Health impact assessments are a useful tool to help make the case for the many benefits of Safe Routes to Parks. While the positive health impacts of parks and green space may seem obvious, often decisionmakers want data to help weigh costs and benefits of a change or to select among different strategies to benefit health. This factsheet offers a snapshot of a tool to help park advocates engage stakeholders and gather data in support of safe, equitable park access: Health Impact Assessments.
The Safe Routes Partnership is reaching out to all Colorado Safe Routes to School programs for additional information through the Safe Routes to School Program Census. If you have not yet taken the survey, please take a few minutes to share information about your program to ensure it’s counted!
- Who should fill out a Safe Routes to School Program Census survey form? We are looking for one entry from each Safe Routes to School program.
- What is a Safe Routes to School program? Any local, regional, or state initiative, by whatever name, funded or unfunded, that takes action focused on getting more kids walking and biking safely to and from school. If your initiative runs a walking school bus or provides bike education in schools, you are a Safe Routes to School program!
If you think you might be a program but you’re not sure, go ahead and fill out the survey.
Click here to take the survey.
To transform our communities into healthy places, we need to invest in creating streets and neighborhoods that make regular physical activity easy to achieve through walking and bicycling. But communities can’t develop robust active transportation networks that support a range of users without adequate funding. The good news is that local governments can employ proven active transportation financing strategies to create active communities, improving health and well-being for everyone in communities—children, families, and older adults.
This report explains what active transportation financing is and how it works, sets out the benefits of increased active transportation financing in local government, examines different approaches, and explores important considerations regarding policy goals and campaign directions.
The final tally of pedestrians killed in U.S. traffic crashes in 2019 could reach a 30-year high, the Governors Highway Safety Association reported last week. Whether the public supports critical roadway safety improvements to prevent such crashes depends in part on the way news stories about fatal pedestrian crashes are written.
That’s the conclusion of researchers at Texas A&M, Rutgers and Arizona State University, whose first-of-its-kind research shows how word choice and framing in news stories about traffic crashes involving pedestrians influences the way readers perceive what actually happened and who is at fault, and how much they support safety improvements to prevent similar crashes.
Tara Goddard, associate professor of urban planning at Texas A&M, and Kelcie Ralph, PhD, assistant professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers, will discuss their findings in a free online briefing on Weds., March 11, 11-11:30 AM PDT. Click here to read more about the study and register for the briefing.
- Where will you ride in 2020? PeopleForBikes has a dozen ideas for you in their app, Ride Spot!
- Why good transit is the key to a disability-friendly city (Streetsblog)