Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #158: May 2019
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- A New Look for the Safe Routes Partnership
- Happy Bike to School Day!
- Get Your Program Counted in the Safe Routes to School Program Census by May 10
- Take Advantage of Early Bird Registration for the Safe Routes to School National Conference Through June 30
- Keep Walking and Wheeling with Our Toolkits
- Senators Cardin and Wicker Lead on TAP
- Eugene, OR Adopts Five-Year Vision Zero Action Plan
- Economic Benefits of Active Travel to School Exceed the Cost
- Safe Routes to Parks: Former Crime Magnet is Transformed into a Community Recreational and Green Space
- 2018 PlacesForBikes City Ratings
We have some exciting news to share from the Safe Routes Partnership - we have an updated logo and name! After more than a year of soul-searching, stakeholder interviews, message tweaks, many graphic designs, and future-oriented discussions about our name and core work, we're thrilled to show off our new look and shortened name. We will now be known as the Safe Routes Partnership. Read a blog post from executive director Cass Isidro with more background on the refreshed name and logo.
Thousands of schools nationwide are celebrating National Bike to School Day – from Clarksville, TN to Boise, ID to Greensboro, NC to Louisville, KY to San Diego, CA and many more! Communities celebrate Walk to School Day and Bike to School Day for a variety of reasons, and safety is always at the core. Here are seven ideas for how to leverage your event to promote the importance of walking and biking safety for the entire community, starting with the trip to school.
Calling all Safe Routes to School program staff! Have you filled out the Safe Routes to School Program Census yet? Take 15 minutes to complete the survey and help strengthen Safe Routes to School programs nationwide. Tomorrow’s students will thank you!
Note: Only one response per program (not per school) is required.
Early bird registration for the 2019 Safe Routes to School Conference is open! Discounted registration rates are available through June 30. Start making your plans now to attend the conference in Tampa, FL, November 12-14, and join hundreds of Safe Routes to School and active transportation professionals to exchange ideas and share knowledge in a culturally vibrant city that is best explored by foot, bike, and public transportation. Register here.
Visit www.saferoutesconference.org to meet the plenary speakers, and stay tuned for program information coming soon.
Thinking about ways to sustain momentum after Bike to School Day and Bike Month in May? Establishing a regular bike train or walking school bus can keep kids walking and rolling to school any day of the year. Check out our bike train and walking school bus toolkits that are helping schools and communities get their programs off to a strong start. Developed under a contract with the California Department of Public Health, these toolkits outline how to plan and implement a walking school bus or bike train, and include proven tools, tips and templates for a fast and easy start. Are you looking to create customized guides or resources to support bike trains, walking school buses, or other Safe Routes to School activities in your community? The National Partnership’s consulting services can tailor materials to meet your local needs.
We are pleased to announce that Senators Cardin (D-MD) and Wicker (R-MS) have introduced S. 1098, the Transportation Alternatives Enhancements Act. The legislation encompasses our key priorities for TAP, including higher funding and improvements to get projects implemented more quickly. We are also grateful for the support from a wide array of local government organizations, health and safety nonprofits, and transportation and planning organizations that endorsed S. 1098. Read more on our federal update.
Last month, Eugene, OR adopted a five-year Vision Zero action plan seeking to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2025. A key goal of the action plan is to reduce vehicle speeds, and the National Partnership is supporting two bills pending in the Oregon legislature to allow cities like Eugene to set speed limits. We will also be pushing the city to hire a dedicated Vision Zero coordinator to oversee implementation of the plan. We applaud Eugene for doing the hard word of identifying how to make the community safer for everyone to get around.
The old tennis courts at Homestead Park in Youngstown, Ohio, secluded from other well-lit parts of the park, started attracting illegal activity in the late afternoons and lasting through the night. With no fence to control access, people would drive over the sidewalk and park on the courts to drink and party, with occasional fights and even shootings breaking out. Read about how the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, a 2018 Safe Routes to Parks grantee organization, worked with community members and local leaders to transform the area into a safe and welcoming space where families and kids can walk, play, and be active.
The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) finds economic benefits exceed the cost for active travel to school interventions, based on a systematic review of economic evidence. Included studies of U.S. Safe Routes to School programs reported economic benefits of averted injuries that were a result of street-level engineering improvements.
The CPSTF recommends interventions to increase active travel to school based on evidence they increase walking among students and reduce risks for traffic-related injury. CDC’s High-Impact in 5 years initiative highlights Safe Routes to School to increase physical activity to and from schools for students and adolescents. Check out the HI-5 story about schools in North Carolina where this was achieved through a community-based program to promote walking and biking for school-age children.
Where does your city rank when it comes to safe biking, or the ease of traveling from place to place? See how your community stacks up in the newly released 2019 PlacesForBikes City Ratings. Cities are ranked based on an overall score, as well as category scores in the areas of Ridership (how many people ride bikes), Network (how easily local destinations can be accessed), Safety (based on fatality and injury rates), Reach (how well a bike network serves all members of a community) and Acceleration (how quickly a community is improving its bike network).