Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #182: May 2021
- Go Human Mini-Grant Funding Now Available for Traffic Safety Projects in Southern California
- New Safe Routes to Parks Resource & Webinar - Connecting People to Parks: A Toolkit to Increase Safe and Equitable Access to Local Parks and Green Spaces
- Celebrate National Bike Month with the League of American Bicyclists
- Happy Bike to School Day!
- States Make Strides to Obligate TAP Funds
- American Council on Exercise Campaign Seeks to Take Physical Activity Outside
The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is now accepting applications for Go Human’s Community Streets Mini-Grants Program. The Mini-Grants Program funds creative, community-driven traffic safety projects that meet the needs of people most harmed by traffic injuries and fatalities. SCAG will award up to $10,000 to selected projects. Community-based organizations, non-profits and social enterprises are eligible to apply if they are located in the SCAG region, which encompasses the counties of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura. Applications are due by May 19, 2021. Find out more about the program here.
The Safe Routes Partnership and Oregon Health Authority are releasing Connecting People to Parks: A Toolkit to Increase Safe and Equitable Access to Local Parks and Green Spaces. This toolkit includes step-by-step guidance through the Safe Routes to Parks framework to increase safe and equitable access to parks and green spaces. This toolkit was developed specifically for communities in Oregon, however, people from all over the country and backgrounds can benefit from the tools and guidance herein. It focuses on access to parks via active transportation as well as ensuring a high-quality, safe experience within the park itself. As you work through this toolkit, you can expect to learn how to thoughtfully engage your community, assess barriers to safe and equitable park access, identify goals and take meaningful action steps, and consider how to sustain your ongoing Safe Routes to Parks efforts.
On May 20, join a free one-hour webinar to learn more about the new toolkit and hear from community partners for ideas on implementing Safe Routes to Parks in Oregon communities. May is also Arthritis Awareness Month, and this webinar will explore different ways to align Safe Routes to Parks efforts with physical activity programs like Walk With Ease. Come learn more about Safe Routes to Parks and future peer-learning opportunities in Oregon!
Connecting People to Parks in Oregon Communities
May 20th, 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm Pacific
- Allison Harris, Oregon State University Extension Service
- Amanda Parsons, Oregon Recreation and Park Association
- Becky Gilliam, Safe Routes Partnership
- Nicole Paulsen, Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District
May is National Bike Month, promoted by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. With a focus on individual and community wellbeing, the League will highlight how you can #BikeThere during Bike Month. Whether you’re riding for fun, fitness or with family, or taking essential trips to work or shop, you can be a part of the movement for safer streets, connected communities, a healthier planet, and happier people. Learn how you can participate in National Bike Month by visiting https://www.bikeleague.org/bikemonth.
Bike to School Day allows participants to celebrate the joy of active commuting while building a sense of community and school spirit. The event also brings attention to the importance of creating safe routes to school. More than 60 percent of past Walk and Bike to School Day organizers said their events led to policy or environmental changes in their communities. If you’re looking for inspiration for ways to celebrate during the pandemic, check out this list of event ideas created specifically for 2021 and the Bike to School Day 2020 annual report. While May 5 is this year’s official date, communities are welcome to celebrate any day in May that best fits their schedules. For more information on Bike to School Day visit http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/ #BiketoSchoolDay.
Want to implement a community bike to school program? Get started with step-by-step instructions from our Safe Routes to School Bike Train resource.
Now that the second quarter of fiscal year 2021 has closed, our latest quarterly TAP tracking chart shows that state departments of transportation obligated $70 million for the Transportation Alternatives Program – helping local communities build meaningful projects to support walking, bicycling, and Safe Routes to School. However, four states transferred money away from TAP: Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, and Utah.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has launced a national advocacy campaign calling on local and state governments to expand access and reduce restrictions to using green spaces, parks and other community spaces. With the COVID-19 pandemic ever present, ACE envisions this Campaign as a long-term benefit that can improve community health and reduce health inequities. The #MovingTogetherOutside campaign seeks to increase the number of shared-use agreements across the country. These agreements are created between two parties and allow for a space to be used when not otherwise occupied. ACE and campaign supporters believe this will help increase physical activity access to all communities, especially those that are most vulnerable to lifestyle–related diseases such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Learn more about the campaign here.