Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #151: October 2018
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- Walk to School Day is One Week Away!
- Support #RockTheWalk
- Large Trucks, Little Children: How Poorly Planned Industrial Zoning Threatens Children’s Health and Safety
- Free Webinar: Winning Strategies to Engage Diverse Communities in Safe Routes to School
- Safe Routes to Schools and Parks
- Spending Bills Moving; Concerns with Automated Vehicles Bill
- Regional News: Orange County, CA Holds Vigil and Forum on Vision Zero
- America Walks Announces Community Change Grants
- Take the PeopleForBikes Community Survey
The countdown is on – Walk to School Day is only a week away! When kids walk to school, they improve their health, gain independence and confidence, and arrive at school ready to learn. On October 10, thousands of communities will join in with fun and safe Walk to School Day events that get families, teachers, city staff, and community members walking together, while educating children and families about the benefits of walking.
Check out our guide to planning your Walk to School Day event in four easy steps, and be sure to register your event on walkbiketoschool.org to make sure your efforts are counted as part of the national movement for walking and biking to school.
More than 5,000 schools will be participating in Walk to School Day next week.
But there are millions of students for whom walking to school is not a safe option due to lack of safe sidewalks and walking paths, busy streets with speeding traffic, or fears of personal safety due to violence and crime.
And there are students who live in communities with unsafe walking conditions, and who are walking to school every day anyway because they have no other option.
We know you firmly believe that every child in America deserves the opportunity to walk to school safely. Donate today to help build communities where walking is a safe and reliable option on Walk to School Day and every day of the year.
Children walking to school alongside streets heavy with enormous polluting trucks is dangerous and unhealthy. Emerging economic trends are leading to new industrial development, increased heavy truck traffic, and hazardous air pollution near schools and homes. Safe Routes to School advocates need to be aware of the dangers to children’s health and active school travel that these changes pose.
In a new case study, Large Trucks, Little Children: How Poorly Planned Industrial Zoning Threatens Children's Health and Safety, we explore how economic growth and poor land use planning are contributing to the decline in community health for the Inland Valley, especially for low-income people and communities of color in the region.
On Wednesday, October 24, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern, the Safe Routes Partnership is hosting a free webinar:
October 24, 2018 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Low-income communities and communities of color are more vulnerable to unsafe travel partly because of inequities in infrastructure and programming. By engaging diverse communities in Safe Routes to School, we can help change this! Join us to learn about the importance and impact of meaningful community engagement in Safe Routes to School programs.
As Walk to School Day approaches, we’ve been thinking a lot about communities where students meet up at parks and walk to school or vice versa. For example, in Youngstown, Ohio, students occasionally meet up at Homestead Park and walk to school and in Anchorage, Alaska teachers and students walk from Nunaka Valley Elementary School to Russian Jack Springs Park for place-based learning. Health by Design, an Indianapolis-based non-profit and grantee of the Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program, is expanding beyond schools to improve connectivity between afterschool programs and parks. It recently partnered with Indy Parks and the Indianapolis YMCA afterschool camp program to host a Walkability Scavenger Hunt, a play-based walk audit in which students could think about and share what made the walk “feel comfortable or uncomfortable."
To consider how you might improve the connection between schools, afterschool programs, and local parks, check out Safe Routes to School Meets Safe Routes to Parks, which examines alignment between these great initiatives. Learn how improving safe access to parks aligns with and can strengthen Safe Routes to School and active transportation advocacy efforts.
Congress has reached agreement on health and education spending, but transportation spending decisions have been pushed until December. Check out our federal policy blog for the latest, as well as our concerns on legislation governing automated vehicles.
The Safe Routes Partnership and the Alliance for Healthy Orange County have partnered to host a community vigil to honor lives lost in traffic crashes. The vigil will be followed by a forum, where a panel of experts discussing safety challenges in the county for people walking and biking, and potential solutions to make the county safer for everyone. The hope is that the events will kickstart a push for a countywide Vision Zero policy.
America Walks has announced another round of its Community Change Grant program. This program will award grantees $1,500.00 in community stipends for projects related to creating healthy, active, and engaged places to live, work, and play. Projects should be able to demonstrate how they will create healthy, active, and engaged communities that support walking as transportation, health, and recreation. Click here to view and complete the application.
The annual PeopleForBikes Community Survey is now open! This five-minute survey helps determine how communities rank in the PFB city ratings; it's also an important tool for letting city leaders know what it's like to ride bikes in their town. Click here to complete the survey, and please share the link with your friends and family. The more data, the more power to influence better biking in your community.