Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #163: October 2019
- Happy Walk to School Day!
- Join Us in Sunny Tampa for the Safe Routes to School National Conference
- Rescissions Hang Over the Transportation Alternatives Program
- Want to Learn More About MPOs? Two Free Webinars in October!
- Moving DC to Zero: Championing Community and Change East of the River
- Cultivating Safe Routes Champions in Lawrence, Kansas
- Neighbors in South Tucson Transform Their School Crossing with a Tactical Urbanism Traffic Circle
- CalTrans Taps Active Transportation Champion as Director
- Creating Safe Routes to Healthy Food for Older Adults in DC
- Get Walking and Biking Incentives from I'm Safe and Support Safe Routes!
1. Happy Walk to School Day!
Today is the day to lace up your sneakers and join thousands of schools across the country to celebrate International Walk to School Day! We couldn’t be more thrilled to join you on the streets and sidewalks to celebrate with kids, families, and teachers at thousands of schools nationwide.
Take a moment to look around and see the enthusiasm and demand for safe, walkable streets. Keep in mind that for every child walking on a safe, connected sidewalk, many more are walking to school in dangerous conditions – or not walking at all. Thank you for the work you do to make your community a healthier, more equitable place for all kids.
Keep in mind: while many students are walking today thanks to safe, connected sidewalks, visible crosswalks, and a supportive community, many more are walking every day in dangerous conditions.
2. Join Us in Sunny Tampa for the Safe Routes to School National Conference
Want to find out what’s next for Safe Routes to School and active transportation? Don’t miss out on this opportunity to join hundreds of advocates and practitioners at the 2019 Safe Routes to School National Conference, November 12-14. Spend three days in Tampa with leaders working to advance Safe Routes and create healthy, equitable communities. You’ll go home with new strategies and techniques to share to continue the movement. Browse the full program online and register today!
3. Rescissions Hang Over the Transportation Alternatives Program
To try and balance the last transportation bill, Congress put in a $7.6 billion rescission. Unless Congress acts to cancel the rescission, TAP and other programs will see serious cuts in funding next July. Learn more in our federal blog post.
4. Want to Learn More About MPOs? Two Free Webinars in October!
October 9: Regional Planning and Health: How MPOs Are Using Regional Transportation Planning to Advance Health
Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) are some of the most influential agencies that most people have never heard of. Join us for a webinar on October 9 for an overview of MPO long-range regional transportation planning and how MPOs can include health in these processes.
October 17: Transportation Planning Innovations and Health: How MPOs Are Combining Core Skills and Creativity to Advance Health
In this free webinar on 10/17, the second of two on MPOs and health, we will provide an overview of a range of creative and inspiring approaches that MPOs are taking to benefit healthy and thriving neighborhoods.
5. Moving DC to Zero: Championing Community and Change East of the River
The Safe Routes Partnership spent a year partnering with communities in Wards 7 and 8 to implement transportation safety initiatives in support of the District’s Vision Zero plan. The goal was to identify and address barriers to reducing injuries and fatalities while providing resources focused on creating safe streets, protecting vulnerable users, and preventing dangerous driving. We worked closely alongside residents, community partners, District agencies, and schools to improve safety where people live, learn, and play.
This toolkit provides an overview of our collective work with tips and resources for developing Vision Zero initiatives East of the River. We explain our community engagement strategy, spotlight school champions, celebrate success stories, and offer recommendations for equitable transportation change.
6. Cultivating Safe Routes Champions in Lawrence, Kansas
Over the course of a year and half, the Safe Routes Partnership worked with the Be Active Safe Routes program in Lawrence, Kansas to build capacity of existing staff and create new local champions. Through a series of online and in person workshops and meetings, we provided training on aspects of Safe Route to School such as developing a walk audit tool tailored to the local community, conducting school arrival and dismissal observations, and creating a school travel plan. In addition, our staff helped the program hold a convening for community members and partners to spark the interest of new champions. Thanks to collaborative efforts by the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, Lawrence Public Schools, the City of Lawrence, and the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization, Safe Routes to School is going strong in Lawrence and the group is developing a citywide Safe Routes to School plan in the next year.
7. Neighbors in South Tucson Transform Their School Crossing with a Tactical Urbanism Traffic Circle
Last spring, children, parents, grandparents and neighbors in the City of South Tucson came together to beautify and enhance their school crossing at Mission View Elementary School. Painting howling coyotes, desert sunsets, smiling suns and cactus, families transformed asphalt and sidewalk into a colorful canvas of symbols and imagery that celebrates their community. The art creates a sense of place and a welcoming space, while the flex posts, reflective pavement markers, and large pots filled with native plants surround the large intersection mural to delineate a traffic circle, slowing down drivers and creating a safer crossing for people on foot and bicycle.
8. CalTrans Taps Active Transportation Champion as Director
Congratulations to Toks Omishakin, Governor Newsom’s nominee for CalTrans director, which was announced earlier this month. Mr. Omishakin is a recruit from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, where he has been an unyielding champion of active transportation and complete streets. Prior to that, he served as director of healthy living initiatives for the Nashville Mayor’s Office for three years. There, he worked closely with our long-time steering committee member and Safe Routes to School champion Leslie Meehan to bring health factors into transportation planning and project selection. In a plenary speech last year at the National Bike Summit, Omishakin demonstrated his commitment to building healthy communities through biking and walking. We believe he will be an excellent leader in our state and we are very excited to work with him when he arrives.
9. Creating Safe Routes to Healthy Food for Older Adults in DC
For older adults whose transportation options are limited, having safe options for walking or taking transit to healthy food is an important way to maintain independence, health, and community connections. With grant funding from AARP, the Safe Routes Partnership is working with community members from DC’s Bellevue neighborhood to improve traffic safety and connections to healthy food through a traffic safety demonstration and series of traffic-themed community art workshops. We invite the community to join us at the Taste of Harvest Festival on October 19 where we’ll lead a workshop with reusable grocery bag decorating, a temporary crosswalk, and traffic safety information.
10. Get Walking and Biking Incentives from I'm Safe and Support Safe Routes!
We’re excited to announce a new promotion that will save you money and support the Safe Routes Partnership – all at the same time. Use code SRTS4Us when you order from our I’m Safe partner and here’s what will happen:
- You will get top quality reflectives, t-shirts and safety education materials customized for your school or organization
- You will save 10% (minimum quantities apply)
- For every order, I’m Safe will also donate a portion of the proceeds back to the Safe Routes Partnership. Everyone wins!
Check out I’m Safe! pedestrian and bicycle safety products here. This promotion ends on November 9, 2019 so call for your free estimate today: 1-877-669-7233, ext. 206; or request a quote or samples by clicking here.