Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #150: September 2018
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- Save the Date for the 2019 Safe Routes to School National Conference
- Free Webinar: Spice Up Your Communications About Safe Routes to School
- Pop-Up Parks: Filling in the Gap on Safe and Equitable Access to Parks
- Registration is Open for Walk to School Day on October 10!
- New Fact Sheet: Frequent Routes to Funding for Safe Routes to School
- California Ballot Includes Two Key Propositions
- Four Things Healthy Food Advocates Can Do to Improve Access for People Without Cars
- Future Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities Funding Opportunity Coming November 2018
- Take the PeopleForBikes Community Survey
The 2019 Safe Routes to School National Conference will be held at the Hilton Tampa Downtown from November 12-15, 2019. Be sure to save the date for this fabulous opportunity to join hundreds of active transportation and public health advocates and practitioners from across the country for valuable networking, sharing best practices, and exploring one of Florida's most vibrant and active cities.
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership wishes to extend warm thanks to the presenting sponsor, Florida Department of Transportation, and the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization, who is our local host and partner for this event.
We will share more information about the conference in the months ahead; for now, mark the date on your calendar and plan to attend the conference and consider a fun-in-the-sun trip to Florida with friends or family.
Join us on Tuesday, September 11 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern for a free webinar:
Talking about Safe Routes to School: Spice Up Your Communication
September 11, 2018 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
This webinar will highlight successful Safe Routes to School communication strategies and platforms that have worked best for communities. Additionally, the Safe Routes to School Safe Routes Partnership will present a School District Communication Toolkit, which can easily be used by any school or district to talk about Safe Routes to School. Come learn about new communication strategies!
Low-income and communities of color have disproportionately less safe access to parks in the neighborhoods they live in. In Youngstown, Ohio, a neighborhood development corporation is taking action to make up for the lack of safe access to parks by partnering with residents, the I-C-U Neighborhood Block Watch group, Youngstown Police Department, and neighborhood youth to coordinate Southside Summer Experience. Through this initiative, Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) temporarily installs parks, which seemingly “pop up”, in an area around town that has poor access to green or open space providing youth with food and fun activities. For two hours, youth are entertained with a bouncy house, a mobile video gaming truck, arts and crafts, dance contests, and other fun activities. Prior to each event, YNDC staff clean up the area around the open space. Research suggests that beautifying vacant lots can reduce crime, vandalism, and rates of stress as well as improve physical activity, and that is what’s unfolding in Youngstown.
A new fact sheet, Putting the "Safe" In Safe Routes to Parks, is available with more information about this programming activity along with other examples from community groups, park agencies, law enforcement, and community-based organizations to improve personal safety from crime and violence in order to promote park access.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Registration is now open for Walk to School Day. Join the movement that inspires the entire community to come together and promote health and safer routes for students to walk and bike to school. While October 10 is this year’s official date, communities are welcome to celebrate any day in October that best fits their schedules.
Safe Routes to School programs need to secure funding to carry out programming and to expand to reach more students. The financial needs of Safe Routes to School programs vary based on program size, depth, and maturity. Some programs can thrive using in-kind donations and volunteers, while others require grants and paid staff. No matter the need and available resources, Safe Routes to School programs need to consider funding in order to flourish and be effective in the long run.
A new fact sheet, Frequent Routes to Funding, describes key steps to ensure your program is well positioned for funding, provides ideas for where to look for funding, and highlights the breadth of funding sources that programs from around the country are currently accessing.
In November, California voters will have an opportunity to impact affordable housing and safe and healthy transportation options. Proposition 10 would repeal the state’s ban on rent control—allowing cities to utilize restrictions on rent increases to stabilize housing costs. Proposition 6 would repeal the year-old SB 1 law that increased the California state gas tax, which has doubled funding for the state’s Active Transportation Program and pumped money into regional transportation planning. Read more about these propositions and the Safe Routes Partnership’s position on them in our California state ballot update.
In recent years, efforts to eradicate food deserts have centered around bringing grocery stores and other healthy food retail to underserved areas. However, because healthy food retail development takes time, there are still many food deserts where healthy food retail may not be an option any time soon – so it’s critical to consider how people are getting to and from the places where they currently buy or get healthy foods. Here are four ways healthy food access advocates can ensure their efforts to bring healthy food retail to neighborhoods will result in improved access for people who rely on walking, biking, and taking public transportation.
Stay tuned for more information about how your organization can apply for funding to improve active travel to equitable, quality parks. Previous grantee locations include: Birmingham, AL; Indianapolis, IN; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; National City, CA; Planada, CA; Portland, OR; Tampa, FL; Troy, NY; and Youngstown, OH. Learn more about their work here.
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.