Safe Routes to School E-News
Issue #77: June 2012
Safe Routes to School E-News is a monthly email newsletter published by the Safe Routes Partnership (Safe Routes Partnership), which is leading the national movement for Safe Routes to School by coordinating and energizing more than 500 organizations, government agencies, schools and professional groups. Our mission is to advance safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, and in daily life, to improve the health and well-being of America’s children and to foster the creation of livable, sustainable communities.
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In this issue:
1. Local Host Sought for Safe Routes to School National Conference
Applications are due June 22
The National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Safe Routes Partnership are currently seeking proposals from host agencies to organize the 4th Safe Routes to School National Conference in August 2013. This event will enhance the momentum of the Safe Routes to School movement and bring an expected 500-700 conference attendees to your city. The deadline for proposal submissions is June 22, 2012. To download the complete request and to view a FAQ, please visit www.saferoutesinfo.org/conference/RFP.
2. The Latest from Capitol Hill
Transportation bill at a tipping point
After several weeks of reported progress, the latest news reports say that negotiations on the transportation bill are on the rocks. This week is likely to be a tipping point in whether we get a new transportation bill or another extension. News reports also have indicated that we continue to be a target for House Republicans on the conference committee. So it’s critical to be diligent and persistent letting your members of Congress know that Safe Routes to School is important to you. And, get your mayor, school board members and other local elected officials to weigh in too! +Read more
3. Safe Routes Partnership Welcomes New Steering Committee Members
Fresh experience and geographic perspective will bring value
The Safe Routes Partnership is governed by a Steering Committee of 21 members with national, state and local perspectives on Safe Routes to School. The Safe Routes Partnership is pleased to announce and welcome the following new Steering Committee organizations: Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (Amanda McEldowney), National Association of Regional Councils (Erika Young), National Parent Teacher Association (Mary Pat King) and University of Miami WalkSafe™ & BikeSafe™ Programs (Dr. Gillian Hotz). In addition, the following Steering Committee organizations were nominated and selected to serve for another three-year term on the Steering Committee: Alliance for Biking and Walking (Kristen Swanson), Kaiser Permanente (Dr. Sandy Stenmark) and WalkBoston (Wendy Landman). To view a complete list of current Steering Committee organizations and their member representatives, click here.
4. Sign Up for Our Free 2012 Annual Meeting and Safe Routes Social
Monday, September 10 from 1-6:30pm in Long Beach, CA
Our free 2012 Annual Meeting is taking place on Monday, September 10 from 1-5pm in conjunction with the Pro Walk/Pro Bike® conference in Long Beach, CA. We invite you to come and learn how to sustain your Safe Routes to School program with new funding at the state, regional and local levels, get a timely federal update and attend one of our ever-popular breakout groups.
There will also be ample time to network with fellow Safe Routes to School enthusiasts at both the Annual Meeting and our Safe Routes Social taking place immediately after from 5-6:30pm. You won't want to miss either of these two great (and free) events! Register for the Annual Meeting at the same time that you register for the Pro Walk Pro Bike Conference. If you are interested in attending just the Safe Routes Partnership’s Annual Meeting, walk-in registration will be available or you can email Brooke Driesse to be added to the list. +Read more
5. State Network Project News
State networks running strong
Our state advocacy organizers began in early March and we are very happy to report that they are running strong. Besides making key contacts in their states, including some that are players on the national scene, they are being invited to sit on a variety of influential state level committees. They are starting monthly network meetings with diverse partners, and are preparing state action plans with a focus on built environment policies that result in award and obligation of Safe Routes to School and Transportation Enhancements (TE) funding, Complete Streets policies and joint-use agreements, all through the lens of serving lower-income schools and communities. Learn more here every month and follow our blog posts. +Read more
6. Regional Network Project News
Celebrating victories from coast to coast
As the regional network project matures, we realized significant victories last month. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) adopted their four-year One Bay Area Grant program (OBAG) as part of their Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). MTC will provide $20 million to the nine Bay Area counties for Safe Routes to School and is now requiring its jurisdictions to adopt Complete Streets policies as a prerequisite for receiving regional OBAG funds. In the Greater Washington, DC region, the Transportation Policy Board (TPB) adopted a regional Complete Streets policy, which provides a framework for achieving more policies throughout the region. +Read more
7. Register Today for Our Free Safe Routes to School Federal Funding 201 Webinar
June 7 at 2pm eastern
Our May webinar, Federal Funding 101, covered the basics of the complex federal funding process for Safe Routes to School grants. On June 7, 2012 at 2pm eastern, we will discuss another phase of federal funding, obligation. Obligation is the final stage of the federal regulatory process; once a project or program is obligated, it is ready to go out to bid and then construction can begin, but not before. It can take a long time to get Safe Routes to School and Transportation Enhancements projects and programs to this point: learn how the process works, and what you can do to help your state Department of Transportation’s program and local city and county applicants to get through this complex process. Also, learn about obligation authority/limitations, or how and why some of the federal funds may not even be made available to communities in your state. For more info and to register today, click here!
8. $70 Million in Community Transformation Grants Available
Letter of intent deadline is June 18 – application deadline is July 31
On May 29, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced available funding of $70 million to improve the health of small communities with a population of 500,000 or less across the nation. Grants, which are part of the Community Transformation Grant program (CTG), will be awarded to governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations across a variety of sectors to control the nation’s growing health care costs associated with preventable chronic diseases. One of the grant priorities is about healthy and safe physical environments, so Safe Routes to School could be a good fit! +Read more
10. Featured States
Highlighting Indiana and Massachusetts
The Indiana Safe Routes to School program is alive and well! Having completed six application rounds since its inception in 2006, there are now 114 infrastructure projects and non-infrastructure activities that have been awarded funding in the Hoosier State. For a map of Indiana’s Safe Routes to School awards click here. In November 2011, a total of 18 infrastructure and 13 non-infrastructure awards, benefitting 81 public and private schools, were announced by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). +Read more
The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School program has expanded rapidly over the past year and is poised to surpass the 500 partner mark by the end of 2012. Currently, 485+ schools are participating in the program, serving 42 percent of communities throughout the Commonwealth, impacting more than 220,000 children annually.
Earlier this school-year, the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School program celebrated the unveiling of four newly completed infrastructure projects in the towns of Arlington, Lexington, Peabody and Stoneham. The total construction contract value for all four projects was $1.8 million and included infrastructure improvements such as providing new direct sidewalk connections with safer roadway crossings from nearby residential areas, new pedestrian flashing warning assembly, updated ramps, freshly painted crosswalks and the construction of a 10-foot wide multi-use path that will tie into the future extension of MassDOT’s Tri-Community Bikeway Project. +Read more
Safe Routes to School News throughout the Country
Ohio DOT Awards $16 Million in Safe Routes to School Funding
Seattle, WA: A School Bus Without the Bus
North Glenn, CO: Students Learn Safety Tips at Bike Rodeo
Help Grow the Safe Routes Partnership!
Joining the Safe Routes Partnership is free. Please encourage other organizations, schools, businesses, and government agencies to join the Safe Routes Partnership, a network of more than 500 organizations and agencies.
Funding for the Safe Routes Partnership has been generously provided by the Bikes Belong Coalition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kaiser Permanente, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, SRAM Cycling Fund, individuals and partner affiliates.
For more information, contact: