Six months into fiscal year 2018, Congress has finally set spending levels for federal agencies and programs. The $1.3 trillion omnibus appropriations bill includes great news for many programs for which the Trump administration proposed elimination or significant cuts.
Safe Routes to School
Safe Routes to School in Columbus, Ohio started in the mid-2000s as a cooperative effort that spoke to public health, the Department of Public Services, and the Safe Walks program, involving Safe Routes to School travel plans for a school or a group of a few schools. These efforts brought about mobility studies for a few different neighborhoods. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) funded SRTS projects at individual schools, but they were also receiving a lot of applications for larger school districts.
Newton, MA's Safe Routes to School program has made many gains since they started roughly ten years ago. Examples are across the board! Not only have they identified more local champions who work with individual schools, but they are also poised to announce a new working school transportation policy developed by an after school committee. The current policy has more of a focus on who qualifies for the bus, and they’ve been asked to develop a policy that promotes walking, biking and taking the bus.