Safe Routes to School in the Pacific Northwest

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The Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s mission is to advocate for safe walking and bicycling to and from school, and in daily life, to improve the health and well-being of America’s children and to foster the creation of livable, sustainable communities.

Working in the Pacific Northwest, this regional network brings together community members of all ages, including advocates, school officials and teachers, and those interested in or working on health, transportation and planning. Together, around the greater Portland, Vancouver, and Salem regions, we support walking and bicycling policies and funding within communities, to create a place where walking and bicycling are safe and convenient.

Crosswalk improvements come to Old Town

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

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A highly successful BetterBlockPDX pilot project in October in Portland’s Old Town/Chinatown demonstrated what can be done to improve walkability by re-imagining under-used street space as bike lanes, crosswalks, and plazas for people.

Just two months later, the City of Portland is already moving forward on making improvements permanent. The first of new crosswalks in Old Town was installed at a very needed location – NW 2nd & NW Couch.

Happy Holidays!

Oregon Transportation Safety Action Plan input

ODOT’s Transportation Safety Action Plan (TSAP) is the policy plan for coordination of programs and investments in measures improving safety for all transportation modes for the whole state.

TSAP is one of many state-level plans currently being updated, all of which feed into the Oregon Transportation Plan (OTP). The OTP’s primary goal is to have a safe, efficient and sustainable transportation system that enhances Oregon’s quality of life and economic vitality. The TSAP update presents an excellent opportunity to weigh in on how Safe Routes to School can and should be an integral part of overall safety planning in the state.

A meeting is scheduled for the Portland Metro region on December 17 from 8:30-12. We’ll be attending and hope you can, too!

Lorenzen Conference Center, Room 1702
Legacy Emmanuel Hospital
2801 Gantenbein Avenue

Read more on ODOT’s website.

Oregon School Wellness Award

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The Oregon Department of Education wants to recognize schools that take their district’s wellness policy and effectively implement the policy to promote student health and academic achievement by presenting an Oregon School Wellness Award.

The schools chosen to receive the Oregon School Wellness Award will receive a cash prize, certificate of recognition, banner, and serve as an example for the entire state.

School Wellness Policies are required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture from school districts receiving federally-funded school meals. These School wellness policies, that were established during the 2006-2007 academic year, set goals for school-based activities that promote healthy eating, daily physical activity, and other wellness behaviors. The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 strengthened and enhanced the requirements of implementing and evaluating those policies. Individual schools must implement the district policy, but can also go beyond the policy to improve student and staff health.

Supporting kids’ achievements and addressing health issues including physical activity and nutrition can greatly improve their ability to learn. Schools that have recognized the link between health and education and taken action have benefited from more positive and alert students, reduced school absenteeism, and improved student performance and test scores.

Applications are due January 16, 2015 at 5:00pm

All Oregon schools participating in the National School Lunch Program are encouraged to apply. A Blue Ribbon panel will narrow down the school candidates and make recommendation to Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton for a final decision.

Request for Proposals: 2015 Oregon Active Transportation Summit

There is now an open Request for Proposal (RFP) process to gather presentation ideas for the 2015 Oregon Active Transportation Summit.

The 2014 Summit saw more than 400 planners and engineers, teachers, researchers, students, community members, doctors and health representatives, Safe Routes to School practitioners, elected officials, and advocates come together to find out how to make their communities safer and healthier through active transportation.

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This is your opportunity to craft a discussion, host a mobile workshop, or participate on a panel during Oregon’s premier annual conference on walking, bicycling, and access to transit — the 2015 Oregon Active Transportation Summit.

We value community-driven processes and solutions, and encourage applications from youth, grassroots advocates, and community groups whose primary focus may not be on active transportation. You are welcome to propose a presentation as an individual or in a group. If you would like to speak at the event or lead a panel discussion, please fill out this form by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 5th.

The Summit will be held March 30-31, 2015, at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland, Oregon.

2015 Oregon Active Transportation Summit RFP

Sign the petition to support safe routes to school For Every Kid

Join us as we fight to ensure health and safety for every kid by urging Metro to invest in safe routes to school for every kid in the Metro-area.

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In the coming months, Metro Council has the opportunity to dedicate critical funding that could shape a healthy future for every kid in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties. When it is safe, convenient, and fun to walk to neighborhood schools, our children are healthier, our streets are safer for everyone, and our communities thrive. Every kid in Oregon deserves a chance at a healthy future.

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Support funding safe streets in Portland on 11/20

On Thursday, November 20th, Portland City Council will have a hearing on the Portland Street Fund proposal. This proposal will provide new funding for a huge number of safety projects on our streets.

Safe streets should be our number one priority and we welcome an increase in the amount of money dedicated to making them safer, especially where conditions are the worst. We know that both maintenance and safety needs are high priorities for a large majority of Portlanders.

We urge Portland City Council to vote the new Portland Street Fund into effect. While it is not perfect, the proposal has come a long way in addressing concerns about how the revenue will be collected and distributed; we will not let perfect be the enemy of the good, and this Street Fund is good public policy. Continue reading