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.

How We Get There Matters: Become an Effective Advocate for Healthy Transportation

SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY — We are co-hosting a medical clinician training on active transportation policy and advocacy on December 11th, and we’d like to extend the invitation to public health professionals, students, and other interested parties.


When: December 11, 2014 (Full Day Training)
Where: Metro Regional Center, 600 NE Grand, Portland, OR


life choices, circumstances, and environment affect health outcomes.

Transportation and land use decisions can substantially increase physical activity by broadening the safety and appeal of walking and biking.

Learn the context and skills necessary to successfully advocate for transportation funding and policy decisions that will forward positive health outcomes.

  • Full day training with breakfast and lunch
  • Earn 5.5 Category 1 CME credits
  • Keynote address by Dr. Andy Dannenberg of the University of Washington School of Public Health
  • Policy briefings on current transportation issues, including Vision Zero and Safe Routes to School
  • Engage with state and local policy makers and elected officials in hands-on advocacy training
  • Cost $95 includes full-day training, breakfast, lunch, and materials. Space is limited and registration closes at the end of the day Monday, December 1. *Starting tomorrow, there will also be a student registration price of $45 available on the registration site.

View Agenda

How We Get There Matters is brought to you by a partnership between Kaiser Permanente, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Transportation for America, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Oregon Walks, Coalition for a Livable Future, and Metro.

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

New Executive Director Sought for Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Please see the job description linked below and share this announcement with your networks.

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New Executive Director Sought for Safe Routes to School National Partnership
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is seeking a new Executive Director to provide leadership, strategic vision and direction to fulfill the National Partnership’s mission and vision and take the organization to the next level of growth, development and impact.

Metro-area leaders: prioritize active transportation & transit — for our children, our health, our climate

The Oregon Legislature requires the Portland metropolitan region to reduce per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars and small trucks by 2035, and the deadline for coming up with the plan is December 31, 2014 — less than two months away. Some local decision-makers are now bickering over the details of the plan and threatening its future, despite the fact that Metro, Portland’s regional government covering the tri-county area of urbanized Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah counties, has been working with regional partners on the strategy for how to get there for the past four years.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Pacific Northwest region, has been engaged with Metro and regional leaders on the importance of Climate Smart planning — the proposed plan is a solidly researched strategy that includes realistic tools to move the region forward toward a Climate Smart future. We support the work that Metro has done and the strategy as proposed; it crosses over from state mandated and future quality of life GHG reductions to include positive impacts on transportation, land use, equity, health, economy, and the environment. How the Metro region chooses to plan for and implement strategies addressing GHG reduction will profoundly shape our region for decades, truly for centuries — and if we do it right, will have immense positive beneficial impacts on the everyday lives of children, residents, and businesses.

(c) Jonathan Maus, BikePortland

As many will realize, a Climate Smart Strategy, by its nature, must be prescriptive to a certain degree in order to reach its goal. The flexibility allowed within the proposed plan is both useful and essential in our diverse region, but to ensure we reach our goals, these strategies also require strong leadership and thinking that will lead the way for our region to become Climate Smart.

Unfortunately, some regional leaders are attempting to derail the plan and the many benefits it would provide to our region for health, air quality, climate, and quality of life for people of all ages and abilities. Perhaps most unsettling have been some remarks that indicate a desire to continue business as usual through what amounts to highway expansion — a strategy that has been neither proposed nor proven to reduce GHG emissions. Continue reading

Livability Fact Sheets Make Land Use and Transportation Concepts Easy to Understand

AARP partnered with the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute to create 11 Livability Fact Sheets. Each fact sheet takes a concept – like density, road diets, traffic calming and several others – and explains what it is, how it works, what myths you hear about it, how to get it right, and where to look for success stories. References on the fact sheets list resources.

The package of comprehensive fact sheets can be used by community leaders, policy makers, activists, and other interested citizens to learn more about creating livable communities for all ages.

Livability Fact Sheets

Join us on 11/8 For Every Kid!

Please Join Us As We Kick Off For Every Kid
A new effort for healthy and safe kids in the Metro region

On November 8th, Mayor Jeremy Ferguson of Milwaukie, public health leaders, community organizations, and parents will kick off a new effort, For Every Kid, on the front steps of Linwood Elementary School in Milwaukie. Advocates aim to improve the health of kids by calling for safe routes to schools in communities across the tri-county Metro region.

Metro-area kids who most need opportunities for physical activity don’t have the necessary safe infrastructure—sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes—in their communities and around their schools to support a healthy childhood.

Please join us to show your support for this exciting new effort.

For Every Kid Kick-Off Press Conference

When: Saturday, November 8, 2014, 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Please arrive at 9:45 if you would like to make a sign of support!
Where: Linwood Elementary School - front steps
11909 SE Linwood Ave, Milwaukie

In the Metro region, 70% of 8th graders are not getting the exercise they need to be healthy. The kids who most need opportunities for physical activity are the least likely to be able to walk or bike to school safely.

For Every Kid is a growing coalition of the following organizations: Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO); Safe Routes to School National Partnership; American Heart Association; Oregon Walks; OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon (OPAL); Coalition For A Livable Future; and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA).

Report: How States are Adapting to Federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)

Since 2005, federal transportation funds have been available for Safe Routes to School projects across the nation, helping to ensure children can walk and bicycle safely to and from school. In 2012, Congress consolidated the federal Safe Routes to School program into the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), and made a number of changes to how those funds are awarded to states. A new report by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership examines how different states have adapted to those changes and how they are impacting the availability of and demand for Safe Routes to School funds. For the report, the National Partnership conducted interviews with 10 state department of transportation Safe Routes to School coordinators to gather information about their TAP implementation decisions are affecting Safe Routes to School funding.

While changes under the new law are still being implemented by state departments of transportation, this analysis examines trends in funding for Safe Routes to School, the impact of federal matching requirements on low income communities, and best practices for states to sustain Safe Routes to School programs under the Transportation Alternatives Program.

The full report is available here.