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.

RTO Grant Workshop Friday 9/12

Considering applying for a Metro Regional Travel Options (RTO) grant? $2.1 million is available for projects carried out within the tri-county region including urbanized portions of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington County. This Friday’s workshop will offer an overview of 2015-2017 RTO grant program, including funding, evaluation, and an opportunity to ask your burning RTO questions.

The four key categories for measuring RTO outcomes are Environment, Equity, Health, and Economy — come find out how your Safe Routes to School program can fit right in.

  • Friday, September 12, 10 a.m. to noon
  • Metro Council Chamber, 600 NE Grand Ave, Portland

Please RSVP to Pamela.Blackhorse@oregonmetro.gov as soon as possible if you will be attending. See you there!

Safer Streets & Active Places

Are you working to make streets safer or to increase access to playgrounds and parks so that children and families in your community can have more opportunities for physical activity? – we can help!

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is offering free technical assistance to successful applicants working in underserved communities on campaigns to obtain shared use agreements, Complete Streets policies, or other policies in support of walking, bicycling and Safe Routes to School.

Technical assistance can range from providing resources, to assisting with the creation of campaign plans and platforms, to developing communications strategies and coaching to ensure a successful campaign. Your plans can either be in the early stages or nearing policy adoption. Successful applicants will receive technical assistance over the next eight months.
Simply describe your community need in detail on the application form and National Partnership’s technical assistance experts will assess and work with each successful applicant to help you achieve your goals.

Applications are due September 26th, 2014, by 5pm ET.

James F. Sallis, Ph.D., to speak in Beaverton on 10/7

Rx For Better Health: WALKING, BIKING, MOVING

National expert on healthy, active living, James F Sallis, Ph.D., will speak in Portland (10/7), Beaverton (10/7), Salem (10/8), Eugene (10/9), and Bend (10/10) to discuss how community design, land use, and transportation policies affect our ability to be more physically active – and, in turn, our ability to stay healthy throughout life.

Today, more than 1.8 million Oregonians, representing 62 percent of the population – and nearly a quarter of Oregon’s eighth- and 11th-graders – are overweight or obese. In 2009, obesity-related illnesses cost the state about $1.6 billion in health care costs. Moreover, physical inactivity itself – whether or not a person is overweight or obese – is recognized as a major risk factor for various chronic diseases.

While public health officials have long understood that toxins in air, water, and food can harm human health, many now recognize that the way communities are designed and laid out – and the extent to which transportation policies help or hinder walking and bicycling – can dramatically affect the level of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, found in the population.

Public event at the Beaverton Round on October 7, 5:30-7pm

James F. Sallis, Ph.D., distinguished professor of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California-San Diego, and director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Active Living Research program, will lead the discussion, which will take place between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. in the Training Center at the Beaverton Round Executive Suites (12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 390, Beaverton, OR 97005).

Free! Register here.

Southwestern WA: Join the Safe & Healthy Streets Workshop on 9/29

Please join us, together with health, safety, community, and transportation partners on the evening of September 29 for an information- and action-filled workshop in Vancouver, WA.

safehealthystreets

The workshop will feature discussion of the most promising new planning options to support multi-modal transportation and Safe Routes to Schools. The city of Vancouver and Clark County planners will explain the local decision making process, and in the second hour, citizens will learn how to present their ideas and input effectively.

  • Learn how local planning decisions are made.
  • Find out about ways YOU can make your streets and neighborhoods safer for walking and biking.
  • Discover the best ways to share input.
  • Discuss how to present your ideas for maximum impact.

Monday, September 29
7-9pm at the Clark County Center for Community Health

Read more in the flyer (pdf)

Register by contacting ellen.welsh@clark.wa.gov

Get Ready for International Walk to School Day On October 8

iwalk

It’s time to fire up your feet for International Walk to School Day! If you’re looking for resources to start or enhance an event at your school, here are a few tips.

  • Make Fire Up Your Feet your first stop for information and support for joining the movement for healthy, active schools. You can register to track activity during the month October, and encourage your family and school to be healthy and physically active with Fire Up Your Feet.
     
  • Get free products and incentives from Clif Kid to support your Walk to School Day event. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is happy to partner with CLIF Kid to support schools participating in Walk to School Day on October 8! Sign up now to receive a FREE Clif Kid Kit to support your school’s efforts with activity sheets, safety tips, and plenty of CLIF Kid Zfruit and Zfruit + Veggie ropes. First come, first serve! Sign up here.
     

SW Washington Healthy Living Summit 9/23

The Healthy Living Collaborative Summit will be held on September 23 at the Vancouver Hilton

The Summit is an opportunity for community-based organizations to partner with local systems and services to create healthy, safe, and equitable neighborhoods in SW Washington.
 
HLCsummit
 
More information here. Space is limited. RSVP to hlcsummit@outlook.com, or call 360-952-3396.

Best Practices – Steps You Can Take Now to Create a More Walkable Community

courtesy of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP)

Who is Winning the Race for Walkable Communities?

Whether you’re just heading out or returning from vacation, chances are the places you go for vacation have certain things in common – you can walk most places most days. In these places you feel safe and experience happiness when you’re walking. Many cities large and small throughout North America are discovering that it just might be possible – and profitable – to emulate our favorite walkable vacation destinations. Walkable real estate development projects and places are on the rise nationwide, but certain metro regions are winning the footrace, according to Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros. “This is an important study underlining the economic power of walkable places, and identifying which metro areas are adding them fastest,” said Geoff Anderson, president and CEO of Smart Growth America. “Cities that want to thrive in our new economic and demographic realities will need to find ways to create and support more of these dynamic, productive walkable districts that are in high demand.” Continue reading