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 areas, we support walking and bicycling policies and funding within communities, to create a place where walking and bicycling are safe and convenient. Our efforts to improve policies and leverage support for Safe Routes to School in the Pacific Northwest are generously supported by Kaiser Permanente.

2/17 open house: Monroe Neighborhood Street Design

Clackamas County & Milwaukie — the County is working with the community to design improvements to Monroe Street, Thompson Road and connecting streets to increase safety and accessibility for all travelers – drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.

Monroe Street is a key east-west route across Milwaukie and northwest Clackamas County, an important link between downtown Milwaukie and Clackamas Town Center, and a valuable connection between the MAX Orange line and MAX Green line.

Monroe

The project also includes development of a Safe Routes to Schools plan for Whitcomb Elementary School.

Comment on:

  • Making walking and biking safer and easier for children and adults
  • What to do with the unimproved area of Monroe just east of 78th?
  • Balancing the need for on-street parking with the need to provide safe places for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Options for slowing traffic

The public is invited to learn more about design plans under consideration at a public open house.

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
I
n the cafeteria at Whitcomb Elementary School – 7400 SE Thompson Road

A special presentation about the plan and design options will be presented at 6:45 p.m.

Miss the WSDOT funding webinar on 2/9? Two more opportunities available!

The February 9th  WSDOT Pedestrian and Bicycle Program and Safe Routes to School Call for Projects Webinar was oversubscribed.  There are two other options available to view the information:

1)      View a recorded version which will be posted by February 20th to the WSDOT website http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/LocalPrograms/SafeRoutes/CallForProjects.htm.

2)      Participate in the newly scheduled second webinar on February 16th at 10:00 AM.  Please register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2019440393855005441.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

ICYMI: $37M Grant Funding Now Available in WA for pedestrian, bicycle, and Safe Routes to School projects. Applications due in May 2016!

Oregon’s Action Plan for Transportation Safety – Online Open House closes 2/9

In 2015, we witnessed a spate of tragic events unfolding, as the lives of more than 75 pedestrians in Oregon were lost due to traffic violence — a 40% increase over 2014, which had also seen an increase over 2013 numbers.

While we continue to look for and find ways to address the causes of this spreading traffic violence epidemic in Oregon, the Transportation Safety Action Plan (TSAP) has come up with a draft vision:

Oregon envisions no deaths or life-changing injuries on our transportation system by 2035.

– TSAP Draft Vision

The Oregon Draft TSAP (pdf) is now available. The Plan is one of several statewide plans that define and implement the state’s goals, policies, strategies, and key initiatives for transportation. Other plans include the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, which is also currently open for comment.

source: Bike PGH

source: Bike PGH

The TSAP currently has an Online Open House, which walks you through what the TSAP is and what will come out of this process, and provides some background on what the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has identified as factors contributing to fatal and serious injury crashes in Oregon for people driving motor vehicles, walking, or bicycling. Continue reading

Join our feedback session on the OR Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

Join Oregon Walks, Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Safe Routes to School Northwest & AARP Oregon for an opportunity to learn more about the Oregon Bike and Pedestrian Plan that is currently being updated, why it is important, and have the opportunity to give feedback directly on the plan through ODOT’s online open house and written comments.

When: Tuesday, February 9th: 5:30pm-7:30pm

Where: Oregon Walks, 1805 NE 2nd Ave., Portland, OR 97212

RSVP here (facebook) or send me an email to let me know you’re coming. Thanks!

Read more about the plan here, here and here, and submit comments if you can’t make it! Your input is incredibly valuable; a weak state pedestrian and bicycle plan only makes it more difficult to move forward towards safer routes to schools and achieving the important goals of providing safe bicycle and pedestrian connections so badly needed in Oregon.

Tell Metro your thoughts on transportation funding

Oregon Metro Public Comments on Transportation Funding Now Open

Oregon Metro has released a 10-minute survey for public comment into transportation funding, housing and equity in the Portland Metro region.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s Pacific Northwest regional policy manager and other regional partners have been working closely with Metro to ensure the region’s goals and focus are translated into funding for appropriate projects that will achieve those goals. We have attended numerous workshops discussing the Regional Flexible Funding policy-setting process — now it’s your turn to share your opinions on how federal funds for transportation projects in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties should be allocated later this year.

ATsystem200years

That green line represents the 200+ years it will take to build the region’s active transportation system, at historic funding levels. Source: Roger Geller, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

The survey also asks about trends and issues people think leaders should focus on as Metro begins a major update of the Regional Transportation Plan, and requests feedback on questions concerning accessibility and affordability for underrepresented communities. The chart above show that historically, walking and bicycling transportation investments are significantly lower and slower than investments for highways, bridges, freight, and transit; accessibility and affordability in housing is closely related to transportation options available.

This survey will close on Tuesday, February 16. Take the survey: http://bit.ly/tellmetro

Metro and leaders across the region will use survey responses to help set policies to guide future transportation projects across the region. As you consider the survey questions around transportation funding, it’s important to remember that: Continue reading

WA: $37M Grant Funding Now Available

Call for Projects Now Open – nearly $40 million available state-wide

The Washington State Department of Transportation has announced their “call for projects” for the Pedestrian and Bicycle Program and the Safe Routes to School Program. The purpose of these programs? To reduce pedestrian and bicycle collisions and increase the number of people who choose to walk and bike for transportation; and to increase the number of children walking and biking to school safely.

Approximately $18 million for the Pedestrian and Bicycle Program and $19 million for the Safe Routes to School Program is available.

SRTSHolmesSpokane

Free Informational Webinars

If you are looking for an overview, tune in to an upcoming webinar: Continue reading

Oregon Governor’s Transportation Vision Panel

In 2015, the Pacific Northwest regional policy manager, Kari Schlosshauer, was invited to present information about Safe Routes to School to the (Oregon) Governor’s Transportation Vision Panel, a yearlong effort to develop a series of recommendations to the Governor to address transportation issues across all modes and regions of the state.

BvrtFindleyCrossing

The Governor’s Transportation Vision includes Safe Routes to School
We’re pleased to report that much of the information we provided about Safe Routes to School has been included in the draft findings from the Bike, Pedestrian, Transit and Passenger Rail Subcommittee. This is great news for the future of a funded, expanded Safe Routes to School program that can reach every kid in Oregon.

Preliminary Subcommittee Findings include:

  • Increase investment in Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs
  • Increase the flexibility of K-12 student transportation services across the state

Hitting the road this winter with Regional Forums
Attend a forum near you (dates below) and provide input on the importance of Safe Routes to School in any future state transportation funding. Can’t attend? Add your comments via the Comment Form.

Key talking points:

  • Support local flexibility of student transportation revenue:
    • Redefine student transportation to ensure that communities are meeting the changing needs of students across the state.
    • Increase flexibility and improve efficiency in how school districts are able to spend transportation revenue (e.g., transit district partnerships, safe routes to schools programs, etc.).
  • Increase investment in Safe Routes to School programs to:
    • Deliver proper traffic safety education to 100% of students graduating from elementary schools within four years.
    • Expand availability of Safe Routes to School funding to include high schools by the year 2020.
  • Transportation funding resources must include dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian facilities:
    • A portion of new road funding should be dedicated to bicycle and pedestrian facilities, large enough to complete state and local systems within a reasonable period of time.
    • A portion of state lottery funds should continue to be set aside for pedestrian and bicycle projects, consistent with or greater than the level from past investments in ConnectOregon.

Continue reading