Helping create a healthier, more equitable & prosperous future – join us!

UPDATED 3/23/17 – Read Metro Council’s response to our coalition letter.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s work in the Pacific Northwest seeks to improve the health and well-being of kids of all races, income levels, and abilities; and to foster the creation of healthy communities for everyone. This week, we were beyond proud to join eight strong coalition partners in the Portland-Metro area, in support of a robust, equitable vision for regional funding that meets our transportation needs for years to come.

We know our region is stronger when we all have options for safe, quality, affordable housing with access to jobs, school, services and amenities to help preserve our region’s economic competitiveness and quality of life. In addition to maintaining existing roadways and providing access for freight movement and to population areas, the region’s governments must invest in safe and high-quality facilities throughout the region for people who walk, use transit, and ride a bicycle — in short, for everyone.

In our letter to TriMet and Oregon Metro, we call for the region’s partners to work together to put forward a robust and balanced regional transportation funding proposal that meets the region’s needs and considers six key principles: Transportation Operations Support, Active Transportation Infrastructure, Transit Infrastructure, Equitable Outcomes & Community Benefits, Highway Congestion Mitigation, and Equitable Housing Development.

Thanks to our foundation partners who helped get this moving: AARP Oregon, APANO, OPAL Environmental Justice, Welcome Home Coalition, Community Cycling Center, Oregon Walks, Street Trust, and 1000 Friends of Oregon. We look forward to growing this strong coalition and working with our regional leaders who seek to collaborate and advance funding to meet the region’s needs for the next generation.

Read our full coalition letter here.

What’s next?

We are building this movement for much-needed funding in the region to support the many ways our community wants and needs to use our transportation systems. We encourage our partners to read our coalition letter and join us in support of this important work for the greater Portland region.

Questions? Please feel free to contact our Regional Policy Manager Kari Schlosshauer at 503-734-0813 or kari@saferoutespartnership.org

How should Portland spend $8M to improve safe access around schools?

Provide input on Safe Routes to School in March & April to have your say

Fixing Our Streets is a locally-funded street repair and traffic safety initiative that will bring much needed street improvement and safety projects to neighborhoods across Portland. It is expected to provide approximately $8 million for school neighborhood improvements along walking and biking routes to school — around $500,000 dedicated to each High School cluster (including the elementary and middle schools that feed into a particular high school).

(c) Jonathan Maus, BikePortland

Tell them what you think needs to happen around the schools to make walking and rolling to school safer and easier. Portland’s robust Safe Routes to School team hasn’t ever had this much money to spend on safety projects around schools, and now is the time to weigh in — especially if you access a school in the Portland Public (PPS), Parkrose, David Douglas, Reynolds, or Centennial School Districts.

If your student attends a PPS or Parkrose school, you can attend an Open House event to provide input (see schedule below). For David Douglas, Centennial, and Reynolds schools within Portland city limits, Portland’s Safe Routes to School staff will be organizing engagement opportunities at your schools – learn more: bit.ly/OpenHouseSRTS.

HOW TO GET YOUR VOICE HEARD

  • Attend a SRTS Fixing Our Streets Open House (see dates below)
  • Attend a Walk Audit with SRTS (specific schools in Wilson Cluster only)
  • Attend a Walk Audit with Oregon Walks (specific Title I schools in PPS only)
    ‐ visit OregonWalks.org/HealthyTravel2School for details
  • Submit specific concerns at saferoutespdx.org (for PPS schools only)
  • Host a pop‐up open house at your school to collect comments from parents
    (SRTS will provide the materials!)

Continue reading

‘Safe Routes to School 101’ Primer Now Available in Spanish and Russian

If you are, or want to be, working with Russian- or Spanish-speaking communities* and need basic resources to start a conversation and let community members know more about Safe Routes to School, please feel free to download and use our Safe Routes to School Primer translations!

The Primer is a great conversation starter, guide, or leave-behind. Learn more about Safe Routes to School, including essential elements to consider when establishing a program and helpful statistics on the many benefits of Safe Routes to School in your community.

Un manual sobre las rutas seguras a la escuela

Краткое руководство по реализации программы Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School Primer

*Best practice for community outreach involves more than just translated materials. Be sure to go where your community is, don’t ask them to come to you. It is vital to translate documents and have translation at meetings in communities with populations of non-English speakers. Think about how to reach non-native speakers beforehand, including use of radio and community newspapers. [Adapted from FRESC: http://fresc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Best-Practices-for-Community-Engagement.pdf%5D

City of Vancouver Complete Streets Workshop

CS.pngComplete Streets are streets for everyone. Whether they are traveling by car, bicycle, transit, or as pedestrians, they need safe, comfortable, and convenient travel routes.

Help create the City of Vancouver’s Complete Streets policy!

City of Vancouver Complete Streets Workshop

February 15, 2017, 6-9 PM

McLoughlin Middle School

5802 MacArthur Blvd.

Free, no need to RSVP

More information

Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s annual grant solicitation

Washington state is building traffic safety partnerships throughout the state to align priorities and leverage resources to improve traffic safety. The Target Zero Plan is the result of this work and represents Washington’s strategic roadmap for eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries by the year 2030. The Target Zero Plan provides a comprehensive framework with specific priorities, goals, and strategies.

Successful grant proposals are aligned with the Target Zero priorities and utilize its proven strategies or consist of innovative strategies with an accompanying evaluation plan. Typically, grants range in amounts from $5,000 to $150,000.

Proposals for FFY2018 are due on February 10, 2017.

More information (PDF)

Metro Regional Safe Routes to School Framework now available for download

Now available! Metro Regional Safe Routes to School Framework, a project that collected data about current and historic funding and programming for school travel initiatives; identified the schools with the greatest need for safety improvements, the greatest potential impact, and equity needs; produced School Area Maps for each school in the Portland Metro region; identified best practices for regional Safe Routes to School programs; and proposed next steps for Metro regional government to support local jurisdictions’ efforts around Safe Routes to School and school transportation.

The final report, as well as School Area Maps for each district, can be found and downloaded here.

Metro RFFA Award Recommendations

Oregon Metro, the Portland area’s regional government, is currently finalizing funding recommendations for the active transportation and freight project applications to the Regional Flexible Fund Allocation (RFFA). RFFA is money from the federal government that can be used for a wide range of transportation projects across the Portland region – considered “flexible” because the funds are not restricted to projects on highways. In this round, $33 million is available for transportation projects, including walking, bicycling, access to schools and transit, with a quarter of the funds directed to freight-specific projects:

  • $25.81 million for active transportation/complete streets projects that make it safer and easier for people to walk, ride bicycles or get to transit and other destinations such as school and work.
  • $7.34 million for regional freight investments, projects that improve access to freight hubs and industrial areas and improve safety on freight routes.

Thirty-two projects were submitted to this 2019-21 RFFA cycle from cities and counties across the region, including 27 projects to the Active Transportation/Complete Streets funding stream. Total funding requested across all projects totaled more than $100 million, far exceeding the amount available. The vast majority of the funding requests were for Active Transportation/Complete Streets projects, totaling approximately $93 million and demonstrating a significant need for more funding for walking and bicycling projects in this region. Continue reading