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In this issue: Walking School Bus, Eugene SRTS Projects, Ped Safety for Teens, Health Impact Assessments, and more!
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                                                                                                              January 2015        

 Welcome to 2015!


Let's work together to make walking and biking to school and throughout the community safe, easy and fun!

Need a theme for your January Walk?

"Don’t Hibernate-
Bundle Up, Walk and Bike to School and Celebrate the New Year!"
                                                    
Walk or Bike to School…. 
It's good for personal and community health and safety.  

Is your school ready to start a Walking School Bus program?


Our Walking School Bus page has all the information you need to know as you start exploring the opportunity. Here are the steps needed to get a Walking School Bus started and going:
  1. Map the route
  2. Determine interest
  3. Arrange “meet and greet” event, cultivate trust and get help
  4. Modify map, add finalize routes
  5. Pre-walk route, mark meeting times and places
  6. Promote first walk, post map of routes, times, and route leader contact information
  7. Notify school and local law enforcement (invite them to all walks)
  8. Host school assembly reminding all of Pedestrian Safety Rules
  9. Decide on next walks, frequency, additional routes
  10. Have fun!
Some schools also like using these Walking School Bus Rules and Student Behavior Contracts so all understand what is expected.

                       

If you have any questions regarding this program, the resources on the website or would like some help training volunteers, please contact us. 
Pedestrian Safety for Teens- YOLO

Whether in the classroom or on the street, student safety is a priority for most people involved in Traffic Safety. That's why the Montgomery County Department of Transportation created the YOLO (You Only Live Once) campaign and is partnering with Montgomery County Public Schools to raise awareness of the risks of distracted walking and other dangerous pedestrian behaviors.

As part of Montgomery County’s efforts to improve pedestrian safety in areas with the highest densities of collisions, the County, with help from a group of high school students, launched a campaign aimed teenaged students. A professional photographer took pictures of eyes and urged pedestrians to establish eye contact with drivers and look both ways before crossing the street with the theme “Hey You, I’m Looking at You!”

Another part of the campaign involved text messages. Students had the opportunity to answer text message questions about pedestrian safety to win gift cards and other prizes, while learning to be safe pedestrians. All participating students received wristbands – called SWAG Bracelets - that feature pedestrian safety messages. Their slogan: SWAG…..
  • See them see you
  • Wait for the walk
  • Always use crosswalks
  • Go reflective
 

How Does Transportation Impact Your Life?
Oregon Transportation Options Draft Plan Available for Review


As stated in last month’s newsletter, the Transportation Options Plan is closely related to the projects and programs we promote to encourage more people to walk and bike. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is seeking input for their new Transportation Options Draft Plan. A public hearing is scheduled for the Oregon Transportation Commission on January 15, 2015 in Salem. You are invited to attend the hearing or provide feedback via email or written comments to:

Oregon Department of Transportation
Transportation Development Division, Planning Section
555 13th Street NE, Suite 2
Salem, OR 97301-4178
(503) 986-4121

Because transportation is an issue with broad impact on trips to and from school, we encourage you to provide input and give feedback.
 

Development of this and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Modal Plan will raise the bar for SRTS, and other non-SOV efforts in Oregon. These plans are adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission and can be used for local, regional and statewide policy guidance to enhance and expand transportation access for all Oregonians while ensuring that transportation investments are efficient and support broader environmental health. Get involved with the plans and help shape the future of healthy, active and safe transportation in Oregon!

View the full plan here.

Eugene’s SRTS Infrastructure Project Nearing Completion


The 2014 Eugene Safe Routes to School project is nearly completed! The project was applied for by the City of Eugene in cooperation with Bethel and 4J school districts. The SRTS projects were approved to be at the top of a waiting list dependent on funding in 2010. The funding came through in 2013 and design work was done in early 2014.
 
                 
   Page Elementary Crossing

Construction began in early fall and to date the following projects have been completed:
  • Widened sidewalks and upgraded ADA ramps in the school zone for ATA/Family School
  • Wayfinding signs around the city
  • Bike hoops installed at ATA, Malabon and Irving elementary schools
  • Legends and striping placed at locations around the city
  • Path to Malabon Elementary from Ellsworth Street has been constructed.
  • Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons on Jefferson
  • Bike Shelters at Irving School
  • Speed Reader Signs on Royal Avenue
Knife River Corp., working under contract for the Eugene Public Works Department, is the general contractor. Total cost of the projects is approximately $575,000, which was funded by a federal Safe Routes to School grant administered by the Oregon Department of Transportation. 
         
Oregon Healthiest State Initiative

Oregon Healthiest State is a privately led, publicly supported partnership that engages and inspires Oregonians to create and sustain healthy environments to support healthy lifestyles. They want to make our environments healthier – at work, home, school, the doctor’s office, restaurants, grocery stores and everywhere in between.

Oregon Healthiest State is focused on making both statewide and local impacts. They will focus on initiatives that address Oregon’s most critical health issues, because aligning the attention, innovation and resources of many allies creates success faster together than alone. They also support local communities, as increasing evidence shows that when communities surround their people with accessible and affordable healthy options, the health of the entire population improves.

Oregon Healthiest State is a collective action partnership and they invite every business, nonprofit, public agency and community to join in a shared commitment to making Oregon a place where every person can enjoy good health and a sense of well-being.

Read more about the initiative and how to be involved, click here

Walkability is Good for Health, Good for Cities, and Good for Schools
Safe Routes to School National Partnership, eNEWS, January 2015, Issue 107


Looking for solid evidence to convince decision makers that building walkable communities is a good idea? A recent article highlights that a growing body of research shows that building walkable communities leads to a wealth of other benefits for cities, from housing prices to public health to better air quality. Similarly, the benefits of walkable school districts go beyond kids' health and well being -- walkability is good for the district's bottom line, too. Read more here.

Health Impact Assessments

 
Health Impact Assessments (HIA) provide advice to communities to make informed choices about improving public health through community design. Transportation HIAs help policymakers see and address the potential health effects of a proposed transportation project, plan, or policy before it is built or implemented, and can help ensure that all people, regardless of age, income, or ability, are able to move about their community easily and safely. 

A primary strategy frequently recommended in existing Transportation HIAs is to encourage Safe Routes to School programs to enable children to walk and bike to school safely. SRTS programs and HIAs work well together to assess how plans will affect the health of an entire community, including children and other vulnerable groups.


When health is considered among the goals of transportation policy and land use planning, the resulting policy can help reduce air pollution; prevent traffic injuries and deaths; and increase the opportunities for physical activity and exercise thereby lowering the incidents of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer rates. Roads, transportation systems, that are designed for people as well as for cars and trucks can increase physical activity, enhance community quality of life, and increase access to community services.

The HIA process can also encourage all stakeholders, including the MPO, project managers, elected officials, public health officials, the residents, and commuters to work together on improving public health. The CDC’s Transportation HIA Toolkit provides a framework for public health departments, city planners, project managers, and other stakeholders to conduct HIAs on proposed transportation projects, plans, and policies.
 
Local examples of HIA Projects in the Pacific Northwest include:

BTA's Jump Start Program- Application deadline extended to Jan 15


The application deadline for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s Jump Start program has been extended to January 15th, 2015. Hurry, apply now!

The Jump Start program is an excellent way to get a valuable and effective bike safety program in your community.  The program supplies bikes, storage and training to your school district so you can deliver bike safety education that will turn your students into safe bike commuters.

When submitting your application, please consider the following basic guidelines:
  • The school district is willing to let students ride bikes on and off of campus during the school day. The BTA can provide a sample release form for the district to use.
  • The school district is willing to promote the training to all PE and health teachers and identify teachers to be trained.
  • A school district representative attends an initial planning meeting, replies to monthly email check ins, and attends an evaluation meeting at the end of the school year.
  • The school district signs an agreed upon MOU stating responsibilities.
  • The school district or community provides a space for a one day training for teachers and other community members in August or September.
  • The school district or community provides a staff person to create a schedule for moving the fleet of bikes and trailer from school to school for teachers to use and provide a vehicle and driver to move the trailer.
  • The community is willing to support the school district if the program is implemented.
Along with tons of great benefits, the BTA will supply:
  • 8 hours of training for teachers and community members on BTA’s Safe Routes to School Curriculum
  • A fleet of 36 bikes, 100 helmets, tools, and a 20 ft trailer for a year
  • A bike safety education for students that will last a lifetime!
Jump Start your community with a free year’s use of a bicycle fleet!  The application takes no time at all and the benefits last a lifetime.  But act quickly because the deadline is January 15th, 2015.

Please feel free to contact Jordan Bailey, 503-226-0676 x 29 with any questions or comments.

Oregon Safe Routes to School Program: We're Here to Help!


A successful Safe Routes to School Program is a partnership between city and county agencies, schools, community organizations, neighborhoods and schools that work together to create opportunities to make walking and biking to school and throughout the community fun, easy, safe and healthy for all students and their families.
Schools and communities have the best chance of success when they combine expertise, resources and program elements that consider the "5 E's of Safe Routes to School":  EncouragementEducationEnforcementEngineering and Evaluation.
 
Oregon’s SRTS newsletter tells stories to connect people, schools, communities and resources. Please also check out our website: www.oregonsaferoutes.org

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