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

Funding Opportunity: Metro’s RFFA project funding now open

In May, Metro, the greater-Portland-area’s regional government, passed policy that metro_newfocuses investments in Safe Routes to School programming and street safety improvements near schools.

Metro has now announced the Call for Projects for the Regional Flexible Funds Allocation (RFFA). The application deadline is Friday, August 26, 2016. Approximately $33 million is available.

Eligible agencies can submit project applications for the two funding categories — active transportation/complete streets projects, and regional freight investments. The 25 cities and three counties of the Portland metropolitan area, along with transit agencies, parks and recreation districts, the Port of Portland and the Oregon Department of Transportation are eligible to apply for funds to support projects in their jurisdictions.

Jurisdictions interested in funding street safety improvements that will allow more students to walk or roll to school should take note: TriMet and Metro have committed to work together on means to swap a portion of these federal regional flexible funds for local funds. Local funds are often better suited to build Safe Routes to School-supportive infrastructure due to the lower level of requirements attached to their use. More details will become available (prior to the application deadline in August) as the two agencies develop this agreement.

For program guidelines, application forms, and other details regarding this Call for Projects, please visit Metro’s Regional Flexible Funds applicant’s page. If you have any questions, please contact regional flexible funds allocation project manager Dan Kaempff at or 503-813-7559.

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

2)      Participate in the newly scheduled second webinar on February 16th at 10:00 AM.  Please register at
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 Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan Opens for Public Comment

The Public Comment period for the Oregon Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan is open until February 18th, 2016, and you are strongly encouraged to review the plan and submit comments.


This is the first time the plan has been updated since 1995, and much work has been put into it. Together with a coalition of transportation, health, and safety advocates, Kari Schlosshauer, the PNW Regional Policy Manager, submitted a letter of comments and concerns (pdf) to be addressed in the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan prior to final adoption, including:

  • Programs such as Safe Routes to School, which should be closely referenced and supported in this Plan, are only given brief mention.
  • There is a missed opportunity in not more strongly linking such education/ encouragement programs with infrastructure built by state and local partners.
  • The Plan needs a better assessment of existing conditions. ODOT’s Region 1 Active Transportation Needs Inventory and Assessment provides an excellent process and example, and should be replicated statewide.
  • Updates to the functional classifications of ODOT facilities incorporating 2015 conditions is required in order to accurately reflect Oregon’s commitment to improved bicycle access on specific streets.
  • Include a true Multimodal Level of Service performance measures in the context of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

ODOT will present the Draft Plan to a variety of different stakeholder groups & will also hold an online open house available mid-December.

For more information, visit the Plan website, attend a presentation or the online open house, and be sure submit your comments before February 18, 2016. The next 20 years of walking, bicycling, and safe routes to everywhere depend on it.

Funding opportunities for schools and communities in WA

Due by Dec 3, 2015:
Safe Routes to School Bike & Pedestrian Safety Education Grants
To provide bicycle and pedestrian safety education to students in the 6th through 8th grade in up to 20 school districts across the state between January 2016 – June 2017. The grant award to school districts will range from $1,000 to $25,000 and may be used for curriculum resources, bicycles, a trailer for bicycle storage and transport, teacher training, and other essential services and equipment related to program implementation and evaluation. Learn more (pdf).

On Jan 6, 2016:
Free! Safe Routes to School Workshop for partners in Southwest WA
Is Safe Routes to School right for my community? Efforts to provide safe walking and biking facilities work best when coordinated partnerships are used to support them. The workshop will explore the benefits and basics of Safe Routes to School; WA State Safe Routes to School Grant Program; partnership building opportunities. In Clark County. Limited to 25 participants. Learn more & register.

Due by Feb 19, 2016:

Healthy Kids-Healthy Schools Grants
The Washington Legislature appropriated $5 million dollars in the 2015–17 capital budget for OSPI to administer a new grant program, Healthy Kids–Healthy Schools. Funding for this grant program is a budget investment priority of the Healthiest Next Generation Initiative. This grant program will help schools remove barriers and bridge the gaps that stand between best practices, processes, and policies for improved student health. The grant supports Washington’s Healthiest Next Generation Initiative by funding improvements or renovations to existing buildings, site improvements, and the purchase and installation of new or renovated equipment. Grant categories include Physical Education and Physical Activity – indoor and outdoor equipment, covered play structures, playground equipment. Applications are submitted by the district and may include requests for multiple schools in multiple categories. The minimum district request is $2,500. Grant awards are limited to $200,000 per district. Learn more.

LECTURE: What if Kids Design Cities? Nature, Discovery, and Play in Urban Design, Oct. 29

Children should be seen and heard, ideally outdoors


So believes landscape architect and activist Robin Moore, founder of the Natural Learning Initiative. In a lecture and conversation presented by the John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape, Moore will discuss the role of naturalized urban spaces can play in child development and what he describes as “landscape architecture’s new quest” to integrate nature for kids in cities throughout the US and the world.

6:00p.m., Thursday, October 29, 2015
White Stag Block, 70 NW Couch Street
Admission: No cost, open to the public

Two new National Partnership reports explore equity & violence prevention

We all need transportation to get to school and work, buy food, find housing, and live our daily lives. But low-income people and people of color in the United States face transportation hurdles, based on historical and ongoing inequities in transportation and community investments, that can mean that just accessing basic needs is time consuming, dangerous, and almost impossible – and that can include the trip to school.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership has released two new reports that explore the issues that arise when social inequities and the threat of violence create barriers to active transportation and opportunity for low-income communities and people of color. These publications were made possible through a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Public Health Association.

At the Intersection of Active Transportation and Equity: Joining Forces to Make Communities Healthier and Fairer (pdf) explores the complexities of equitable active transportation and the issues that arise at the junction of efforts to advance walking and bicycling and work to increase health, fairness, and opportunity for all communities.

Taking Back the Streets and Sidewalks: How Safe Routes to School and Community Safety Initiatives Can Overcome Violence and Crime (pdf) provides a primer for Safe Routes to School professionals looking to address community safety threats that may discourage or endanger students walking or bicycling to school, explains the relevance of Safe Routes to School to violence prevention proponents, and sets out strategies for collaborating to reduce violence and crime, and increase safety and health for children and youth.