In Japan, 98 percent of children walk to school.
In the United States, only 13 percent do.
It’s time for a change.
The documentary The Slow Way Home looks at how students travel to school in Japan & US, considers why so few kids in the U.S. walk to school, and asks what WE can do to change that. It also features students, families, and local celebrities from Milwaukie, Oregon City, and Portland, OR!
Would you like to screen this film for a group of people in your area, your organization, or just watch it with your family? We have a copy of the film and would be more than happy to lend it to you — just fill out this borrowing form and we’ll get you on the list!
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
Help decide how $33m will be spent on projects to improve walking, biking and moving freight. Could part of it be spent near you to improve ways of getting around for your family?
Cities from across the Portland region have submitted projects to compete for these federal funds, and submitted project proposals requesting more than three times as much as is available. This is where you come in: review project proposals & use the interactive comment map at oregonmetro.gov/rffa – and then tell Metro what you think and help them prioritize and give feedback on the projects.
Things to consider:
- Is a painted bike lane safe enough for an eight year old to travel to school along a 40 mph freight corridor, or should it be sent back to be re-worked as a separated bike facility?
- Should an investment in Safe Routes to School access projects around one of the region’s greatest need school districts, David Douglas, be given a higher priority so that the largest high school in the state can provide safer access on foot and bike?
- Which proposed pedestrian/bicycle bridge gets your vote for best project?
Comment now through Monday, November 7! (And remember to vote on November 8!)
There will be a public hearing, 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, at Metro Regional Center, 600 NE Grand Ave., Portland. Public testimony will be welcomed!
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.
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
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.
Free Informational Webinars
If you are looking for an overview, tune in to an upcoming webinar: Continue reading
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.
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.
City of Portland will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, May 20th at 6:00pm at City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave., to consider items for the 2015-16 Budget. The City of Portland is considering the Mayor’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year (FY15-16), including $41 million in additional revenue one-time considerations. Numerous requests in the budget will support Safe Routes to School expansion as well as pedestrian safety improvements and access to transit for all Portlanders. Your support of these important budget items in the City of Portland’s budget needs to be heard. Please write the Mayor and City Council about the budget (sample email below), and plan to attend the Public Hearing on 5/20 if you’re able. Funding requests in the FY15-16 budget will support pedestrian safety and access to transit, including:
- Expansion of the City’s nationally-acclaimed Safe Routes to School program, into middle and high schools and better serving the needs of lower-income schools;
- Safety improvements on 122nd Ave in East Portland, and other known high crash corridors;
- Funding for Youth Bus Pass for Portland Public High School students;
- Improvements for completion of bicycle and pedestrian networks and neighborhood greenways; and
- Support of Vision Zero outreach and education work in Portland.