Clackamas County Transportation, in Partnership with the Confluence Environmental Center, has advertised a Safe Routes to Schools Program Outreach and Encouragement Coordinator to focus on education and outreach of the health, safety, and environmental benefits of youth walking and bicycling to school throughout the diverse communities in the North Clackamas School District (Clackamas, Sunnyside, Happy Valley, Milwaukie).
This position is a new AmeriCorps position and it will conduct outreach and serve as an encouragement resource to three to four schools in North Clackamas School District, and engage with North Clackamas School District and the Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO’s) to better understand the barriers to more diverse, low‐income schools in participating in Safe Routes to Schools programs, and how what unique programs can be developed to take advantage of opportunities to better serve these schools.
We get a lot of questions about cost for Safe Routes to School improvements, and it’s difficult to answer. First we have to know what the school needs — a school assessment, or action plan, is a helpful start, but not every school has one. Costs for pedestrian and bicycle safety infrastructure needs around schools often vary greatly from city to city and state to state, but in general are low-cost compared to the costs of building new roadways. The one-time cost for infrastructure improvements vary based on school needs, but conservative improvements identified at surveyed schools in Oregon indicate an average of $1 million per school in infrastructure needs. New Jersey Safe Routes to School has a good tool for estimating costs.
Generally, the one-mile area around a school is considered the “walk zone” — where no yellow school bus service is available. In the Portland Metro region and elsewhere in Oregon and Washington, jurisdictions have begun the work of identifying the specific safety needs around schools so they can gather a comprehensive picture of needs and begin to tackle them.
Our work with local and regional jurisdictions to support allocation of funding toward these projects ensures we can begin to address this issue – especially at schools where the needs are greatest because kids are already walking along and across unsafe streets. It’s important to remember that it’s not just students who need to walk or bicycle near schools – school staff, neighbors, those getting to a transit stop or a local shop, and visitors do, too.
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.
The project also includes development of a Safe Routes to Schools plan for Whitcomb Elementary School.
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.
In 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.
Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing at 9:30am on Wednesday, March 18th at the County’s Development Services Building, 2051 Kaen Road, Oregon City, to consider the Clackamas County Active Transportation Plan (ATP).
The purpose of the ATP project is to identify principal active transportation (PAT) routes that connect destinations and communities in Clackamas County. In both the urban and rural areas of the county, 24 PAT routes have been identified through county and public input, to provide access to services such as transit, schools, shopping and employment centers, and to recreation and exercise.
Support for this important project for Clackamas County needs to be heard. Please write your County Commissioners about the ATP, and plan to attend the Public Hearing on 3/18 if you’re able.
Some important themes that emerged during the year-long project include:
The importance of providing access to schools and other significant destinations. Several schools are located along these routes and facility improvements to and from these institutions will be beneficial to everyone.
Positive impact on health of providing infrastructure that allows people to safely walk or bicycle for utilitarian trips and commuting as well as for recreation. Many parts of the County lack safe infrastructure for people to walk and bike. Providing choices is an important aspect to a well-rounded and equitable transportation system.
Support the future of safe, healthy, and equitable choice in transportation for Clackamas County by letting County Commissioners hear why a plan for safe walking and bicycling routes — including access to schools, town centers, and transit for jobs — is important for residents of Clackamas County.
Speak up in support of Clackamas County’s ATP. Please attend the Public Hearing on Wednesday, March 18, at 9:30am.
For more information, the ATP Executive Summary can be found here (pdf).
Join us as we fight to ensure health and safety for every kid by urging Metro to invest in safe routes to school for every kid in the Metro-area.
In the coming months, Metro Council has the opportunity to dedicate critical funding that could shape a healthy future for every kid in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties. When it is safe, convenient, and fun to walk to neighborhood schools, our children are healthier, our streets are safer for everyone, and our communities thrive. Every kid in Oregon deserves a chance at a healthy future.
Considering applying for a Metro Regional Travel Options (RTO) grant? $2.1 million is available for projects carried out within the tri-county region including urbanized portions of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington County. This Friday’s workshop will offer an overview of 2015-2017 RTO grant program, including funding, evaluation, and an opportunity to ask your burning RTO questions.
The four key categories for measuring RTO outcomes are Environment, Equity, Health, and Economy — come find out how your Safe Routes to School program can fit right in.
This article is also published on the Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s blog.
“It is just not safe to let my child walk or ride their bike to school.” So said respondents from the initial survey that the PTA of Linwood Elementary in Milwaukie, Oregon, sent out last spring. They didn’t know that ‘Safe Routes to School’ – with capital letters – existed. But they knew something was not right, and they wanted to fix it.
“Safety is a common topic of conversation among parents and caregivers during the school day opening and closings,” says Ane Roth, Linwood PTA’s vice-president. “There actually aren’t sidewalks, nor enough safe crosswalks around the school, and children have to walk or bike in the roadway with cars. That’s a scary thought for any parent.” Continue reading →