Register now! Oregon Safe Routes to School Conference

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Where: Eugene, Oregon
When: June 20-21, 2016++
Earlybird Cost: $20/day (Scholarships available) ~ register today!

The Safe Routes to School Conference will be held on June 20 and June 21 and will include speakers and sessions for new and veteran Safe Routes to School (SRTS) practitioners, staff, volunteers, and partners.

+ Trainings will be held on June 22 and June 23 and will include sessions on the Oregon Bicycle Safety Education and Pedestrian Safety Education curriculum for youth as well as adult traffic skills for bicyclists.

+ On June 18 and 19, you are invited to a family friendly bike ride, camp out, and other networking events!

During the conference we will dig into all aspects of Safe Routes to School, how each “E” (Equity, Education, Encouragement, Evaluation, Enforcement, and Engineering) applies to work in Oregon and to your community. Join us for:

  • Inspiring speakers
  • Presentations to learn how to get more kids using active transportation
  • Networking opportunities
  • Opportunities to strengthen our statewide SRTS Network
  • Social events including a pre-conference social gathering and a fun ride after the first day’s events

Learn more about the conference, including the agenda and scholarship information. Full session information will be posted in mid-April. Register now!

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.

How We Get There Matters

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A huge thank you to the more than 70 attendees participated in the Intertwine’s Active Transportation Forum on January 27 at PSU’s Native American Cultural Center, where many great conversations were had. Folks from planning, advocacy organizations, health, environment, trails, finance, and more came together to help solidify the answer to the question, If active transportation projects are of regional significance, how can we better define them to succeed?

An ever-increasing body of research confirms the direct connection between transportation options and job growth, economic vitality, and human and environmental health. Frequently, however, transportation funding conversations dismiss walking and bicycling as local concerns that have little regional impact, meaning we do not make headway when it comes to building projects.

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We heard from a panel of eight great presenters who each “made the case” from a unique perspective, of how we can and should re-think walking, bicycling, and transit trips:

  • Jenny Cadigan, Executive Director, WTA – Reducing drive alone commute trips
  • Lynn Weigand, Project Coordinator, East Multnomah County Bicycle Tourism Initiative, Gresham Chamber of Commerce – Projects that add up to Bicycle Tourism
  • Eric Hesse, Strategic Planning Coordinator, TriMet – Access to transit: the last mile of a regional trip
  • Shelley Oylear, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, Washington County – Suburban greenways retrofitting the suburbs: regional impact of a network
  • Jessica Horning – Transit and Active Transportation Liaison, ODOT Region 1 – 82nd Ave/Jade District corridor: When a main street is regional
  • Jenna Stanke Marmon, Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Manager, Jackson County Roads & ParksConnect Oregon and the statewide economic benefits of active transportation projects
  • Amanda Garcia-Snell, Health Promotion Supervisor, Washington County – Reducing health care costs, increasing safety
  • Mary Kyle McCurdy, Policy Director and Staff Attorney, 1,000 Friends Oregon – Why active transportation was included in a state transportation funding proposal

Special thanks to Craig Beebe from Metro for serving as “documentarian” and to Luann Algoso from APANO for filming the forum.

What’s next?

“I’ve already been using some of the concepts we talked about in various conversations.”

Over the next few months, the comments and ideas gathered during the January 2015 How We Get There Matters Forum will be analyzed and refined into a report back that will be made public here.

“Multiple threads from the day’s discussion continued on outside the room and on down the street.”

We know there is a great need to continue these conversations, and to add to them, which was confirmed by the energy in the room as well as the difficulty keeping the conversation to one topic at a time. We are already at work planning the next forum, and welcome your input. Please email Kari if you are interested in getting involved.

“We should be done asking this question. We need to be more productive.”

One participant’s statement hung in the air that really got at the heart of why The IntertwineMetro, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and Portland State University’s Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation brought this forum together. We very much look forward to keeping this conversation going, and being more productive. Thank you for attending, and we look forward to continuing this work with you.

Dropbox link to the presentation here (large pdf).

How did we get here?

For a bit of recent history, we look back. In September 2013, a Regional Walkability Summit was held in Beaverton. The Walkability Summit convened local experts, decision makers and other stakeholders from communities around the state – including many who attended this first How We Get There Matters forum. That group came together to discuss how we could make real change to increase active daily lifestyles and physical activity and improve walkability through environmental change strategies, especially in underserved communities.

Since then, we have seen a renewed interest and commitment to improving walkability. A few examples of what has happened in the past year:

  • The City of Tigard has declared its desire to become the “most walkable community in the Northwest”;
  • The City of Milwaukie has taken steps toward improving its walkable and bikeable connections by focusing on two things: the improvements coming to town via the new Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail line; and filling in gaps in the walking and bicycling network in the area directly around Milwaukie schools;
  • Metro regional government passed first-of-their-kind Regional Active Transportation Plan and tailpipe-emission-reducing Climate Smart Strategies;
  • Bicycle and pedestrian projects were eligible for the first time ever for state “ConnectOregon” funding, which totaled more than $42 million in 2014; and
  • The Intertwine Alliance held a summit in Spring 2014 with a focus that included Active Transportation.

While we have, individually and collectively, done a remarkable number of things to improve walkability, bikeability, and active transportation access – the fact remains that, here in the Metro region, we have much more to do:

  • The 2010 mode share for walking and bicycling trips was 12%;
  • Our regional goal is to triple the mode share for walking and bicycling to 36% by 2040;
  • Currently, approximately $10 million is spent annually on stand-alone pedestrian, bicycle, and trail projects, which represents just 3% of the $433 million federal and state capital funds spent annually on transportation in the region; and
  • Only 55% of all roadways in the regional pedestrian network have sidewalks on both sides of the road.

Support funding safe streets in Portland

UPDATE: On Monday, October 13th, from 3-5pm, Portland City Council will have its first work session on the fee after months of feedback from committees representing businesses, non-profit, low-income, and transportation groups. Portland City Council and Mayor Hales need to hear from you now that safety is important to you and essential to the city. Please consider attending (no public testimony) to demonstrate to City Council the support of safety and equity by Portlanders.
At Council Chambers, 3-5pm on 10/13.

Funding to ensure and maintain safety on our roadways is as critical to our regional prosperity as it is to livability for Portlanders. Portland has an exemplary program of education and encouragement programs that promote safety and healthy travel options for our kids through Safe Routes to Schools, but many of Portland’s schools sit on or near busy and unsafe streets, and that puts our children—many of whom want or need and do walk or bike to school—at risk of both traffic accidents as well as health problems that arise from not getting enough physical activity.

The connection between transportation and public health is indisputable; the ability to design and build safe streets both possible and necessary. One key way to improve the safety as well as the health of Portlanders—especially our young, minority, and ageing populations, who are most likely to be injured or killed in the simple act of walking to their destination—is through building and maintaining safe, comprehensive, active transportation routes and networks. Choice in our transportation system not only allows us the opportunity to be active and healthy in our daily travel, it also provides all members of the community equitable opportunities to safe and healthy transportation options.

Whether you live, work, study, pray or play in Portland, now is the time for you to speak out strongly in support of safety in transportation projects across the City of Portland.

Email City Council.

Continue reading

Join us at CLF’s 2014 Regional Livability Summit on 10/3

Join us at the Coalition for a Livable Future’s 2014 Regional Livability Summit
Pathways to Prosperity: Advancing Economic Justice
Friday, October 3rd @ Portland State University

Including our own panel: Transportation Funding Working for the People
This discussion will focus on transportation funding in the region — we will discuss the importance of healthy, active transportation for our region, and how we can build out the regional active transportation network through meaningfully involving communities most in need. What do people in our communities really need to be able to get around safely and easily to the places they need to go? Why haven’t we found the money yet to make connectivity and safety improvements happen in the communities that need it most? Who’s working on getting it done equitably and quickly? The fishbowl-style session will be a roundtable discussion and include an open seat for audience participation.

More information & registration.

SW Washington Healthy Living Summit 9/23

The Healthy Living Collaborative Summit will be held on September 23 at the Vancouver Hilton

The Summit is an opportunity for community-based organizations to partner with local systems and services to create healthy, safe, and equitable neighborhoods in SW Washington.
 
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More information here. Space is limited. RSVP to hlcsummit@outlook.com, or call 360-952-3396.