Through a partnership with AARP-Oregon and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Inter-generational Safe Streets Challenge recipient Crook County Public Health worked with Crooked River Elementary School in Prineville, Oregon. Here’s their exciting success story.
Want to learn more about how to set up a Walking School Bus in your community? Read our guide Step by Step: How to Start a Walking School Bus at Your School
This spring, Crook County Public Health offered four Walking School Bus routes every Wednesday morning for students of Crooked River Elementary, from spring break to the end of school (a total of 10 weeks). Abby Leibowitz, the AmeriCorps VISTA running the program, did significant outreach to the school community, and found that talking face-to-face with families seemed to be the most effective way of explaining and publicizing the program.
Abby posted fliers throughout town, presented during Senior Center lunches, contacted retired police officers and teachers, encouraged local community leaders to spread the word, and recruited school parents who had previously volunteered. In all, she recruited a total of 8 consistent volunteers and 3 substitute volunteers, 6 of whom were older adults. All volunteers underwent a background check and a one-hour training about the many benefits of walking to school, program logistics, volunteer & participant expectations, and pedestrian safety.
Each week, 15-30 total students participated, and even caught the attention of local media: Crooked River Elementary students who live close to their school may hop on a Walking School Bus once a week.
It’s a wrap: Building an Active & Age-Friendly Transportation Network
May 24, Salem, OR – The National Partnership, with support from AARP Oregon, Kaiser Permanente, Oregon’s Transportation & Growth Management Program, and the City of Salem, brought two walkability workshops to the City of Salem, Oregon. Following an introduction from Salem’s Mayor Bennett, two dozen staff from the city, county, regional and state government joined a walking audit around downtown Salem with nationally-renowned walking expert Dan Burden, best known for his work with Walk Score. Mr Burden then led the staff in a mapping exercise on how to build walkability into the city’s existing and future plans and make Salem a more walkable destination.
That same evening, more than 30 community members joined us at the Center 50+, a community center for older adults, for a walking audit through the nearby neighborhood. Mr. Burden gave a short presentation on how the community can support and encourage the city’s efforts toward walkability, and answered questions about how individuals can help build an active & age-friendly transportation network in Salem.
Pacific Northwest Regional Policy Manager Kari Schlosshauer will continue to work with leaders in Salem to support family-friendly transportation projects such as the proposed Maple-Winter Bikeway
that connect the community with safe, healthy travel options to get to where they need to go, and make Salem a more walkable, livable community for people of all ages and abilities. Learn more and get involved by contacting our staff in the Pacific Northwest
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
Step by Step: How to Create a Walking School Bus At Your School is a new toolkit developed by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, with support from the California Department of Public Health, that offers step-by-step guidelines, tips, and tools for planning and implementing a walking school bus program. Learn how to recruit adult volunteers, develop routes, promote the program, and ensure students have fun and stay safe along the way, with downloadable templates and worksheets to give you a fast and easy start.
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!
In Japan, 98 percent of children walk to school.
In the U.S., 13 percent of children walk to school.
It’s time for a change.
Please join us on 10/4 in Portland for a special screening of the documentary The Slow Way Home, which looks at why so few kids in the U.S. walk to school, and what we can do about it. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmwriter and local parents who were featured in the film.
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Clinton Street Theater | 2522 SE Clinton Street, Portland
Doors open at 6:30pm
Screening & panel discussion begins at 7:00pm
This event is free. We ask that you support Safe Routes to School efforts in Oregon to increase the number of kids who can safely walk or roll to school, by giving as you can.
RSVP on Facebook or Eventbrite