The City of Tigard seeks to become the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities enjoy healthy and interconnected lives.
Tigard is currently recruiting for a Program Coordinator (Safe Routes to School) position. This position will be responsible for development, coordination, and implementation of the SRTS program for the City. This includes program development/planning, program administration, marketing/outreach, education and training, event promotion, volunteer coordination, and program evaluation.
Please note: This is a grant funded one year limited duration position.
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.
Arguably, transportation investments made for one part of a community can benefit others — such as a street to a new development, which serves people driving to and from their homes and service deliveries, but also serves older adults who walk for health, exercise, and to maintain social connections, as well as youth walking or bicycling to and from school, the library, or their local playground.
Roadway infrastructure investments are relatively clear cut, but the often understated and “softer” side of transportation — what’s typically referred to as travel options — involves a focus on the education and encouragement of specific populations toward their travel options, and why and how they should use them.
In the Portland Metro region, Regional Travel Options (RTO) grants fund projects that help improve the transportation system through education and encouragement of travel choices to and from work or school, such as carpooling, riding transit, walking, and bicycling. These programs help the region in numerous ways by both improving mobility and reducing pollution from car trips. While this funding opportunity has traditionally focused on employer-based, commuting, and adult needs for travel options, there is a very real need for our youth to also be the recipient of education and encouragement focused on their unique travel options.
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.
Oregon Metro’s Regional Travel Options (RTO) grant cycle is now open with $2.1 million available for projects carried out within the Metro boundary — the tri-county region surrounding Portland including Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties.
“Travel Options” projects are those that help improve the transportation system through education and encouragement of travel choices to and from work or school, such as carpooling, riding transit, walking, and bicycling. These programs help the region in numerous ways by both improving mobility and reducing pollution from car trips.
Safe Routes to School projects are a great fit for this grant opportunity, and you are welcome and strongly encouraged to apply! The four key categories for measuring RTO outcomes are Environment, Equity, Health, and Economy — and Safe Routes to School programs fit right in.
Environment: Safe Routes to School programs help the environment by reducing pollutants and consumption of energy and non-renewable resources through educating students on how to safely walk and bike to school, giving them the maps and other tools to do so, and providing support and encouragement for more children to walk to and from school together.
School drop-offs contribute as much as 25% of morning traffic.
In many cases, the drop-off trip is less than three miles — and the parent returns home after drop-off.
Some schools have seen a 50% reduction in parent car drop-off rates following the introduction of Safe Routes to School programs.
Equity: Safe Routes to School is all about creating opportunities for greater accessibility of travel options for our children to get to and from school and in their communities.
Many schools have high rates of kids coming from low-income households. Safe Routes to School projects benefit ALL students living within 1-2 miles of a school equally, benefiting underserved individuals and communities equitably and helping reduce household transportation costs.
Health: Safe Routes to School programs promote health benefits for our kids by creating and encouraging opportunities for use of healthier travel options.
The US Department of Health recommends people get at least 2.5 hours of physical activity per week.
For many kids in Oregon, a walk to or from school may be their only opportunity to get physical activity during the entire school day.
Economy: Safe Routes to School programs are a tried, tested, and cost-effective way to promote low-cost travel options for our youth to get to and from school. Kids who get physical activity in the morning are better primed to learn and there may be a reduced absenteeism benefit. Safe Routes to School programs also benefit the community at large by providing safe, healthy ways for people of all ages to get around in our neighborhoods.
Read on to find out who’s eligible to apply, how much is available for a project, when you need to apply, and how to get more information and help.