“See A Need, Fill A Need” – Safe Routes to School Planning in Urban Communities

Walking to school is not a new concept – up until the 1970s, most schools were located in residential neighborhoods, and communities were built with pedestrian traffic in mind. Unlike many suburban and rural areas, this still holds true in urban communities, where sidewalks are present and homes are clustered around schools. However, safety concerns, changes to infrastructure favoring vehicular traffic, desegregation through busing and social and economic demographic shifts have created barriers to the student pedestrian landscape in urban communities.  Click here to read more of Kate’s national blog.

ODOT Accepting 2014 Safe Routes to School Applications Through March 3!

The Ohio Department of Transportation is now accepting Safe Routes to School applications through March 3, 2014, to be announced in May.

Application highlights include:

  • Up to $4 million dollars is available this round:
  • Infrastructure cap is $500,000; Non-Infrastructure is $30,000;
  • Up to 10 school travel plan assistance applications will be awarded;
  • The online application is NEW, and easy to use!  No login required, work can be saved and/or printed, and links are available for pertinent/required information.

Contact your ODOT District coordinator for more information, visit the ODOT-Safe Routes to School webpage for application instructions and information, or contact Kate Moening at kate@saferoutespartnership.org or 614 269 7085 for application or coalition building assistance.

Next Ohio Safe Routes All Network Meeting November 5, 2013 at 10am

Our next Ohio Safe Routes Network – All Network Meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 10am via GoToWebinar and at the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC). To attend via GoToWebinar, follow the link below to register, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to attend.  If you will attend in person, please email me at kate@saferoutespartnership.org , and I will send you a parking pass closer to the date.

Our agenda will be of interest to all, but if you are new to the Ohio Safe Routes Network, I encourage you to attend!

  • Introductions
  • Access Ohio 2040 – Ohio’s Long Range Transportation Plan – Presentation by the Ohio Department of Transportation
  • 2013 A Year In Review – Ohio Successes and Highlights/Action Team accomplishments
  • 2014: Where We Are Headed!

- State Collaborative Opportunity: Ohio’s Five Year State Health Improvement Plan
- Ohio Safe Routes Action Plan: updates and approval
- Action Teams: Goals and Participation
- Safe Routes to School National Partnership Updates

Feel free to forward this on to anyone you feel would be interested in our Network directives: leveraging funding for Safe Routes and pedestrian/cycling initiatives, Complete Street/street scale improvement policy and shared use policy improvements, to benefit Ohioans.  Increasing physical activity, improving health and investing in opportunities for Ohioans to be active is essential!

Please register for SAO – Ohio All Network Meeting on Nov 5, 2013 10:00 AM EST at: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1279528418453400832
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

There is Help for Students Walking and Biking to School: Safe Routes to School in Ohio

June/July 2013:  In June, articles in the Akron Beacon Journal highlighted the safety inequity between urban and suburban students that walk or bike to school (you can read them here and here). The topic was picked up by the Atlantic Cities blog, and mentions that “The state (of Ohio) offers no funding assistance for children who walk less than two miles.”

However, there is funding assistance, and for Akron, I would like to qualify the above statement with “for now”.  To read more, click here.

 

Trails and Trips Boost Ohio’s Economy

May/June 2013: Bicycle Awareness Month is drawing to a close, and I’ve been inspired by greatBike/Walk to School Day events, Bike to Work Day events and National Bike Challenge promotions kicking off a safe, active summer for cyclists and walkers of all ages throughout Ohio. I have read great Facebook posts and news articles throughout the month, but two stood out because they got me thinking about the economic and social impacts of walking and biking infrastructure. To read more, click here.

Put Your Feet to the Pedal, Ohio – May is Bicycle Awareness Month!

April/May 2013: With the warmer weather, more and more cyclists will be riding in our communities – it’s a great thing that May is National Bike Month! Ohio schools, communities and organizations are offering a wealth of cycling safety training, education and events to help us cycle safely this summer! To read more, click here.

Be a Part of the Action: Join the Ohio Safe Routes Network!

March 2013: Ohio is a leader in the national Safe Routes to Schools movement. Here are just a few benchmarks and accomplishments in our great state: to read more, click here.

Ohio Highlights: Wrapping Up 2012 and Stepping Up in 2013!

January 2013: Safe Routes to School in Ohio has much to be proud of in 2012 – here are a few highlights: $16 million dollars awarded to communities for Safe Routes to School infrastructure and non-infrastructure project; Chagrin Falls, winner of the Safe Routes to School Oberstar Award, the nation’s highest Safe Routes to School honor; andCincinnati Public Schools, for the first Large District-wide School Travel Plan, created with the support of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). To read more, click here.

Welcome to the Ohio Safe Routes Network!

The Ohio Safe Routes Network is part of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, fast-growing network of hundreds of organizations, government agencies and professional groups working to set goals, share best practices, leverage infrastructure and program funding and advance policy change to help agencies that implement Safe Routes to School programs. To learn more about the National Partnership, click here.

The Ohio Safe Routes Network is part of a seven state network project initiated with funds from the Robert Wood Johnston Foundation  to advance state-level policy reform in seven states (CA, FL, MS, NC, NJ, OH and TN), which will result in the award and obligation of federal transportation funds, street-scale improvements and shared-use agreements. Each of the seven states has a full-time advocacy organizer working for the National Partnership. The seven states were selected based on need and their capacity to succeed with the program goals.

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