Register Now! Safe Routes to School Regional Meeting

Join us on October 28th to talk about all things Safe Routes to School! We are very excited to have Mark Fenton as the keynote speaker. Mark is a national expert in public health, planning and transportation. He has lots of experience and expertise in Safe Routes to School as well as an unparalleled amount of energy! He will be first on agenda to energize us for the day!

Register Now!

Safe Routes to School Regional Meeting

October 28, 2014

8:00am-11:30am

Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

777 North Capitol Street NE, Training Center, First Floor

accessible via the Metro Red Line to Union Station and a short 3 block walk!

Agenda

8:00am    Networking breakfast

8:30am    Mark Fenton Keynote “Taking Safe Routes to School to the Next Level”

10:00am    Safe Routes to School Best Practices from the Greater Washington Region

11:30am    Adjourn and join a friend for lunch at Union Station

The event is free but registration is required. Register now!

Would you like to share your Safe Routes to School story with the region?

Last year, you told us you loved hearing stories from across the region about Safe Routes to School programs. If you have something to share, please take 5 minutes to submit your Safe Routes to School program to be considered for a presentation at the 2014 Regional Meeting.

Call for Presenters: 2014 Safe Routes to School Regional Meeting

Fairfax County Public Health releases their first Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

In a great collaborative partnership, Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) worked together to examine the health impacts of a proposed transit center in the Richmond Highway corridor. The resulting Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is now available.

HIA is a systematic process that uses an array of data sources and analytic methods and considers input from stakeholders to determine the potential effects of a proposed policy, plan, program, or project on the health of a population and the distribution of those effects within the population.

The HIA explains that Richmond Highway is an important artery that connects major commercial, residential, and recreational points in Northern Virginia. It bisects the southeastern region of Fairfax County which is one of the most economically disadvantaged and transit dependent areas of the county. A new transit center along with Richmond Highway Corridor has been proposed to improve access to transportation and enhance existing bus services currently provided by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The HIA looked at two sites under consideration for the transit center.

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#YOLOwalksafe

In October 2012, 15-year-old Christina Morris-Ward was struck and killed as she distractedly crossed the street on her way to Seneca Valley High School in Germantown. Last week, Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) and Montgomery County Public Schools were at Seneca Valley HIgh School to announce their YOLO (You Only Live Once) education program to reduce pedestrian crashes involving teens.

This high school focused campaign adapts the regional Street Smart “Tired Faces” campaign, a public safety campaign focused on safe walking, bicycling and driving targeted at adults. Messages such as “Smart phones can make you do stupid things.”and “This song is to die for.” call attention to distracted walking and walking with earphones in while crossing the street. The campaign uses the hashtag #YOLOwalksafe.

All resources in the online toolkit, including posters and a toolkit of pedestrian safety campaign ideas for teens are available for FREE on the Montgomery County Public Schools website.

MCDOT has been engaging high schools with pedestrian safety campaigns since 2012 with their “Hey You, I ‘m Looking at You” pedestrian safety campaign at Blair High School. Collision data from around Blair High School showed that those under 20 years of age and those over 50 have been involved in all collisions, mostly during daylight hours. In the 2013-2014 school year, the “Walk Your Way” program encouraged teens to apply for $2,000 grants to create, design, and implement their own pedestrian safety campaign at their school. More about their pedestrian safety program is available on their website.

Keynote Announced! 2014 Safe Routes to School Regional Meeting

fenton

Mark Fenton leading a workshop in Minneapolis, MN.

Mark Fenton will keynote at the 2014 Safe Routes to School Regional Meeting

The 2014 Safe Routes to School Regional Meeting will feature Mark Fenton, a nationally recognized expert in public health, planning and transportation. In addition to other accomplishments, Mark was a developer of the University of North Carolina’s Safe Routes to School clearinghouse and facilitator for the walkable community workshop series of the National Center for Bicycling and Walking.

Save the Date!
2014 Safe Routes to School Regional Meeting
October 28, 2014
8:o0 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.                                                                                                
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

The 2014 regional meeting is again being sponsored by the Greater Washington DC Safe Routes to School Regional Network and the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board Bicycle and Pedestrian Subcommittee.

Would you like to share your Safe Routes to School story with the region?

Last year, you told us you loved hearing stories from across the region about Safe Routes to School programs. If you have something to share, please take 5 minutes to submit your Safe Routes to School program to be considered for a presentation at the 2014 Regional Meeting.

Call for Presenters: 2014 Safe Routes to School Regional Meeting

Fire Up Your Feet Fall Challenge, Get Moving and Win!

This fall, Fire Up Your Feet is awarding more than $100,000 to K-8 schools across the country to support Safe Routes to School and other health and wellness programs. With awards in several categories, schools have even more chances to win. If you already have a Safe Routes to School program at your school, you are ahead of the game!

Read below to find out about some of the awards that schools could win for the awesome work that they’re doing to help get kids moving safely to and from school, and take the next step by signing up at www.fireupyourfeet.org today!

PeopleForBikes Awards
Thanks to generous support from our partner PeopleForBikes, we are pleased to offer an award honoring dedication to bicycling to school. The school in each region that tracks the most bicycling minutes during the Challenge will win a $500 award and a package of bicycling products and discounts. 

Fire Up Your Walk to School Day Awards
In each region, schools with a minimum of 25 walkers at the end of the Challenge will be entered into a drawing for Fire Up Your Walk to School Awards ranging from $100 to $500. Check out our Fire Up Your Walk to School Day Award promotion tipsheet for more information. 

Fire Up Your Feet Awards 
Fire Up Your Feet awards ranging from $200 to $5,000 are available in:
CaliforniaColoradoHawaiiMarylandMetro AtlantaNew HampshireOregonSouthwest WashingtonWisconsinVirginia or Washington DC. Please click on each highlighted state or region for details.

Weekly Breakout Challenge Awards
In addition to the awards listed above, schools can compete for weekly Breakout Challenge awards in a variety of categories. Visit your state or region’s website for details about the Breakout Challenges.

New and Updated Resources
With simplified tracking and new and updated resources, there’s never been a better day to get Fired Up! Check out our how-to videos, newsletter text, flyers and sample letters to help get the word out among your local Safe Routes to School partners. For additional assistance, please contact info@fireupyourfeet.org.

Pedestrian Safety Step Routine

Check out the pedestrian safety step routine by the Port Towns Youth Council (PTYC) Wellness Ambassadors!   The PTYC took the four pedestrian safety tips from the Prince George’s County Healthcare Action Coalition Pedestrian Safety Workgroup and made then into a really cool step routine. Leave it to the PTYC to make pedestrian safety cool! See other posts about the awesome work of the Port Towns Youth Council!

 

 

 

Capitol Heights Becomes First Municipality in Prince George’s County (MD) to Adopt Complete Streets Policy

On July 28, 2014, Capitol Heights became the first municipality in Prince George’s County (MD) to adopt a Complete Streets policy. Mayor Marnitta King led the effort, stating, “”Having Complete Streets in Capitol Heights is essential to moving our changing Town forward.  We have to make sure that all residents are safe in their abilities to traverse the thoroughfares as they travel the Town!” The Town’s policy leads off with a strong vision and heralding its unique position in the County, “As a gateway to our nation’s capital, and a vibrant, urban community, it is the vision of the Town of Capitol Heights, to create a community in which all residents and visitors, regardless of their age, ability, or financial resources, can safely and efficiently use the public right-of-way to meet their transportation needs regardless of their preferred mode of travel.”

Capitol Heights WelcomeMayor King and colleague Councilman Darrell Miller attended the May 2014 Complete Streets workshop sponsored by the Greater Washington DC Safe Routes to School Regional (Greater Washington DC network) Network and the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic. This workshop featured a nationally certified Complete Streets trainer, as well as a panel of local experts from Maryland State Highway Administration, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, and Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation. At the workshop, participants were introduced to the concept of Complete Streets, and equipped with tools and resources to support their effort to advance a policy in their municipality within six months. Following the workshop, Mayor King participated in “office hours” phone calls, and worked with Greater Washington DC network and HEAL on various drafts of the policy.

Both the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign and the Greater Washington DC network applaud Mayor King and the Town of Capitol Heights for passing a strong Complete Streets policy, and encourage other Prince George’s County municipalities to do the same.

This blog is cross posted on the HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign blog.

Creating Momentum for Complete Streets in Prince George’s County

Recently, staff and elected leaders of nine municipalities from Prince George’s County attended a National Complete Streets Coalition workshop to learn more about the steps needed to write, adopt, and implement an effective Complete Streets policy.. The workshop sought to bring together multiple communities in order to capitalize on the strong network of cities and towns in the county, and create a network for peer support as communities work to adopt Complete Streets policies.

The State of Maryland and Prince George’s County both have Complete Streets policies. Most of the communities in the county have state and county roads within their boundaries and some do not own any of their roads. The workshop attendees indicated they wanted their policies to align with the state and county policies. A Complete Streets policy will help these communities clearly articulate their commitment to multi-modal travel when the state and county undertake roadwork in their jurisdictions.

Also discussed was the importance for a pedestrian or bicyclist to have the ability to easily travel from one community to another. For example, Mt. Rainier is known for public art and Hyattsville has an abundance of restaurants. These communities are adjacent to one another, but there is currently not a pleasant or safe way to walk or bicycle between them. Adopting Complete Streets policies will aid the communities in creating a multi-jurisdictional network that facilitates safe and easy travel for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The workshop was co-hosted by the Greater Washington DC Safe Routes to School Network and the HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign of the Mid-Atlantic. Taking advantage of their related missions, the greater Washington DC network and the HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign were able to support communities with a pre-workshop Complete Streets 101 webinar. The communities will also be provided with technical assistance conference calls and webinars to ensure they have the support they need for policy adoption.

Partnerships, both in hosting the workshop and in policy adoption, are a key outcome of the Complete Streets workshop. We look forward to many of these communities adopting Complete Streets policies in the future, and improving safety for walking and bicycling in Prince George’s County and the cities and towns within the county.

This blog post is cross posted on the HEAL Cities and Towns of the Mid-Atlantic and Safe Routes to School National Partnership websites.

Track 20 participants by midnight and win up to $150 for your school!

It’s Time to Fire Up Your Feet!

Our first weekly breakout challenge ends tonight at midnight, and we still have awards to give away! Just track an activity for at least 20 individuals to be eligible. You can easily win this award for your school with just 10 minutes of your time. Here’s how:

  • Register as a coordinator at fireupyourfeet.org
  • Using the coordinator tracker, create a group (for example, “Smith classroom” or “PE class”)
  • Add 20 or more students, parents or school staff to the group (Hint: Your child’s classroom probably has at least 20 students in it!)
  • Track an activity for the entire group with one click. Bicycling to school, recess, walking, sports, PE class – it all counts!

That’s it! More specific information about Challenge in Awards is available for the Baltimore region (including Frederick, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties), Virginia and Washington DC.

Contact Christine (christine@saferoutespartnership.org) with any questions about how it all works.

Thanks!
Christine

Get Ready to Win in May!

We’re going to let you in on a secret. We ran the numbers from last year, and schools in the Greater Washington D.C. region have a great chance of winning a May 1-30 Fire Up Your Feet Spring Activity Challenge award.

The Fire Up Your Feet Program helps encourage families, students and schools to work together and create active lifestyles which inspire our children to be healthy and physically active. You can easily register on the Fire Up Your Feet, track your physical activity and earn awards.

Here are some ideas to help you tip the balance in your favor this spring.

  1. Ask five friends to sign up. Check out this video interview with Shonda Mosby, PTA President and Fire Up Your Feet Champion from Ardenwood Elementary School, who explains her strategy for getting families to register, participate and help win a $1,000 Challenge Award for their school last fall.
  2. Set up a Fire Up Your Feet signup table after school where families can easily sign up.
  3. Does your school have a walking school bus or group of families who already walk or bicycle to school? Send an email to families in your group or neighborhood letting them know about Fire Up Your Feet and your school’s good chances of winning an award.Get just 5 or 10 more families at your school to do the same, and your school could take home an award this spring. Even better, our new Coordinator Toolkit and Spanish materials make district or community participation a snap!

Now that we’ve let the cat out of the bag, make this secret be known throughout your school. Getting just a few more families to register today could easily mean victory for your school tomorrow.

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