Virginia Safe Routes to School application information call

The Greater Washington network will host a phone call to discuss the new Virginia Safe Routes to School applications. Safe Routes to School coordinator Rob Williams and local technical assistance coordinator Mauricio  Hernandez will join us on the call. Besides an overview of the application process, there will be plenty of time for questions.

What: Virginia Safe Routes to School information phone call
Date: October 10, 2012
Time: 2pm
Phone number (toll free): 866-394-4146
Passcode for audio: 111948544

Agenda

(1)    What is SRTS
(2)    What’s New
(3)    Current round of infrastructure and non-infrastructure grants
(4)    New School Travel Plan format
(5)    Local Technical Assistance
(6)    Questions

Proclamation supports Walk and Bike to School Day in Frederick

Last night the City of Frederick Board of Alderman proclaimed October 3, 2012 as International Walk and Bike to School Day in The City of Frederick and encouraged everyone to consider the safety and health of children today and everyday!

Thanks to Alderman Kelly Russell who presented the Proclamation and to the entire Board of Alderman for their support. The City of Frederick is a Bicycle Friendly City with a growing Safe Routes to School movement. The City has several easily bikeable and walkable schools with at least one school installing more bike racks to meet demand. The downtown is very multi-modal friendly and the Ad Hoc Bicycle Committee recently discussed routes to safely connect all  Frederick neighborhoods.

It was an honor to attend the Board of Alderman meeting last night and receive the Proclamation on behalf of all the advocates and city staff working hard on bicycling and walking. The Proclamation notes the importance of Walk and Bike to School Day for children’s pedestrian safety and physical activity and the community’s air quality and congestion. It encourages community residents to use the walkability and bikeability checklists available and join the international movement on October 3rd!

Virginia QuickStart Mini-grants awarded in the region

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Safe Routes to School Program offered a new grant this year. The 50 QuickStart Mini-grants of $1,000 are designed to support on-going Safe Routes to School activities or provide help with a Safe Routes to School event to jump start an initiative in your community.

The first grant round was intended to support Walk to School Day activities in October and the awardees were just announced!  Eight schools in the Greater Washington region out of 17 total received funding! The next deadline for QuickStart Mini-grant funding is September 27th and 33 grants are still available!

Congrats to the schools who will be investing in Safe Routes to School!

Arlington County
Nottingham Elementary
Oakridge Elementary

Fairfax County
Garfield Elementary
Louise Archer Elementary
Marshall Road Elementary
Vienna Elementary

Fairfax City
Daniel’s Run Elementary

Manassas City
Jennie Dean Elementary

If you need help thinking about how to jump start your Safe Routes to School program or continue it year-round, please contact us! The Quick Start Mini-grants are a great opportunity to get started!

Port Towns Youth report officially adopted

In a previous post, I discussed the impressive Port Towns Youth Wellness Ambassadors and their community assessment of the Town of Bladensburg. This week, the Wellness Ambassadors presented their findings to the Town Council. The Town Council adopted the report as an official document to be consulted on decisions about the Town’s Green Streets program. The report is hot off the presses and available below.

Council Members made several comments about the Wellness Ambassadors’ work. Council Member Brown noted that the report helps the community become healthier which leads to longevity. Council Member Ficklin talked about his recent bicycle ride through the area and that he definitely felt safer in bike lanes. Bike lanes, bike parking and bike sharing are all recommendations in the report. He also made the connection between the walkable, bikeable and storm water management recommendations and how it addresses environmental issues, pollution, drainage and health.

Council Member George had joined the students on several Fridays as they did their assessment. He commended the Wellness Ambassadors and said that people always talk about the youth leaders of tomorrow but the Wellness Ambassadors are the leading today. The presentation ended with Mayor James making a motion to make document an official document of the Green Streets program.

The report recommends Green Streets include walkable and bikeable features, way finding to highlight local attractions, storm water management, attractive streets and healthy food choices.

Port Town Youth Council Community Asset Mapping BLADENSBURG