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Urban Safe Routes to School


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Urban Safe Routes to School

  1. 1. Urban Safe Routes to Schoola national perspective<br />mark plotz<br />Active Living Resource Center<br />
  2. 2. Program History<br />Before 2005, state and local Safe Routes to School programs, with a few notable exceptions, focused on getting kids walking (as opposed to improving safety.) It was a suburban program.<br />The City Safe Routes to School pilot program was conceived of in 2005 as a response to the passage of the federal Safe Routes to School program.<br />Launched in 2006, our goal was threefold: 1) deliver direct technical assistance to urban schools; 2) help them access federal funds; and 3) develop a body of practice and preach from the bully pulpit.<br />
  3. 3. Safe Routes to School<br />
  4. 4. Program Blueprint<br />Three year timeline<br />Phase 1: Development and testing<br />Chicago, Birmingham, St. Paul<br />Phase 2: Six city rollout and refinement<br />Huntsville, Atlanta, Garfield, Hartford, Brooklyn, Blue Island IL<br />Phase 3: Regional, statewide, and T3<br />St. Petersburg, North Charleston/Charleston SC, Mobile AL<br />
  5. 5. School profile<br />Located in an urban environment.<br />Located in established residential neighborhoods.<br />Walking infrastructure is in place but not necessarily intact.<br />Personal safety concerns: bullying, crime, gangs, dogs.<br />Traffic safety concerns: streets are too wide, too fast.<br />Schools are lacking in volunteers or a champion.<br />Every day is Walk to School Day.<br />Most, if not all, students are on free/reduced lunch.<br />Young principals or principals nearing retirement.<br />
  6. 6. There is newly available SRTS money. We have to ensure urban schools have access to the grants. (2006)<br />Where the need is the greatest and the work is the hardest, success will be most elusive. (The public health paradox)<br />Safe Routes paradox<br />
  7. 7. Program Design and Recommendations<br />Working through local advocates.<br />Meeting the people where they are. Finding a starting point.<br />Emphasis on storytelling.<br />Bringing your state coordinator to the community.<br />Keeping a small footprint/sustainability.<br />Celebrating where you are at.<br />
  8. 8. After three years…<br />The conversation has shifted, but has the funding?<br />How are the states disbursing their funding?<br />How do we ensure there is an equitable distribution of grants? <br />
  9. 9. Active Living Resource Center<br /><br />Mark Plotz<br />Program Manager<br /><br />202.223.3621<br />