Safe Routes to School in PA: Fall Informational Series
In the spirit of the back-to-school season, WalkWorks was pleased to offer a series of informational webinars in September, October and November on Safe Routes to School (SRTS). SRTS is a national and international movement to make it easier for kids and families to walk or bike to and from school. It has been eligible for federal funding for decades and is identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a “HI-5 Intervention,” having cost effective positive health impacts within five years.
SRTS helps local communities and school districts make the healthy and thoughtful choice of walking and biking to school, a safe and accessible one. But what does it really mean? How does it work? Can your community and school district take advantage of it? Attend these webinars and learn more about the program and its potential for the community from experts at the national Safe Routes Partnership, from people involved in this work in other locales, as well as from people involved at various levels with improving school/neighborhood accessibility within the commonwealth.
PennDOT’s Safe Routes to School page states, “The primary goal of the Safe Routes to School program is to get more children bicycling and walking to schools safely on an everyday basis. SRTS programs benefit schools and communities by improving health and fitness, providing traffic relief, reducing air pollution, and expanding local infrastructure… Safe Routes to School activities teach children why physical activity is important and why walking or biking to school can make a difference in their lives. SRTS projects strive to make it safer for children to walk and bicycle to school, and this can lead to increased physical activity and ultimately healthier kids.” SRTS funding can be used both to improve transportation infrastructure and to support education and encouragement campaigns.
Check out our Quick Guide of Resources for Safe Routes to School!
Webinar 1 | Wednesday, September 28, 2022 | 7:30-8:30 p.m. | Link to Webinar Recording | Link to Presentation
The first webinar focuses on introducing and explaining the Safe Routes concept and its potential. Speakers include:
- Tom Flood, road safety advocate and parent, on the urgency of making active transportation (walking and biking) safe for kids and families
- Kori Johnson, program manager with Safe Routes Partnership, on the history, rationale, and benefits of Safe Routes for communities and education systems
- Jeff Anderson, Parent SRTS advocate in Fairfax County, Virginia/Safe Routes National Partnership Board member
- Lauren Hassel, Arlington (Virginia) Public Schools SRTS Coordinator, 2016-2022
- Trish Meek, new PennDOT Statewide Bike/Ped Coordinator, on bicycle education and encouragement campaigns she previously ran in Centre County
Webinar 2 | Monday, October 17, 2022 | 7:30-8:30 p.m. | Link to Webinar Recording | Link to Presentations
The second webinar includes presentations from people in various parts of the commonwealth who will share examples of SRTS projects and programs that have been put into place. Learn about the possibilities and leave with ideas for how to start making them a reality in your community.
WalkWorks is a collaboration between the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Downtown Center. The program promotes active transportation (walking, biking, etc.) and provides technical assistance and funding to communities for the development of Active Transportation Plans, which may include SRTS Plans. WalkWorks encourages community residents and community leaders to consider how to make communities safer, more accessible, and inviting for people who want or need to walk, bike, use mobility devices like wheelchairs, or access transit. When more people can use active modes to get to everyday destinations safely, both individual and community health improves – and we all benefit.
Webinar 3 | Thursday, November 3, 2022 | 7:30-8:30 p.m. | Link to Webinar Recording | Link to Presentations
This final webinar in the series addresses what a community needs to work on in order to support a Safe Routes Program and apply for funding. Presenters include: Kori Johnson, Program Manager with the Safe Routes Partnership; Joe Banks, PennDOT Consultant Project Manager and Associate Manager for the Office of Project Implementation at the DVRPC; and Samantha Pearson, Healthy Communities Program Manager for the Pennsylvania Downtown Center.
For more information or assistance with registration, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-233-4675×114.
Contact: Samantha Pearson, Pennsylvania Downtown Center, 781-366-0726.