Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Safe Routes to School State Network ProjectServing 19 States and the District of Columbia in 2010 and 2011 - Get Involved!

The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Partnership announced an expansion of the State Network Project to 19 states and the District of Columbia beginning in January 2010. The project, which was first launched in 2007, brings together state leaders to remove barriers to waking and bicycling to and from school.

From 2010 to 2011, the project will support networks in Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Lessons learned from working with nine states and the District of Columbia during 2007-2009 will help inform this second phase of the project.

The State Networks will work to increase physical activity among all students, ensure that federal SRTS funds are spent on quality projects, work to leverage additional state resources for SRTS initiatives, and advocate to remove barriers to walking and bicycling to schools through policy initiatives. At the heart of the State Network effort is policy change-specifically working to remove policy barriers to walking and bicycling to schools by implementing complete streets, changing statewide school siting and other policies, and by implementing legislation that would result in funding or policy changes.

The 2010-2011 phase of the State Network Project also will focus on serving low-income communities and reducing crime. The specific policy strategies for each jurisdiction will be determined by the State Network and based on the capacity of the partnering organizations.

Agencies and organizations within the 20 project jurisdictions are encouraged to get involved. Each network will hold a telephone kick-off meeting in January or February. If you would like to participate, please contact the organizer in your state.

Each state organizer will manage the daily operations and work with partners from around the state who are involved in health, equity, transportation, youth, environmental, and smart growth issues to develop and implement an action plan.

According to Robert Ping, State Network Director, "The State Network Project has been very successful in bringing together partners to change state level policies that are resulting in opportunities for more children to walk and bicycle to schools safely. We're honored and excited about expanding this project, and about the impact that it will make towards the goal of reversing childhood obesity by the year 2015. We encourage state agencies, policymakers and non-profits to join us in launching this new project."

The SRTS National Partnership held an open call for applications inviting all states to apply for the State Network Project. The networks were selected based on need and their capacity to support the program. High levels of childhood obesity, diversity and low-income communities also were considered. States that were not selected may still receive technical assistance to help move their state processes forward.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provided funding for 15 states and Kaiser Permanente provided funding for another five states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provided financial support for the project.

Bikes Belong Coalition P.O. Box 2359 Boulder CO 80306

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