Schools as the Centers of our Communities – coordinating efforts in Los Angeles County

Isabelle at Rosemont Elementary in Los AngelesIn Los Angeles County, we have been having more and more meetings with partners working in schools.  Many of our partners, particularly community based organizations are working in schools but having a challenging time interfacing with transportation departments and school districts.

We were recently inspired by a meeting with the National Partnership’s Los Angeles based national shared use staffer Mikaela Randolph with a group called People for Parks, who are doing great work with Community School Parks and Urban Greening efforts in LA City and working on shared use issues. We’d like to share their work with interested partners on Tuesday afternoon May 13th at our offices in downtown Los Angeles. We want to share their experience and start a conversation and workgroup on schools and transportation in Los Angeles County.  We hope you’ll join us.

One of the reasons we are especially motivated to do this now is  Metro will kick off a Safe Routes to School County level strategic plan this summer. Let’s come together on May 13 to start to coordinate and sync up efforts.  Please email Jessica Meaney  to RSVP and for meeting details and agenda.

 

Metro Technical Advisory Committee – increasing technical expertise

Metro’s Technical Advisory Committee Meeting

Join us on Wednesday May 7th at the Metro Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting at 8:30am for a brief discussion with Metro Director Mike Bonin regarding the proposed additions of pedestrian, bicycle, and public health technical experts to Metro’s TAC. Please plan to arrive promptly at 8:30 AM as Director Bonin needs to leave at 9am. After Director Bonin’s discussion, TAC will be limited to one half hour to reconsider its recommendations on these new TAC members.

Metro’s TAC meets at Metro Headquarters, on the 15th floor. See agendas here.

As Metro continues to invest billions of dollars every year into LA County’s transportation system, it is critical that the agency’s actions be advised by a balanced panel of technical experts, including representatives from all modes and additional expertise from related sectors as determined by the Board. Adding voting members with expertise in bicycle and pedestrian planning, urban design and public health will add depth to policy discussions and ensure that Metro’s decisions serve the transportation needs of LA County’s diverse communities.  View our previous blog post on this important discussion.

Gateways Cities Active Transportation Work Group

Gateway Cities RegionIn our work in Los Angeles County we have come to recognize the importance of partnerships and participation with Councils of Governments.  Currently the Gateway Cities Council of Governments is developing a active transportation strategic plan, as a part of its investment of $8.8M into creating a regional transportation plan for the COG.  This effort includes scoping for project lists and needs for safe routes to school, first/last mile and walking and bicycling projects.  In this effort it is critical that stakeholders participate.  The National Partnership and Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition have been working to share information on this effort and want to form a working group to make sure community groups, school districts and all interested partners are looped into this effort. Read more of this post

Join Us for ENACT Day 2014 on May 29th in Sacramento

Active Living_shot from behindAll Californians deserve the opportunity to live in healthy and safe communities, and we want YOU to join us in Sacramento to bring that message to legislators and the media! ENACT Day 2014 is an opportunity for Californians from every corner of the state to come together at the state capitol to send the message: We want a state that better supports access to healthy food and safe places to be physically active, and we want it now! ENACT Day is a great chance for community members, grassroots organizers, and advocates to develop their policy advocacy skills.

Here is what you can expect if you attend ENACT Day:

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Complete Streets slated for funding through Senate cap-and-trade proposal

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced a new proposal for long-term spending of cap-and-trade revenue at a press conference on Monday, demonstrating that he’s been listening to advocates calling for more and safer active transportation options.

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Senator Steinberg announcing his Cap-and-Trade Proposal at a press conference in the Capitol Monday.

The proposal aims to establish reliable funding streams for affordable housing, transit, roadway maintenance, and implementation of other sustainable communities strategies, in addition to high-speed rail. Importantly, Steinberg’s proposal would invest in creating Complete Streets through road maintenance and retrofit projects, and fund active transportation infrastructure alongside affordable housing through transit-oriented development and other transportation projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Starting in fiscal year 2015, this new investment plan would apply to the remaining years of the Cap-and-Trade program and would direct investment to low-income and disadvantaged communities.  Read more of this post

Support safer school zones and more funding for SRTS – act now!

DSCF6863Senate Bill 1151 needs your support before April 22!

SB-1151 aims to increase safety for schools students in two important ways: 1. by improving driver behavior in school zones with higher penalties for speed limit violations, and 2. by dedicating the additional revenue generated by those higher penalties to school-based safety improvements through the Active Transportation Program.

This important bill comes at a critical time – dedicated Safe Routes to School project funding is only guaranteed for the first three years of the new Active Transportation Program. With the additional revenue that SB 1151 proposes to generate, the state would continue a dedicated source of funding for projects that prioritize the safety of students walking and bicycling to school.

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SCAG General Assembly Will Include a Focus on Active Transportation!


Mark your calendars! The National Partnership and our partners look forward to having you join us at SCAG’s 2014 Regional Conference and General Assembly.

This year’s conference will explore how rapidly emerging technologies may revolutionize the way we presently think about moving people and goods. Additionally, the 2014 Regional Conference & General Assembly presents meaningful regional coordination and networking opportunities to all participants.

Of note this year, SCAG will be hosting a discussion on “Local Planning and Sustainability: Public Health, Active Transportation and Food Deserts.” This discussion will look at how City and County leaders must address matters unique to the individual community they serve. Hear city and county representatives discuss their shared interests including projects and initiatives aimed at addressing public health and the built environment, active transportation and food justice.

If your organization is interested in hosting a booth or sponsoring this event please click here for the sponsorship booklet. For additional information, please contact Linda Jones at jonesl@scag.ca.gov or (213) 236-1912.

SCAG Approves the 2014 Proposed Public Participation Plan!

SCAG 2014 Proposed Final Public Participation Plan

On April 3rd, the Southern California Association of Governments’ Regional Council (SCAG) approved the 2014 Proposed Public Participation Plan (Plan). Advocates interested in sustainability and equity should care about this Plan because it helps to address equity and how SCAG interfaces with all communities, including those facing transportation and mobility issues. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership submitted a comment letter with substantial feedback from partner organizations during the public comment period, which was closed on March 7. Our comments focused on incorporating K-12 schools into the land use and transportation planning process, engaging educational institutes, adding rural, unincorporated and farmworker communities and convening an Environmental Justice Advisory Group as soon as possible to provide recommendations on implementation of the Plan. Read our letter here. Read more of this post

Riverside County Transportation Commission – Active Transportation Presentation & Workshop

April 9th RCTC - Call for Projects - Active Transportation ProgramPlease Join the Riverside County Transportation Commission’s Workshop on the Call for Projects Requirements for the Active Transportation Program (ATP):

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

at RCTC – 4080 Lemon Street, Third Floor, Conference Room A, Riverside, CA 92501

Please contact RCTC’s Tanya Love for more information: tlove@rctc.org

Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s ATP resources can be accessed here:  http://saferoutescalifornia.org/srts-atp-funding/

April Southern CA Network Meeting

Please join us Thursday, April 10th via conference call from 10-11 am for our Safe Routes to School Southern California Network meeting.  All are welcome and invited to join. Please note, we hold these meetings every other month on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 10-11 am.

This month’s special topic: Safe Routes to School Planning - Best Practices from Southern CA

Details: Thursday, April 10th from 10-11 am
Conference Call Number: 866-394-4146
Guest Code: 878934528#*4 mute/unmute
 

If you missed the call, you can view notes (here) and presentations linked below.
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