A heartfelt thanks to Congressman Oberstar

As you have probably heard, Congressman James L. Oberstar (D-MN) lost his House seat in a close electoral race.

Rep. Oberstar initiated the federal Safe Routes to School pilot projects in the year 2000, and then authored the original Safe Routes to School legislation that created the national program in all 50 states.  As Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, he had proposed strengthening Safe Routes to School in the next surface transportation bill.

Below you will find a letter to Congressman Oberstar from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership thanking him for his leadership and vision on Safe Routes to School and national transportation policy.

We encourage Safe Routes to School supporters across the country to take a few moments to send an e-mail or letter to Congressman Oberstar to thank him for his legacy of creating the Safe Routes to School program.  Please share how Safe Routes to School has positively impacted you, your children and your community – this will mean a lot to Congressman Oberstar.  He has indicated in speeches that Safe Routes to School is his legacy and has the potential to “change the habits of an entire generation.”  You can send personal notes to Congressman Oberstar at jim.oberstar@mail.house.gov.

Dear Chairman Oberstar,

On behalf of the entire Safe Routes to School national movement, I want to share how appreciative we are of the legacy you have left for children, families and communities all across this nation.

Through your 36 years of inspired leadership as a Congressman, you reformed the transportation system to make it multi-modal, institutionalized walking and bicycling within state Departments of Transportation, and ensured that the safety of children on the trip to and from school is a priority for transportation planning and construction.

In just five short years after the launch of the federal program, Safe Routes to School has become very popular and widespread in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.  Thanks to your leadership, foresight and hard work, many thousands of schools and communities across the country are now making it safer for children to walk and bicycle to and from school, and in everyday life.  Given its focus on enhancing safety, reducing traffic congestion and increasing physical activity, Safe Routes to School has bipartisan appeal and support.

We will greatly miss your dedication, vision and counsel in Congress.  Please know that the Safe Routes to School National Partnership will continue to work diligently to ensure that Safe Routes to School grows and thrives.

Sincerely,

Deb Hubsmith, Director
Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Photo credit: (Photos © J. Maus)

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