Growing Demand for Safe Routes to School

March 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

This photo was taken one block from O.H. Elementary School in Mahtomedi, MN where the sidewalk and trail ends. No other alternative route to the school. Photo provided by: Dorian Grilley, Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota.

A Picture Worth 1,000 Words

Before looking at the picture to the right – read the following definitions…

SAFE [seyf] – adjective, “free from harm or risk”

ROUTE [root, rout] – noun,  ”a way or course taken in getting from a starting point to a destination”

Now, take a close look at the picture…does this look like a “safe route” – free from harm on a given path?  Would you walk or bike on this road?  How about let your child walk or bike to school on this road?

How many of you have seen or encountered streets that simply don’t accommodate users besides automobiles?  Tell us your story!

Funding Support for SRTS

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a national and international movement dedicated to create safe and convenient ways for children to walk and bike to and from school. The program is funded as part of the federal transportation allocation which provides State DOT’s funding to allow schools to make improvements to the routes children use to walk and bike to school.  Safe Routes Minnesota, administered by MNDOT, provides grants to school districts and local units of government.  In the last federal funding cycle MNDOT received 82 applications from local schools requesting $23 million but only $3.8 million was available and awarded to 16 applicants through the federal program.

With more dollars in grant requests than MNDOT is able to fund, a group of organizations have come together in support of a state-funded SRTS program to allow for even more investment in walking and biking improvements. SF 1439 / HF 1429 would allow an allocation of $3 million in the 2012 Bonding Bill to MNDOT to create a state Safe Routes to School program in fiscal years 2013 and 2014.  BikeMN, Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Coalition of Greater MN Cities, MN School Boards Assn, and Am. Academy of Pediatrics are among the many supporters.

Picture Perfect!

Do you support SRTS?  Contact your legislator today and ask them to vote in support of a state-funded SRTS program!

Minnesota Bike Summit on Capitol Hill!

February 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

bike

Are you a bike advocate?  Do you enjoy biking on MN trails, encourage your children to bike to and from school, or want safer accessibility for all bicyclists and pedestrians on MN roadways?

The second annual Minnesota Bike Summit on Capitol Hill on March 5th, 2012 wants to bring together advocates to educate our legislative leaders about BikeMN’s 2012 Legislative Agenda.  The Minnesota Bike Summit is an event sponsored by BikeMN (Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota) – an organization committed to providing leadership and a unified voice for bicycle education, advocacy and efforts to make Minnesota more bicycle friendly so that more people will ride bicycles more often

View event flyer

Advocating to…

Fund a State Safe Routes to School Grant Program. Increase the opportunity for children to be physically active before, during and after the school day. Support state bonding initiative to fund State Safe Routes to School program

Authorize the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) State Bikeway. To plan the route and work with other state and local units of government on the implementation of Minnesota’s first state bikeway. From Itasca State Park to the Iowa border this state bikeway will impact the health of individuals, communities, the environment and the economy.

Register today to attend the second annual Minnesota Bike Summit on Capitol Hill!

Help make history with the authorization of Minnesota’s first State Bikeway and by becoming the first state to support Safe Routes to School with state funds. Share with friends!

For more information, visit BikeMN.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed of legislative updates as they pertain to BLEND initiatives.