safe routes logoSafe Routes to Schools

E-Newsletter       October 2016

In This Issue
Reduce Traffic
Team Leader Focus
20th Walk to School Day
Mill Valley Bus Program
Family Biking
Tool Box
Donate for Equity
Free Bike Racks     
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Help the little kids learn to bike with Strider Bikes

Reducing Traffic Is Our Back-To-School Mission
It's no secret that Marin County traffic is a spider web of stress. TAM's Safe Routes to Schools program is striving to calm traffic this fall by launching the Walk & Roll Wednesdays campaign in participating elementary schools on September 7, 2016. The program encourages all families to set a goal of traveling a green way to school with their child at least once a week. Throughout the school year, parent "Team Leaders" will greet students at our social welcome tables on the first Wednesday of every month. On September 7, volunteers will be distributing stickers that read "Walk & Roll Superstar" to all students who walk scooter, bike, carpool or take the bus.
Parent volunteer teams are instrumental in helping Marin County to decrease traffic and teach children the lifelong lesson of the importance of green travel. Safe Routes to Schools is in the process of recruiting more parents this September to build friendly "community teams" at Walk & Roll tables. If you would like to volunteer at your child's school in helping make green travel a habit, then please contact Laura Kelly at Safe Routes to Schools (415) 231-5729. A new goal of the Safe Routes to Schools' elementary school program is to involve more 4th and 5th grade student leadership teams in greeting kids at the welcome tables and/or leading Walking School Buses.

Team Leaders Lead the Way
Of the many parent volunteer opportunities offered at Coleman Elementary School, Lynn Stein sprang into action as Team Leader when given the opportunity. Through organizing walking school buses, bike trains, and Walk and Roll Wednesday events, Lynn cheerfully promotes walking and bicycling because, "we need to preserve our world, and what we teach kids early, stays with them for life." She adds, "I love Marin, but if it continues to be built for people driving, it will lose its beauty."
Being a dedicated role model to active transportation, Lynn began walking and biking to preschool with her daughter while her son tagged along at 2 ½ years old. One of her proudest moments was organizing a Fire Truck escort for National Bike to School Day for Coleman students. The day before, Lynn spent six hours texting parents to spread the word about the event. The large turnout advanced the spirit and connectedness of their school community. In Lynn's words, "these are the moments the kids and the parents will always remember." With passion, she adds "walking and biking should be a way of life." Of her own two children she says, "They may not always say they like biking to school, but they are always smiling - they love the wind blowing in their faces."

Join the 20th Walk to School Day!

 Grab your backpack and lace up your shoes, it's time to register for International Walk to School Day.  On October 5, students, families, school and community partners, and mayors around the country will bring light to safety concerns, celebrate the benefits of walking and mark a special occasion - the 20th celebration of Walk to School Day in the USA.
In 1997, Chicago's Mayor Daley and Lost Angeles' Mayor Riordan walked with students to school.  Since then, hundreds of mayors have hit the sidewalks in October.
For the 20th celebration, mayors are being encouraged to join a Walk to School Day event and show their commitment to safe walking and biking for children and youth in their communities.
Use the new streamlined registration system
Get ideas for planning a great event.
Share your event plans and photos using the hashtag #WalktoSchoolDay.
Mill Valley Launches Pilot School Bus Program
The Mill Valley School District, in partnership with the City of Mill Valley, the County of Marin, and Marin Transit, is the third school district to pilot a yellow school bus program to commence with the 2016-17 school year. The goal of the program is to help reduce traffic congestion on key Mill Valley roadways while providing safe and reliable home to school transportation for students at Edna Maguire, Strawberry Point, and Mill Valley Middle School.
Tiburon and Ross Valley both launched successful yellow school bus programs in the past two years with great success.  The Mill Valley bus program has specifically targeted those schools where parents are asked to send their children across town because their neighborhood schools are full. The buses prices have been discounted thanks to funding provided by the City of Mill Valley and the County of Marin. The Mill Valley School District has a web site to help parents purchase passes, find out about schedules and bus stops, and get their questions answered .

Popular Family Biking Program Returns
 Family biking is a free class for families with kids learning to ride in the road.  Families will learn to safely navigate the streets with fun activities including an optional neighborhood ride.  Taught by a League of American Bicyclist Cycling Instructor, topics include bike skills, rules of the road, effective communication, and proper equipment.  Space is limited to register early for this popular class.


When: Sunday, September 18, 2016 10 am to Noon

Where: Tamalpias Valley Community Center, 203 Marin Ave. Mill Valley

Advance registration is required

Contact  415-456-3469 102#


 The Safe Routes Tool Box                            
Safe Routes to Schools offers engineering services to jurisdictions develop plans working with your local public works department and then assisting in potentially acquiring funding for implementation. Our engineering team considers a wide range of tools to make it safer for children to walk and bike to school. With each Safe Routes to Schools newsletter this year, we will highlight some of these basic tools.
The lowest cost tools typically involve signing and pavement striping and can often be implemented in the short-term. School area signage warns motorists that they are entering a school zone, and or a school crossing. School area pavement markings also warn motorists that they are about to enter a school zone or encounter a school crossing.
Equity - Giving All Kids a Chance to Bike                           
Do you remember the first time your rode your bike? The anticipation, the struggle, and eventually, the thrill of accomplishment? With an eye toward equity, Safe Routes to School's goal is to give all Marin kids access to the joy of biking. We have a population of students whose families cannot afford bikes, and therefore they are missing the opportunity to learn to ride at a young age. This year, we are planning to introduce balance bike classes to 1st graders at select schools where underserved students may never have been given the experience.  
This summer, Strider Ò donated six Balance Bikes to our program.  Balance bikes give kids of all ages and physical abilities an opportunity to learn to ride. Without pedals, kids can focus on increasing their balance and coordination with their feet solidly on the ground. Strider Ò  is pro-actively changing the landscape giving cycling access to all people including those with cognitive or development disabilities. In their words, "Strider Ò Bikes are providing a means for inclusive social interaction and play." Safe Route to Schools is seeking six $150.00 donations to purchase six more bikes to launch this program. If you would like to help get a child on a bike, please contact