safe routes logoSafe Routes to Schools

E-Newsletter       October 2016

In This Issue
Iwalk October 5th
Teens Leadership
Novato Improving Crosswalks
Geen Sneaker Returns
Health Service Partnership
Tool Box
Cargo Bikes
Free Bike Racks     
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October 5th
International Walk to School Day

iWalk to the Future - 
How We Can Beat Back Traffic

Since its inception in 2000, Marin's Safe Routes to Schools program has delivered on its promise to take cars off the road. We have seen significant results; trips to and from school made in single family vehicles (one family student per car) have dropped by as much as 30% from a baseline year. 
Middle schools highly engaged in SR2S programs such as Kent, Hall, and Mill Valley Middle Schools have achieved over 50% of their students walking and biking. Imagine witnessing over 600 Mill Valley Middle School students walking and biking to school - it's a rather surreal "Back to the Future" experience with a glimpse of the way it was when our parents were kids.
Another time warp like experience will take place on October 5th, International Walk and Roll to School Day (iWalk). An estimated 10,000 students from 40 Marin schools will be using their feet to travel to school, joining millions from around the world in the 20th year celebration of iWalk. Public officials will join Walking School Buses and parades led by Fire Trucks on the way to school. Kids will decorate helmets and bikes with a spirit of community pride. It's a magical day of planting the seed to travel green throughout the year. Join us!
Teen Youth Leadership - 
Empowering Environmental Action
NEW THIS YEAR - an engaging forum where passionate high school juniors and seniors can gain environmental literacy and learn how to engage peers to make a difference in their school communities and world. 
Global Student Embassy (GSE) created the class using Roots for Success college curriculum developed by Raquel Pindrhuges, Ph.D. who is a Professor and Chair of Urban Studies and Planning Department at San Francisco State University. Safe Routes to Schools was invited to join in the leadership development portion of the curriculum to help bring a green transportation focus and actionable plan to the environmental clubs that these students lead at their schools.  Read More

Novato Enhances Crosswalks

Novato Public Works Department is currently enhances four crosswalks along Ignacio and South Novato Blvd. Improvements at the crosswalk locations (South Novato Bvld. at Lark Ct. and Yukon Way, and Ignacio Blvd. at Laurelwood Drive and at Country Club Drive) include Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons and striping. 
The City was awarded the grant in the amount of $100,000 from the Transportation Authority of Marin and the City Council authorized a match of Measure F funds in the amount of $83,959 to complete the funding for the project. In 2014 staff undertook a study to evaluate available crosswalk enhancements and develop criteria for applying the same to existing and new crosswalks as well as prioritizing locations. These four locations received the highest score and are the first to be improved. With future funding more crosswalks across town will receive improvements.

Green Sneaker Returns to Schools this Fall

A modified version of the Green Sneaker Challenge (GSC), which many Marin County schools held last year, was launched early in September in Bahia Vista and Lynwood, two schools that are part of the Safe Routes to Schools' bilingual program. Two scooters with helmets will be raffled off.
In Bahia Vista, where most of the students are already walking to school, the competition tries to encourage them to implement walking school buses. The event will be held the first Wednesday of every month. "We saw a record number of participants this time around, 225 up from 140 last school year," said Monica Leifer, SR2S's bilingual coordinator.
In Lynwood, the GSC is also a monthly event, where the students need to be challenged to walk. "There are still many children being dropped off at the car line, so we have to start from the basics, just asking them to use their feet to get to school," said Leifer. In Lynwood, the number of walkers also increased from 70 to over 100.

Health Services Partnership Benefits
Bahia Vista School
Narli Arango, an intern with Marin Health and Human Services, will take charge of all Safe Routes to Schools' events at Bahia Vista Elementary for the remainder part of 2016. This new arrangement, starting in October thanks to the partnership between the two organizations, will free SR2S' bilingual coordinator, Monica Leifer, to focus on other schools.   In October, November and December, Arango will be responsible for the Green Sneaker Challenge.

The Safe Routes Tool Box 
Probably the greatest threat to safety comes in crossing the street. Safe Routes to Schools uses a number of tools to make crosswalks safer. The most important tool is the High visibility crosswalk. This bright yellow ladder style striping provides heightened visibility over standard crosswalk markings.
Curb extensions, sometimes called bulb-outs, make pedestrians more visible to motorists while providing additional room to wait before crossing the street. The extensions also reduce crosswalk lengths and slow turning vehicles.   
New Film in the Works Extolling Cargo Bikes                      
Motherload, a film about cargo bikes is gearing up for release with a kickstarter campaign. The film, by Fairfax film maker Liz Canning shows how electric powered cargo bikes are helping parents ditch the car in favor of pedal power for their family needs. More