safe routes logoSafe Routes to Schools

E-Newsletter       March 2017

In This Issue
Kids Go Green this Spring
New Crosswalks in Sausalito
Yes Conference
Tool Box Crossing Guards
What Kids Say
Register for Bike to School Day and Win Cash for your School
Free Bike Racks     
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Enjoy the Sunshine  Walk to School
Caltrans needs your input on safety at freeway crossings and other State highways

Please fill out a survey.

Kids Go Green This Spring
Sixteen elementary schools signed up to host Safe Routes to School's GO GREEN classroom challenge, starting the first week of spring. The challenge is four weeks long and inspires students to travel together to school by foot, bike, skateboard, scooter, bus, or carpool. Teachers hang a colorful tree poster in the classroom at the start of the GO GREEN challenge. Each day the teacher counts the number of students who traveled a green way to school; the green trip daily total is written on a leaf sticker and placed on the tree. Students feel a sense of pride as the tree fills up with leaves.
Weekly results for each classroom are tracked in an acorn spreadsheet by Safe Routes to Schools. At the end of each week, a paper acorn is sent to the school's main office with the weekly total of green trips for the classroom. The classroom with the highest percentage of green trips at the end of the contest wins a trophy.
If your school would like to participate  in the Go Green Classroom Challenge this spring, then please contact Laura Kelly at Safe Routes to Schools at (415) 231-5729.

Sausalito Installs New High Visibility Crosswalks
The City of Sausalito has been busy updating and improving crosswalks along Bridgeway. Sausalito is updating the major roadway's crosswalks anytime work is being performed at one of its intersections. Older, traditional crosswalks are now being restriped for high visibility to enhance both pedestrian and bicyclist safety. These new crosswalks feature large white stripes (or yellow stripes near schools) perpendicular to the direction of vehicular travel. High visibility crosswalks can be seen from a greater distance, and are sometimes called "Continental crosswalks" as they gained popularity in Europe before becoming accepted here in the United States.
In addition to the new crosswalks, Sausalito recently installed a rapid rectangular flashing beacon (RRFB) at the busy intersection of Bridgeway and Napa Street. The new treatment alerts drivers to pedestrians and bicyclists in the crosswalk through the use of bright, rapidly flashing lights installed right in the driver's line-of-sight as they approach the intersection. As discussed in past updates, RRFBs have been installed near many schools in Marin County, when warranted based on specific criteria.

2017 YES Conference - Empowering Youth
Miller Creek Teacher Mike Schulist and student at YES conference
Students from Miller Creek and Kent Middle Schools, along with Drake and Terra Linda High Schools, joined 500 students from throughout the Bay Area for the sold-out 2017 YES Conference hosted by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's Spare the Air Program. Miller Creek Middle School students' presented their campaign to deal with idling at their school's drop off and pick up zones focusing on the health impacts to developing youth brains and lungs.
Marin School of Environmental Leadership (MSEL) students from Terra Linda High School conducted a workshop on Action and Advocacy for Environmental and Social Justice.
Another MSEL group's video showed the impact of limited low-income housing and transportation on underserved communities. Through their own two-hour experience of using public transit by taking the bus from a low-income neighborhood to local schools and then to work, they offered insight to the complexity of social justice, emphasizing that supporting public transit through active use would benefit both low income families that must rely on it, and reduce traffic congestion and pollution that so greatly harms the environment.
A third MSEL group enthusiastically encouraged attendees to join iMatter, an organization that develops youth leaders for climate action; this group presented to the San Rafael City Council, a report card which ranked the city with a B for their existing policies addressing climate change. Solutions to bring the city of San Rafael to an A included more ped/bike infrastructure and increased public transit. The YES Conference provided a youth-friendly and youth driven opportunity for these action oriented leaders to be energized and empowered on concerns that matter now and to their future. 

Tool Box: Crossing Guards

walk you bikes
The 11-year old Marin Crossing Guard Program currently stations uniformed adult crossing guards at 80 locations around the County and offers competitive pricing for School Districts that wish to place additional guards.  

Crossing guards are assigned after an intersection is evaluated based on several criteria including pedestrian and vehicle volumes, as well as intersection control types.  The next location evaluation will occur in late 2017 with adoption in August of 2018.  It is expected that the list of potential intersections to be evaluated will grow to over 150.  The crossing guards are professionally managed with background checks and supplied with the necessary equipment for all weather conditions.  School related traffic is a significant portion of overall congestion.  By helping students cross busy streets the crossing guard program encourages walking and biking and reduces vehicle trips in and around schools.
The program is administered by the Transportation Authority of Marin.  Funding is provided by the voter approved Transportation Sales Tax and Vehicle Registration Fee. 

What Kids Say - Part 2

Safe Routes to Schools reaches thousands of children every year with a message of health and safety. While promoting walking and biking to school has always been the program's core purpose, the message of personal health, environmental health and safety reaches far beyond trips to school. When discussing being safe on our streets, here is what the kids had to say!
Kids say: "Sidewalks are for walking, scooting and biking."
Safe Routes says: Sidewalks are made for walking. Each city and town sets laws for sidewalks and in many downtown areas riding on the sidewalk is illegal. If you ride on a sidewalk you must remember to yield to pedestrians and go the speed of walking. Watch for cars at driveways, particularly when traveling against traffic.
Kids say: "Look both ways before crossing the street" and "don't jaywalk, use the crosswalk."
Safe Routes says: At busy locations, like near schools, the crosswalks are painted. When crossing the street try to find painted crosswalks. Don't ride in crosswalks. It's only a crosswalk if you are walking. Always stop and look for traffic before crossing!
Kids say: "Bikes need to stop at stop signs" and "you need to wear a helmet!"
Safe Routes says: Helmets are required in California for people under the age of 18 who are on bicycles, scooters, and skateboards. Safe Routes recommends helmets for all ages. Bike riders must follow the same basic laws as car drivers. Always follow signs and traffic lights, use a hand signal before you turn (just point the direction), and go with the flow of traffic. Riding against traffic in the road or sidewalk is twice as dangerous, go with the flow!!!
All of these ideas are then put to practice during Safe Routes to Schools'  signature Bike Rodeo event! More on that to come!

Bike to School Day Register and win cash                            

Register for Bike to School Day


Track Bike to School Day Activity and Win Cash for your School

Will you or a school you work with be participating in Bike to School Day this May? Use the activity you track from Bike to School Day for the Fire Up Your Feet Challenge and possibly win $500 to $5,000 for your school. For support registering or using our online tracker contact Hannah   or call 503.234.2225
The Spring Activity Challenge will be April 15- May 15, register and track activity! The  Safe Routes to School National Partnership  is invested in creating healthy, thriving communities and schools. Fire Up Your Feet is an encouragement program created by the National Partnership to promote active living and healthy lifestyles for K-8 students, families, and school staff.