safe routes to school

As Congress drops Safe Routes to School, advocates ask Metro to step in

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
A Safe Routes to School ride in Portland in 2010. A new BTA campaign suggests tapping federal funding allocated to the Metro regional government to offer the program in suburban schools, too.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Second in a week-long series about the BTA’s five new advocacy campaigns.

Over the last two years, people trying to reverse the spectacular 40-year slide in the number of kids who bike and walk to school have come to a gradual realization: dedicated federal funding for the Safe Routes to School program is probably gone for good.


A six-point plan to make Portland a better place to grow up

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Mayor Adams at Safe Routes to School ride-8
A Portland Safe Routes to School event in 2010.
(Photos J.Maus/BikePortland)

A community conversation about Portland's bike future

Part of our new series of guest posts: America’s Next Bicycle Capital. This week’s guest writer is Kari Schlosshauer of Safe Routes to School Pacific Northwest.

After living in Copenhagen, I moved to Portland because it would be the place in the United States with the greatest opportunity to bicycle calmly, safely, and in good company. I had a bit of a shock when I got here: I realized right away that there was so much still to do.

But it is possible.


As a low-car generation rises, youth organizers step up transportation activism

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
Kelly Hansen of the Community Cycling Center, Nicole Johnson of OPAL, Camille Bales of Grant High School and Adriana Rangel of De La Salle High School at a panel on youth transportation advocacy Monday.
(Photo by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Few Portlanders rely more on low-car transportation than teens. And as many factors have made car use by young people dramatically less common, some are getting more sophisticated in advocating for better public transit, biking and walking.

A panel on the subject at the Oregon Active Transportation Summit Monday was enough to make city staffer Janis McDonald call herself “embarrassed” on the city’s behalf that it isn’t doing more to tap youth advocates’ opinions and expertise.

New ‘Bikeology’ curriculum guides spell out bike skills for grades 6-12

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
Click the image for a link to the documents.

When the basics of biking are essentially passed on as folk wisdom from one individual to another, is there any wonder so many of us fail to pick up the best practices?

Local programs like Safe Routes to School and Create a Commuter try to fill this gap for elementary schoolers and working-age riders, respectively. And now the federal government is offering a free three-part guide aiming to help middle school and high school “physical education teachers and recreation specialists” teach the basics of bike use, maintenance and safety.

The 355-page curriculum includes seven units: Getting Ready to Ride, Bicycle Handling Basics, Emergency Bicycle Handling Skills, Advanced Bicycle Handling Skills, Rules of the Road for Riding, Bicycle Maintenance and Riding for Fitness.


Three-year grant could fund better biking to Portland middle schools

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
Mayor Adams at Safe Routes to School ride-4
Elementary schools already get bike education and
improvements from the Safe Routes to School program.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

After seeing substantial success at getting more elementary schoolers to bike and walk to class, the City of Portland’s Safe Routes to School program is moving up the age ladder.

A three-year state grant will expand the program to several middle schools, said Safe Routes program manager Gabe Graff in an interview last week.

“We’ve done a lot of work to educate second graders, fourth graders, fifth graders, about walking and biking to school,” Graff explained. “Then the student heads to middle school and it’s kind of like, ‘Good luck!’”


Portland’s best (and worst) elementary schools for biking and walking

Friday, January 17th, 2014
Trillium Charter School bike train-24-19
Typical morning drop-off at Trillium Public Charter School, one of 51 elementary schools surveyed by the city’s Safe Routes to School program.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

Slowly but surely, Portland seems to be edging toward its transportation goal for elementary schoolers: getting as many of them to walk or bike to school as the average American kid did in 1969.

For the last two years, progress has leveled off, just as the city’s goals for adult transportation have. But (much like workplaces) some local elementaries have been far more successful than others.


PBOT director co-stars in Safe Routes Streetfilm

Monday, November 18th, 2013

The best cure for gloominess about the progress of active transportation in Portland is Safe Routes to School.

As the newest Streetsfilm shows, the program has been a huge success here. One in ten Portland youngsters bike to school (ten times the national average) and three in ten walk (three times the average).


A Walk and Bike to School Day photo roundup

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
Trillium Charter School bike train-14-12
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This morning Portlanders from every corner of the city made an extra special effort to walk and bike to school. According to PBOT, 65 schools participated in the annual Walk and Bike to School Day. We asked our friends on Twitter to share photos of their rides to school so we could share some of the action here on the Front Page.

Walking and biking to school is booming in Portland thanks to the City’s Safe Routes to School program and the work of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (who works under contract with PBOT to implement the program). Today’s big push to get kids on bikes and out of cars and buses will serve as a catalyst for another successful Safe Routes season.

Here’s how it looked…

65 schools across Portland set for ‘Walk and Bike to School Day’

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
Trillium Charter School bike train-17-14
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Tomorrow morning over 60 schools throughout Portland will make an extra effort to walk and bike school as part of International Walk + Bike to School Day. The event helps kick off the City of Portland’s annual Safe Routes to School program which has seen impressive growth since its start just eight years ago.

According to PBOT’s Gabe Graff, Safe Routes to School is taught and implemented in 82 schools — that’s up from just eight since the program started and represents 98 percent of every K to 8th grade school in the city. And the program has made a real difference in travel habits. PBOT reports that the percentage of walking and biking trips to Portland schools has increased from 31 to 42 percent since 2005. (more…)

Driving dangerously: Police issue over 1,100 citations in back-to-school mission

Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Beach Elem. School encourages biking and walking-7
School’s back in session and for some folks
the reminder came in the form of a traffic citation.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

During a two-week period that coincided with the start of the school year, the Portland Police Bureau issued well over 1,100 citations to people who violated traffic laws in school zones.

According to PPB Sgt. Tim Sessions, during the first day of “Operation Safe School Return,” photo radar units nabbed 400 speeding motor vehicle operators. After the first week, the number went up to over 800 (word spread fast apparently, because he said by the second week that number went down to 75). At the end of the two week mission, the PPB had issued 1,193 citations.

“I wasn’t surprised at all,” said Sgt. Sessions in a phone interview this morning. “People don’t remember that school is starting,” he said. “It’s like when it starts raining and the first thing you should do is slow down because the roads are slick, but people forget.”

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