California Safe Routes becomes law

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007
By Yokota Fritz


Late last week Governor Schwarzenegger signed CA AB57 Safe Routes to School!

Thank you to those who spread the word for reaching out to the Governor in support of this bill, which provides a framework for future funding and protects existing California SR2S funds.

$52 million is currently available for California State Legislated Safe Routes to School (SR2S) Funds. Application Deadline is November 16, 2007

Please spread the word that funds are available for State Legislated Safe Routes to School (SR2S) projects. These funds are not to be confused with Federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funds associated with SAFETEA-LU. Applications must be for capital projects such as sidewalks, pathways, bike lanes, traffic calming, etc. (with up to
10% available for non-infrastructure activities such as education, encouragement and enforcement). Only cities and counties are eligible to compete for these funds; please spread the word to Public Works Officials.

Approximately $52 million is available for two fiscal years worth of projects (06-07 and 07-08). The deadline for applications is Friday, November 16, 2007. Start preparing your grant applications now!

To view the updated SR2S Guidelines and Application, please visit the CALTRANS Safe Routes page.

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Comments:
Howdy--

The idea that 90 percent should go to engineering solutions is bass-ackward, and it reflects the desire to segregate bikes, not welcome them. The SR2S program emphasizes the first three Es: education, events, and enforcement, with engineering as a final resort. We have a fine system of public rights-of-way in this country, they've just been tyrranized by automobiles.

Where I live, we have a local push to build a $500,000 bike path, which would force riders off of a perfectly good, low-traffic route so that people who "might ride, if we had a path" can dust off their bikes and hurt their delicate butts. If that half-million dollars were directed toward educating the public about cyclists' right to the road, and enforcing the rules for drivers who won't learn, we'd have a better situation all around, instead of a single bike path.

Still, I'm sure that 10 percent is a big pile of money, and I hope it will go a long way toward educating California's auto-addicted masses.
Happy Trails,
Ron Georg
Moab
 
Hi Ron, and thanks for the comments.

The SR2S program with the highest participation in the nation is Longmont, Colorado, with 96%(!!!) of students at Columbine Elementary School walking or biking to school on the designated "Safe Routes" days. Longmont's is also the least expensive SR2S program in the state of Colorado. While other locations requested millions for facility improvements, Longmont requested (and received) a few tens of thousands for education and encouragent.

On non "Safe Routes" days, an average of 70% walk/bike now. This is a huge increase from only a handful of students who walked/biked just three years ago when we started the program. Nearly 200 cars lined up around the block and double parked to drop students off -- these days, there are only a handful of cars at that school.

Volunteers now hand out fliers to the holdouts who continue to drive. Parents who formerly drove their kids to school are now rabid supporters of SR2S in their neighborhood. They walk with their children to school, meet their neighbors, make new friends, and connect in ways they didn't imagine possible.
 
Hey, how about $$ for bike cops to escort kids to skool? Naaaaaaaaaaah.
 
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