Getting Up to Speed

The Eugene Springfield Safe Routes to School mission is to serve a diverse community of parents, students, and organizations: advocating for and promoting the practice of safe bicycling and walking to and from schools throughout the Eugene Springfield area. More about Eugene Springfield SRTS.

Join Us For Sunday Streets

Salmon Traffic Circle Sunday StreetsIn just under two weeks we’ll be celebrating the second Eugene Sunday Streets of the summer. This sixth annual free celebration focuses on building community and promoting an active lifestyle in a very fun way; by reclaiming the public space of the street for fun! On Sunday, September 25th, from noon to 4 p.m., there will be a car-free route that opens the streets for thousands of people to walk, roll and dance through the streets and we’ll be joining in on the fun.

The event will be in south Eugene and connects the Fairmount, South University and Amazon neighborhoods. This fun, free event is presented by the City of Eugene. Amazon, University and Washburne parks will be featured as major activity centers along the route. Activities include live music stages, try-for-free fitness classes, hula hooping, dancing, historic walking tours, free yoga classes offered all day including a session of yoga for kids, and more. At the bicycle expo activity center children can learn to ride safely in the “traffic garden and everyone can enjoy other fun bike-centered activities. Route maps and the full activity schedule are online at www.eugenesundaystreets.org .

Sunday Streets2016-2

With no designated start or finish, the two-way route can be enjoyed by foot, bicycle, roller skate, skateboarding or dancing at everyone’s own pace. The event is designed to get the entire community outside, having fun and enjoying healthy activities in Eugene’s public spaces while showing how easy it is to get around without a car.

Eugene Sunday Streets will highlight the many amenities and local businesses along the south Eugene route. Although neighbors are encouraged to limit or postpone driving between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the day of the event, there will be a number of designated intersections where residents can access their homes and local businesses.

To volunteer or learn more about Eugene Sunday Streets please go to www.eugenesundaystreets.org or contact the City of Eugene Transportation Planning Office at 541-682-5094 or SundayStreets@ci.eugene.or.us.

 

Welcome Back to School!


Stay Sharp Back to School

Students are heading back to school this week – there are nearly 25,000 students in the Eugene-Springfield area.

Thanks in part to the efforts of Safe Routes to School initiatives across the region, more and more families that live in the walk zone are walking or rolling to school, and the number of kids dropped off by private car is dropping.

Some of these students will be finding their way to a new school on foot or by bus, some walking or rolling to school for the first time.

Starting this week, the number of cars on the road will increase – as much as 25% of morning traffic can be attributed to school drop offs. School zones will activate again, and it’s important to remember to slow down around schools and anywhere there are pedestrians.

Always remember to put down your phone while driving and pay attention to the road. Give yourself some extra time in the morning for the next few weeks as everyone settles into the new morning routine.

We wish you a happy back to school, and safe travels.

 

Every Corner is a Crosswalk

Like this new video created by the City of Eugene to help educate folks that “Every Corner is Crosswalk”

Every Corner is a Crosswalk from City of Eugene on Vimeo.

Walk+Bike to School Day Registration is Open

WalknBike-logo

Walk+Bike to School Day is Wednesday, October 5th this year.

This free international event is held on the first Wednesday of October each year. Register your school to receive information on how to participate in this fun event. Once you register your school for Walk+Bike to School Day, be sure to order your free incentives! Incentives include: stickers, temporary tattoos, and prize ribbons. Once you’re registered your district’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator will contact you with information for more incentives and ideas on how to make the most of your Walk+Bike event.

Register now for Walk+Bike to School Day!

Getting Ready For Back to School Time

Group Ride Bike lane

It’s back to school time and as we wrap up summer vacation it’s time to start preparing for the new school year. From back to school supplies to new school clothes families are getting ready for school. So how about also getting ready for HOW you’re going to get to school?! To kick things off you can check out your school’s suggested walking maps, use the Eugene-Springfield bike map, use Google Maps to help you figure out a good route, or sign up for SchoolPool. Once you have a route it’s a good idea to walk or bike it a couple times with the kiddos to make sure you both feel comfortable and safe on it. Another great way to get more comfortable with biking to school is to take our Confident Cycling for Families class which we hold each Fall and Spring. This year’s class will be on Sunday, September 18th from 9am-Noon at Camas Ridge Community School (1150 E. 29th). If you start the year out with active transportation it will be easier to keep up the healthy habit and you’ll have a lot of fun too!
You can register for the class here and here are more details about it:

Shane Shoulder Check Drill

Class attendees will not only learn about basic traffic skills but also learn how to perform a bicycle safety check, how to properly fit a helmet, how to size a bicycle for a child, and how to properly carry things on a bicycle. Information will also be provided about gear and clothing, proper lighting, use of lights, and locking a bike. Half the course will be conducted indoors and the last portion will be held in the parking lot with skills & drills before a final ride on neighborhood streets.

This class is made for parents AND kids so all participants are asked to bring a bicycle and a helmet with them to class. Some reduced cost helmets will be available. Anyone requiring a loaner bicycle for the class is asked to state that in the comments section of the registration form. This class is geared towards children ages 5 – 13 and is free and open to all families but registration is required.

Oregon Safe Routes to School Conference (late) Wrap-up

We were very excited to host the annual Safe Routes to School Conference at the end of the school year and even though we immediately had summer break we wanted to take this opportunity, as we gear up for another school year, to reflect back on what we heard and learned at the June event. This write up from LeeAnne Ferguson, the Safe Routes to School Director for the newly renamed Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance), gives a good wrap up and helps us look at three challenges the Oregon SRST Network can work on over the coming year:

IMG_3917On June 20 and 21, 2016, the Oregon Safe Routes to School Network came together at South Eugene High School for the Oregon Safe Routes to School Conference to engage participants in building a statewide agenda to make it safe for Oregon kids to walk, bike, and access transit to school. Speakers included State Representative John Lively; National Speaker on Free Range Kids, Lenore Skenazy; and Street Scale Campaign Manager, Keith Benjamin, from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

Youth Environmental Justice Alliance

The Youth Environmental Justice Alliance spoke about youth access to transit

Many kids in Oregon can’t walk and bike to school because of unsafe streets and lack of necessary education programming. By making safe routes to school, more kids can get the daily health benefits of walking and biking while reducing the amount of motor vehicles on the road during peak times. Safe Routes to School is a solution for all Oregonians.

Lively

Oregon Representative John Lively gives pointers on how to invite decision makers to SRTS events!

City planners, parents, teachers, advocates, health professionals, and youth examined innovative ideas on how to increase walking and biking to school in Oregon by 40%, how to include access to transit for older students, and how to make streets safe around schools. Visionaries spoke and encouraged this group to keep pushing to make Safe Routes to School for every kid in Oregon.

At the Conference we made sure to create space to celebrate successes and discuss challenges. Read about Oregon Safe Routes to School successes in the Network’s 2015 Annual Report. Many challenges were revealed during the Oregon Safe Routes to School Network Annual Meeting, which took place on the second day of the conference. The Network decided to focus on finding solutions for three challenges this upcoming school year.

Challenges include:

  • Reaching all Oregon kids with limited capacity: Right now about 20% of Oregon schools have received at least some piece of a comprehensive Safe Routes to School program at some point, but 80% of schools (about 1,000 schools) have been left out. Ongoing programs are even more scarce.
  • Embracing Equity: Prioritize schools that need Safe Routes to School the most, like Title 1 (low income) schools.
  • Making streets safe around schools: At many schools walking and biking is not permitted because of easily identifiable areas and intersections that are not safe for kids to use.

A growing coalition called For Every Kid will work with the Oregon Safe Routes to School Network to help find solutions to these challenges. For Every Kid is committed to making Safe Routes to School for every kid in Oregon by advocating for dedicated funding for SRTS education programs and street improvements near schools.

Conference Equity PicSafe Routes to School is a city, school district, county, regional, and statewide program that combines educational programs and street improvements around the school. When a comprehensive program exists on average 40% more students will walk and bike to school and get 60% of their daily-recommended exercise. Currently Safe Routes to School initiatives exist in Eugene, Springfield, Portland, Beaverton, Multnomah County, Bend, Redmond, Albany, Tigard, Corvallis, and other cities throughout Oregon.

The Oregon Safe RoIMG_3949utes to School Network works to energize and expand current programs to reach more students and to expand Safe Routes to School to every community and every kid in Oregon. They understand that the need is great. Washington County did a needs-assessment early this year and learned that over $100 million is needed to make streets safe around schools in Washington County alone. For the Oregon Safe Routes to School Network, making Safe Routes to School for every kid is a marathon not a sprint, and this conference offered a moment to celebrate, learn, and work together to make Oregon kids healthy and safe.

Huge thanks to all of our Conference sponsors: Oregon Department of Transportation, Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Commute Options, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, ALTA Planning and Design, Eugene/Springfield Safe Routes to School, 4J School District, Lane Transit District, and Kaiser Permanente.