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.

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.

Vision Zero + Safe Routes to School = Stronger Together

Last year the City of Eugene officially adopted Vision Zero as a policy and like many communities around the country they are now in the initial stages of creating a plan on how best to implement this policy that states that “no loss of life or serious injury on Eugene’s transportation system is acceptable.”  A new Task Force and Technical Advisory Committee is being formed and this Fall Eugene’s “acting in capacity” Traffic Engineer, Matt Rodriguez, will be travelling to Sweden and Denmark to study their transportation safety goals and projects. We’re excited to be part of the partnership that will help bring this vision to reality in our community. This article, which can be read in full here, is by Kari Schlosshauer, the Pacific Northwest Regional Policy Manager for Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and gives a good overview of the connection between Vision Zero and Safe Routes to School:Vizion Zero Long2

Vision Zero shares many goals with Safe Routes to School. Vision Zero originated from Sweden in 1997 with the assertion that all traffic deaths and severe injuries are preventable. Sweden’s Vision Zero work was based on an old philosophy with a new twist: “it should no longer be the child that should adapt to traffic conditions, but the traffic conditions that should be adapted – as far as possible – to children.”

 

As the number of small and large towns and cities pursuing Vision Zero policy grows, it becomes clear that Vision Zero and Safe Routes to School are stronger together. The Oregon Safe Routes to School Conference held in June in Eugene, provided insights from Seattle, Portland & Eugene on how Safe Routes to School and Vision Zero efforts are working in tandem to boost successes.

  • Vision Zero and Safe Routes to School both use data to guide implementation
  • Safe Routes to School and Vision Zero are both “partner-based”
  • Safe Routes to School projects increase safety for everyone at all times of day, therefore are essential to Vision Zero’s goals
  • Vision Zero tackles unsafe streets that have become barriers to kids walking and rolling, therefore are essential to Safe Routes to School’s success
  • Safe Routes to School can expand programming through Vision Zero, to reach middle and high school students with traffic safety education

Vision Zero is a broad-spectrum, targeted campaign that has the ability to dramatically improve the health and safety of all transportation users. The connections and overlap with Safe Routes to School efforts are significant, and the two efforts should be complementary in communities, as children are among the most vulnerable transportation users, particularly in disadvantaged communities. It is imperative that both Vision Zero and Safe Routes to School be implemented in ways that ensure that everyone can travel safely through their community.
Read Kari’s full article here.

 

Kidical Mass; Pokémon & A Massive Ride

This month we are taking the hottest new augmented reality game and bringing it more into the real world with a special Pokémon Kidical Mass ride! Sure we’ve seen those ‘zombies’ glued to their screens playing this game but we’ve also seen packs of kids out walking and biking around town that we just weren’t seeing in numbers we are this summer. It’s fun to see kids out exploring their neighborhoods, even if it is still connected to screens. Hopefully we can encourage even more exploring and play with even less screen time. For now we’re happy to join in the fun and take it that extra step.

Join us as we ride from Monroe Park to the Greenway Bridge making stops along the way to hunt for treasures. Our gym will be mobile; us on our bicycles! No smartphone required as we will be looking for some real Pokémon surprises, though those playing the Pokémon GO game are welcome to hunt when we stop. Dress up, characters, trading, and fun encouraged!!

Pokemon Bike Scavenger hunt

Next month we’ll be joining dozens of cities around the country (and the world) for the annual Kidical Massive ride and we hope you’ll join us too. We’ll meet at Monroe Park at 11am on September 17th and then ride off to one of our favorite stops for Kidical Mass; the Prince Pucklers park! We’ll provide some treats, you bring your family and friends!
Kidical Massive2016
And finally, since there is still some summer left we wanted to leave you with some inspiration for adventure from our kick-off to summer event; Kidical Mass Family Bike Camping Trip. Cliff Etzel, a local photographer/videographer rode along with us and made this video about one of our most popular annual rides.

2016 Kidical Mass Family Camp Out from Cliff Etzel on Vimeo.

 

Blackberry bRamble Community Ride This Sunday

Blackberry bRamble Pie_art_2016_22Join us this Sunday for the Blackberry bRamble Community Ride (and Celebration). There are two route options, the 10 or 20 mile loop, exploring the back roads, neighborhoods, and paths of the greater Eugene area. Free ice cream and blackberry pie at the end of the ride for each rider and entry into Amazon Pool for $1.00!

All Blackberry bRamble rides (100 mile, 62 mile, 42 mile, and community) begin and end at the Hilyard Community Center (2580 Hilyard St.). Community ride Starts 10:00 a.m. Register here or on the day of the event. Cost is $10/rider and supports Safe Routes to School. Kids under 12 are free.  All routes will close at 4:00 p.m.. Beer, Blackberry Pie and Ice Cream will be available at the Celebration ending until 4:15 pm.

Whether you choose the 100 mile Wolf Creek Century, the 62 mile Poodle Creek Metric Century, the 40 mile Crow Loop or the 10/20 mile community ride you’ll arrive back at Amazon Park where you’ll find a bike celebration in progress, and of course, your free pie and ice cream reward (and beer!). Local vendors, with great food, community booths, local entertainment and the Beer Garden for the adults will all be part of the celebration.

The entertainment schedule for the Pedal Power Stage:
12:20 – 3:30 p.m. Entertainment & Live Music
3:30 – 4:15 p.m. Digital Music and REI Raffle

If you are hot and tired you can cool off with a swim or shower at Amazon Pool for only $1.00. The pool is easy walking or biking distance from the celebration

REGISTER NOW!