2013 Conference Partners

The 4th Safe Routes to School National Conference is brought to you by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. The event is hosted by the Local Government Commission (LGC).

The LGC has also partnered with several local, regional and state agencies and organizations to develop and produce this event. These groups are entrenched in the important work of promoting and implementing SRTS policies and programs locally and statewide, and to ensuring that the August 2013 SRTS National Conference is the most dynamic and exciting event yet in this conference series. This conference would not be possible without their commitment and generous support.

Local Government Commission

The LGC has been an advocate of Safe Routes to School since the early days of the program in California. Shortly after adoption of legislation in California that provided funding for SRTS in 1999, the LGC partnered with the California Department of Health Services and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition to produce and distribute a fact sheet for local government officials on how this new program could help increase the number of children walking and bicycling to school and create more walkable, livable, safer communities. Two years later, LGC partnered with the Department of Health Services and Office of Traffic Safety to produce an 8-page fact sheet prepared by Parisi and Associates on “Transportation Tools to Improve Children’s Health and Mobility.” LGC distributed the fact sheet to all of California’s local public works and transportation departments and posted it on its web site. In 2005, LGC’s Associate Director was one of 25 people from across the nation trained to be a facilitator to assist communities in developing Safe Routes to School Programs. Since then the LGC has conducted numerous Safe Routes to School workshops in California and other states. In 2008, LGC’s Associate Director developed a Spanish version of the workshop, which has since been conducted at over ten schools in California’s Central Valley. From 2008 to 2011, with support from the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, the LGC organized meetings and workshops with staff from CDPH, California Department of Education and SRTS State Network to address the issue of siting schools to improve access by walking and cycling. SRTS has also been featured on many occasions at the annual New Partners for Smart Growth conference organized by the LGC since 2001.

California Department of Transportation

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) continues to be a leader in the Safe Routes to School Program with the management of a state legislated and federal program totaling $46 million per year in funding. The priority has been to focus on awarding as many projects as possible to achieve safe and effective improvements that will encourage more children to walk/bike to school. Due to the evolution of the program in California, Caltrans has stepped up to the challenge to find more efficient ways to effectively manage and administer this program. Caltrans has partnered with others to ensure success in a very difficult time when state and local governments are lacking funds.

California Department of Public Health

In 1998, the CDPH injury prevention section and physical activity unit partnered to fund the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) to implement a pedestrian safety program which served as the foundation for the national SRTS model. CDPH has partnered extensively with Caltrans and both of these agencies have worked closely together in the development of the SRTS program guidelines and application process, particularly since the enactment of the federal SRTS program in 2005. Since that time, CDPH staff’s background in injury prevention and expertise in promoting physical activity has served to greatly enhance both the SRTS application and project evaluation processes. After the federal program began requiring the funding of non-infrastructure improve­ments, California chose to fund not only local projects but also a statewide SRTS technical assistance and training program. In 2007, California Active Communities (CAC), housed within CDPH, was awarded a grant from Caltrans to provide technical assistance and training to its SRTS non-infrastructure grantees. In 2009, CAC, in partnership with CDPH’s State and Local Injury Control (SLIC) Section established the SRTS Technical Assistance Resource Center (TARC) with a team of four regional coordinators who provide technical assistance and training to Caltrans SRTS non-infrastructure grantees as well as infrastructure grantees. TARC’s focus is on increasing SRTS program participation in low-income schools and communities and provides technical assistance to communities that have not received a Caltrans SRTS grant but are interested in low-cost SRTS programs.

Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District

SMAQMD is the local agency responsible for air quality for 1.4 million Sacramento County residents. SMAQMD provides technical expertise and suggests best practices to make neighborhoods safe and accessible for all users, reduce vehicle trips, increase bicycle and pedestrian safety, and promote sustainable modes of transportation. SMAQMD also distributes millions of dollars annually in incentive programs for zero- and low-emission technology and maintains award-winning public awareness campaigns that reduce ozone and particulate emissions. Over 500 school buses have been either replaced or retrofitted as a result of SMAQMD programs that help ensure that children, whether walking, biking or riding to school, can breathe more easily. From 2008-11 the District provided funding support to LGC to explore ways to improve the siting and accessibility of schools in the region.

Sacramento Area Council of Governments

SACOG is a leader in smart growth planning and the integration of bicycling and walking into transportation planning. SACOG’s Blueprint Project has served as a statewide and national model for its efforts to link transportation and land use planning to improve mobility, air quality and regional quality of life. The Blueprint Project, a 50-year smart growth land use scenario for the Sacramento region, has received national and state awards. SACOG also brings expertise in designing, facilitating and marketing interactive public workshops.

Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA)

saba-logoSABA is a non-profit organization that works to improve the health and quality of life of residents of the greater Sacramento area by promoting bicycling for transportation and promoting more and safer bicycle trips through education, community service and other charitable acts. For over 20 years, Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates has had a mission of more and safer trips by bike that envisions a region where bicycling for everyday transporta­tion is common because it is safe, convenient, and desirable. SABA has contributed to SRTS projects at over 20 area schools with work focusing on technical recommendations for infrastructure grants. In 2011 SABA added an SRTS-specific staff position and plans to continue to expand its involvement in SRTS in the future.

WALKSacramento

WALKSacramento is a nonprofit community organization working to create walkable communities throughout the Sacramento metropolitan region. Since 2002, WALKSacramento has been working with schools throughout the Sacramento region to develop Safe Routes to School programs and to seek needed pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements. WALKSacramento has been a key partner in three federal SRTS non-infrastructure grants, and its work has directly contributed to successful SRTS infrastructure applications for six Sacramento area schools. WALKSacramento’s most recent work includes teaching students how to conduct and video-record walk audits around schools and transit stations, helping parent volunteers set up walking school buses at two low-income schools, and working with the City of Citrus Heights to improve signage in school zones to make speed limits more enforceable. WALKSacramento has been the lead organizer of three regional SRTS conferences and has been a key partner in organizing two statewide pedestrian safety workshops. WALKSacramento employs two full-time staff members who spend 90% of their time on SRTS activities.