Activities Report: Statewide Safe Routes to School Programs

This is part of a series, "What has MoBikeFed done for you in 2010?"  Read the remaining articles here. 

This time of year many are asking--what have you been doing?  What have the Federation and the Foundation been doing?

We've put together a five-part report.  Here is part four--about some of the activities of the Missouri Foundation for Bicycling and Walking so far this year:

Missouri Foundation for Bicycling and Walking: Recent Activities Summary - continued
16 April 2010

Statewide Safe Routes to School

In 2010 the Foundation has the first-ever statewide grants given by MoDOT to work on statewide activities related to Safe Routes to School. The programs are designed to give communities, agencies, and individuals across Missouri the resources they need to create successful Safe Routes to School program in their own schools and communities, with the ultimate aim to greatly increase the amount of students bicycling and walking to school while simultaneously greatly increasing their safety, health, and fitness levels.

 These grants will allow us to do three specific statewide projects:

  • Create a large and effective statewide communications and social media network to promote Safe Routes to School best practices, dissemination information about Safe Routes to School, and encourage more schools, parents, and students to create Safe Routes to School programs and activities in their own communities and schools.  These activities will specifically be targeted towards schools and communities who have received or would like to receive funding from MoDOT to build infrastructure to encourage more students to walk and bicycle to school, or to eliminate safety hazards.  The communications program is built on the idea, discovered in research on similar projects in other states and countries, that communities that include programs and social change efforts in addition to infrastructure improvements, see dramatically higher amounts of bicycling and walking result from their infrastructure improvements than do those who simply build facilities but fail to undertake the social change.

  • Write, publish, and distribute a Missouri Safe Routes to School Guidebook with best practices, guidelines, and Missouri-specific resources for schools, community leaders, parents, and other interested in promoting more, better, safer bicycling and walking to school. for schools, community leaders, parents, and other interested in promoting more, better, safer bicycling and walking to school.

    The Guidebook will be distributed statewide, particularly to schools and communities who have or who want to receive MoDOT Safe Routes to School grants.

  • Promote International Bike and Walk to School Day throughout Missouri each year in the fall and the spring.  This is built on a very successful program pioneered by PedNet in Columbia.  PedNet supplied schools in their area with instructions, information, guidance, encouragement, and some resources to help each school develop its own Walk to School Day each spring and each fall.

    Now with funding from MoDOT along with support from our donors, we will be able to take this program statewide, reaching every school and school district across the state with information and support for starting and organizing their own Bike/Walk to School Day.

This is the end of a four-part series about just a few of our activities so far this year--we haven't even mentioned our work in the Missouri legislature, Bicycle Day at the Capitol, the National Bike Summit, our crucial work in support of the Tour of Missouri, and many others. 

 So these summaries represent only a part of the programs that the Missouri Foundation for Bicycling and Walking and the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation are carrying forward in 2010.  Though we have major funders for many of these programs, individuals donations make up a significant part of our budget and it is only by putting together these individual donations with the larger grants and donations that we have the capacity to carry out these and our other programs and activities.

And of course it goes without saying that we could not carry out any of these programs without the full cooperation and assistant of like-minded organizations, agencies, foundations, and individuals from across Missouri.  Many, many thanks to all of you!

Your support powers our work to make Missouri a better, safer place to walk and bicycle . . .