Getting There Together: A Message from the Director

Spring has sprung in Chapel Hill and we're well on our way to an exciting 2010.

At the National Center for Safe Routes to School, we've released a new national report on Safe Routes to School (SRTS) travel data, launched new SRTS marketing materials, and are currently accepting applications for a second round of $1,000 SRTS mini-grants.

We're encouraged by the energy around the country surrounding the Let's Move initiative and, as I said in a Dallas Morning News interview, I think "the first lady is in a position to capture our attention and help change our mindset" about the routine for getting kids to school. It's rare to pick up a newspaper or magazine these days without seeing at least a small story on childhood obesity.

The League of American Bicyclists gathered over 700 bike advocates in Washington DC for a fantastic National Bike Summit 2010, earlier this month. Google launched Google Maps Bike, its new bicycle route mapping software, Reps. James Oberstar (D-Minn) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore) offered words of encouragement, and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood inspired the group to continue their work with a table top announcement of a new policy on bicycle and pedestrian accommodation regulations and recommendations, a move the League characterizes as "the strongest statement of support for prioritizing bicycling and walking ever to come from a sitting secretary of transportation."

Did you see that Good Housekeeping's April 2010 issue recommends instituting a car-free commute by riding a bike to school?

And just last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution to designate April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Safety is obviously a huge priority at the National Center and distracted driving, especially in school zones, is a focus area for us as well.

These truly are exciting times for Safe Routes to School. Keep up the good work in your community and remember, together, we can achieve great things!

Photo of Manchetti Signature