Safe Routes News March 2010

This is the March 2010 issue of the Transportation Authority of Marin’s Safe Routes to Schools’
e-newsletter providing readers with monthly
program highlights and updates.

Highlights of the Month

SchoolPool Sign-ups Grow
Safe Routes Infrastructure Projects Make a Difference
Spring Contests Launch March 15
White Hill Students Create Trophies
Kidpower in Larkspur
Mini-Grants Available
Riding with Youth Workshops
Workshops for Women
Bike and Stroll to School Day is May 13th

SchoolPool Marin logo

SchoolPool Sign-ups Grow
Almost 700 parents have already signed up for the new SchoolPool trip matching program.  Parents who want to find partners to carpool with, organize walk or bike groups, or find a bus buddy for their child can register at  They can then view matches for others who live along their route to school.  The school that increases the most green ways to school by the end of this school year will be rewarded $2,000, with other awards ranging from $500-$1,000.  Those who already take a green way to school can still register to help their schools chances by also going to and clicking on the Green Ways Challenge button.  The campaign is focused on reducing vehicle trips to schools thus reducing greenhouse gases and traffic congestion in Marin County.

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Safe Routes Infrastructure Projects Make a Difference

Ross ribbon cutting

Since the conception of Marin's Safe Routes to School program, over $13 million of infrastructure improvements aimed at making walking and bicycling to and from school safer have been constructed or is currently being designed. 

And recent survey results show that the infrastructure is making a difference.  Student pedestrian and bicycle counts taken before and after improvements show significant increases in walking and bicycling to and from school:

  • Pathway and crosswalk improvements for Edna Maquire School in Mill Valley: 43% increase

  • Pathway and crosswalk improvements for Vallecito School in San Rafael: 38% increase

  • Sidewalk and crosswalk improvements for Bahia Vista School in San Rafael: 71% increase

  • Pedestrian bridge, sidewalk and crosswalk improvements for Manor School in Fairfax: 40% increase

  • Pathway and crosswalk improvements for Neil Cummins School in Corte Madera: 71% increase

  • Pathway improvements for Ross School in Ross: 234% increase

Engineering is just one of the four "E's" that is part of the Safe Routes to School program.  Education, encouragement and enforcement are the other three E's and all are important for increasing the number of children walking and bicycling to and from school.

Shady Lane ribbon cutting. Photo by Lynn Langford.

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Spring Contests Launch March 15

Teens Go Green contest

The Transportation Authority of Marin’s Safe Routes to Schools program will launch its spring classroom contests starting March 15 as part of the Green Ways to School Campaign.  The campaign is focused on reducing vehicle trips to schools thus reducing greenhouse gases and traffic congestion in Marin County. Classroom competitions will reward the class that shows the most green trips to school during a one month period.  Thirty-seven schools will be participating.
Elementary schools will promote the Go for the Green contest where students will track their green trips to school by putting a leaf sticker on a tree poster in their classroom for each green trip they make.  A green trip is one made by walking, biking, carpooling or taking the bus.  The class with the most leaves will be recognized at school assemblies and win $100 from Safe Routes to Schools.

Middle schools will hold classroom contests using raffle tickets to track their green trips.  The winning class will be awarded $50 and trophy (see next article). In addition, there will be a raffle to reward one student a new green iPod.  High Schools will invite students to create teams to compete and will begin their challenge later this spring.

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White Hill Students Create Trophies

Bike Trophy

White Hill Middle School students are creating whimsical trophies for the Middle School Teens Go Green Challenge this spring.  The trophies are made out of recycled bike parts.  The White Hill Art Club is making four and the Teens Go Green Club is working on two trophies.  White Hill team leader and Safe Routes assistant instructor, Lou Goodwin created the prototype.  “When I bring the trophy on campus, everyone is interested!,” she said.  “The kids in the Art Club have come up with ideas I never would have thought of. It's inspiring to see how their creative minds work. I lay out a table of old bike parts, the students pick up levers and cogs, turn them over..... oohhh and ahhhh, and wire them up to the sculpture to create character.  The sculptures will be awarded to the winning classes during Earth Week.

Sculpture by Lou Goodwin and White Hill students. Photo by Lou Goodwin.

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Kidpower in Larkspur

Kid Power

The Larkspur Recreation Department will present two Parent-Child Workshops on KidPower Saturday, March 20, at the Hall Middle School gym in Larkspur 1:00-3:00: ages 4-8 yrs, 3:30-5:30: Grades 5-8.  This workshop, which will be taught by long-time Larkspur SR2S Team leader Tasmin Pesso will bring children together with their parents/caregivers to practice Kidpower “People Safety” skills for supporting safe, positive experiences with people.

Children and Adults Together Learn To:

  • Be and act aware

  • Project an attitude of confidence

  • Set appropriate boundaries with people they know

  • Be safe with strangers when out on their own

  • Act responsibly while respecting others

  • Deal effectively with bullying and harassment

  • Persist until they get help

The fee for this workshop is $60 per child. Pre-registration is required. Phone the Larkspur Recreation Department at 415.927.6746

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Mini Grants Available
The National Center for Safe Routes to School is now accepting applications for up to 35 $1,000 mini-grants for creative, youth-focused ideas that support safe walking and/or bicycling to school. Eligible activities must occur at an elementary or middle school in Fall 2010 and support the overall goal of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs -- to enable and encourage children nationwide to safely walk and bicycle to school.

The National Center's SRTS mini-grant program, now in its second award cycle, supports creative ideas that support safe walking and/or bicycling to school and are youth-focused. Successful applications will focus on either increasing safe walking and/or bicycling to school or improving the safety of students already walking and/or bicycling to school. Activities may also explore a variety of issues related to SRTS, including physical activity and environmental benefits, distracted driving, personal safety, integrating children with disabilities and community building. Mini-grant activities with high levels of age-appropriate student engagement are encouraged.

Mini-grant applications are available now at Applications are due Wed., April 7, 2010, and recipients will be announced by Wed., May 26, 2010.

For more information, visit

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Riding with Youth Workshops

Riding With Youth

Sign up for the Riding with Youth workshop to be held on Saturday, April 24th, 2010, between 9:30-12:00- at the Terra Linda Community Center in San Rafael.  This workshop will take adults and their children riding together to teach them how to safely navigate streets. The workshop is free.

Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Both adults and children must have their own bikes. This class is designed for children in grades 2nd to 8th with prior on-the-street riding experience.
This class is not designed for:
Children riding with training wheels
Children riding on a trailer bike attached to an adult bike
Children riding on sidewalks

To register or to schedule a Riding with Youth workshop contact Peggy Clark at (415) 456-3469 ext 8# or email

Photo by Peter Oppenheimer.

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Workshops for Women
For women only – how long has it been since you’ve been on a bike?  Would you like to ride more for exercise and errands but are afraid to get out in traffic.  Sign up for the Women on Wheels workshop series Saturdays starting in April.  The first series of two workshops and a practice ride will be for beginning bicyclists or those who feel they need to start over.  Look for registration information later this month at

You Can Bike There –
Bike and Stroll to School Day is May 13th
“Bike Locally” for your health and the environment.  May is National Bike Month and Thursday, May 13, is the Bay Area’s 16th Annual Bike to Work Day presented by Kaiser Permanente and We’re also declaring it Bike and Stroll to School Day.   Join thousands in celebrating bicycling as a fun, healthy way to make your local trips – to work, school, the store, library, or movie. The month of May also features many exciting bike-related events in Marin: Bike Safety Checkup, Basic Streets Skills class, Bike Month Sweepstakes, Team Bike Challenge, Energizer Stations on May 13. Read inspiring stories by Marin bike commuters.  Enter to win regional prizes at  For more information, visit

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Transportation Authority of Marin


is a program of the
Transportation Authority
of Marin
3501 Civic Center Dr.
San Rafael, CA 94913

Project Manager:
David Parisi

Program Director:
Wendi Kallins

For information on
school activities:
Project Coordinator:
Laura Kelly
415-456-3469 ext. 2#

For information on
school classes:

Project Coordinator
for Logistics:
Peggy Clark
415-456-3469 ext 8#

For information on the SchoolPool Marin Program
SchoolPool Coordinator
Deborah Cole

Street Smarts Marin

Transportation Authority
of Marin
Project Manager
Dan Cherrier,
415 226-0829

Street Smarts Coordinator
Parisi Associates
Deborah Cole



















SchoolPool carpool, walk, bike together













































bike locally








Safe Routes to Schools, Marin logo