This is the September issue of the Marin Safe Routes to Schools ENewsletter. This newsletter provides you with monthly updates of the Marin Safe Routes to Schools program, including highlights of the month.
TASK FORCE MEETINGS
Ross Valley Task Force
Friday, September 18, 10 a.m.
Ross Valley School District Office
110 Shaw Drive, San Anselmo
Paradise Drive Task Force
Wednesday, September 23, 1 p.m.
Marin Country Day School Conference Room
5221 Paradise Drive, Corte Madera
Dixie Task Force
Wednesday, September 23, 7:00 p.m.
Miller Creek Library
2255 Las Galinas Road, San Rafael
San Rafael Task Force
Wednesday, September 30, 3 p.m.
Davidson Middle School Conference Room
280 Woodland Ave., San Rafael
Novato Task Force Meeting
Wednesday October 7, 7 p.m.
Novato School District
1015 7th Street, Novato
Mill Valley Task Force
Thursday, October 8, 9:15 a.m.
Mill Valley School District
4511 Sycamore Ave., Mill Valley
International Walk to School Day October 7
International Walk to School Day is schedule for October 7 and the week of October 5 is International Walk to School Week. Forty-one countries will be holding events in cities throughout the world. All participating schools in Marin will receive a special poster, flyer and newsletter announcements and patches to give away for elementary schools and Clif Kid products for the middle and high schools.
To register a Walk to School event, please visit
www.walktoschool.org/register. Registration is free and available to individuals or organizations holding an event in the U.S. Registered schools will be displayed on an interactive map on the U.S. Walk to School Web site (www.walktoschool.org), where neighboring communities, media and other organizations will be able to view participating
By registering, Walk to School organizers gain access to a variety of downloadable materials, including certificates, templates for printing stickers and a frequent walker punch card. Registrants can also subscribe to a weekly Walk to School e-newsletter with tips and resources on holding a Walk to School event.
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Marin Receives State Grants
A $900,000 state grant awarded to the County of Marin will help fund pedestrian improvements along a two roads in Homestead Valley. The funding through the Caltrans Safe Routes to School program will cover the majority of the $1.1 million cost estimated for improvements along the south side of Evergreen Avenue and the west side of Melrose Avenue. The project will provide better access to Marin Horizon School students and link to other pedestrian improvement projects in Mill Valley.
The City of San Rafael received a grant for $274,000 to fund construction of curb extensions, raised crosswalks and curb ramps; installation of high-visibility school crosswalks; and school-area traffic controls. The work will be done along Belle Avenue, between US 101 and Coleman Elementary School, in San Rafael.
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SR2S Receives Grant from Marin Community Foundation
The Marin Community Foundation (MCF) awarded the Transportation Authority of Marin a $175,000 grant for the Safe Routes to Schools program as part of MCF’s Climate Change initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The funding will go towards developing a countywide SchoolPool program and expanding the teen program. The grant’s goal is to convince at least 800 students to shift to greener modes of transportation, keeping 420 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
SchoolPool Program To Go Online County-wide
Safe Routes to Schools is launching a SchoolPool Trip-Match system that allows parents to register online at no charge to find companions for carpooling, walking, and biking to school together, or for bus buddies.
Later this Fall, families will be able to register on the system, indicating the school the child attends and the route they use to get to school, and the system will send back a match-list of other registered families who are looking for SchoolPool companions. Contact information will be included so families can e-mail or call one another. The system will be similar to a 511 commute rideshare system, with the latest in features, security and ease of use.
Support for the new Marin County SchoolPool Trip-Match system was provided by a grant from Marin Community Foundation (see previous article) and continued Measure A support from Transportation Authority of Marin.
Find Your Green Way to School
Safe Routes to Schools would like to see everyone find their Green Way to School. Traveling by a Green Way to School helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fosters life long habits for your children.
If you live close by (within a 1/2 mile to 1 mile):
- Walk or bike to school – active transportation is great exercise and fun! (stay tuned for later this fall when SR2S launches its new SchoolPool Trip matching program to assist you in finding others to walk or bike in a group)
If you live too far away or live up a steep narrow road:
- Take the bus if it is available
- Carpool with your neighbors (the new SchoolPool Trip matching program will help you find others who live along your route)
- Park and walk – find a remote location within ¼ mile of the school where you can safely park your car and walk the rest of the way.
If you must drive your car:
- Drive carefully and slowly – watch for the children.
- Turn off your engine – letting your car idle exposes children to noxious fumes and increases Co2 emissions.
Everyone can be a part of the solution. Find your Green Way to School and help cool the planet and reduce traffic around your school.
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Street Smarts Marin Targets Traffic Safety
The Street Smarts Marin program is back and has expanded to eight Marin cities and towns, targeting such behaviors as speeding, running red lights and stop signs, failing to stop at crosswalks, jaywalking, and bicyclists’ safety and bicycling traffic violations. Street Smarts Marin deployed special banners available for schools.
The pilot program, sponsored by The Transportation Authority of Marin, worked with the city staff, public works, police departments, schools and Safe Routes to Schools task forces to pilot-test the program in Corte Madera, Larkspur and Mill Valley, in 2008 from late August to early November.
The Pilot program received high marks and the program was expanded to include Fairfax, San Anselmo, Ross, Tiburon and Belvedere this fall.
Riding With Youth
Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Both adults and children must bring their own bikes. This class is designed for children in grades 2 to 8 with prior on-the-street riding experience.
Riding with Youth workshops are free and held throughout Marin County after school or on a weekend day during the spring and the fall. The 2.5 hour workshops feature fun skill-building activities including blacktop drills, instructional video and a neighborhood group street ride. Learn about proper equipment, communications, and appropriate behavior.
Fall Class Dates and Locations
Saturday, September 26: 9:30 to 12:00
Tam Valley Rec Center, Tam Valley
Saturday, October 10: 9:30 to 12:00 -
San Rafael Community Center, San Rafael
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National Partnership Requests Letters
Deadline: September 24, 2009
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership has launched a “Dear Congress: Why Safe Routes to School is Important” campaign. They need your help. They are striving to generate hundreds—if not thousands—of letters from children, parents, program staff and volunteers, and school and city leaders talking about why Safe Routes to School matters to individuals and communities. They will bundle your letters and share them with members of the House and Senate so that they know how many people in their states and districts value Safe Routes to School. For more information on how you can join the letter-writing campaign, please visit http://www.saferoutespartnership.org/national/299443 and look for the link on the homepage. The deadline for the campaign is September 24, 2009.
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