Concerned With Safety?
The Task Force Meeting is the place to bring your observations so decision makers can help resolve concerns along routes to schools.
Online Task Force meetings are scheduled three times per year for each school district. Contact Wendi Kallins at [email protected] to receive your district’s winter and spring Zoom links.
New West Marin Task Force
Safe Routes to Schools launched a new West Marin Task Force for Bolinas, Shoreline, and Lagunitas School Districts. With Zoom technology, we are now able to bring people in these unincorporated communities together, saving the time and hassle of traveling long distances to a meeting. We now have nine district Task Forces covering most of Marin County. All Safe Routes Task Forces will be developing new District Travel Plans, revamping the ones developed a decade ago.
Safe Routes is also creating “dot maps” from each district to graphically show where students live in proximity to the schools. This new tool enables us to determine how many students live within walking and biking distance in order to shape programs based on that information.
The Task Force schedule for the winter:
• Ross Valley Friday January 14, 10 am
• Kentfield – Thursday Jan 20, 9:30 am
• San Rafael – Tuesday January 25, 5 pm
• Tiburon – Friday January 28, 10 am
• Novato – Thursday Feb 3, 5 pm
• West Marin – Monday February 7, 7 pm
• Sausalito – Thursday Feb 10, 9:30 am
• Mill Valley – Wednesday February 16, 9:30
• Larkspur – Thursday Feb 17, 3:30
If you would like to participate in a Safe Routes to Schools Task Force contact Wendi Kallins [email protected]
National Infrastructure Bill has Increased Funding for Walking, Biking, and Transit
On November 5, 2021, the House passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 and has now been signed into law. This bill includes historic funding levels and significant policy changes to make investments in connected streets, sidewalks, bike lanes, and Safe Routes to School, and to make those funding decisions more equitable by prioritizing neighborhoods and communities made vulnerable by historical and contemporary policy and funding decisions. It restores the Safe Routes to Schools Program as a separate line item, albeit without designated funding. Colloquially referred to as “the infrastructure bill”, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 is a monumental investment in the safety and support of people walking and bicycling.
To learn more, read the National Safe Routes Partnership’s blog and the follow-up article that explains what this means specifically for Safe Routes to Schools.
Redwood Newsletter Covers Infrastructure Improvements
Last September, the town of Corte Madera widened Paradise Drive’s sidewalk near the Mariner Cove Neighborhood. The expansion covers the north side of San Clemente Drive to Seawolf Passage, directly across from Corte Madera’s Nugget Market, and extends the previously four foot wide path to eight feet.
The Larkspur/Corte Madera’s Safe Routes to Schools Task Force submitted a request for the widening in 2015. The Town of Corte Madera received a federal One Bay Area Grant for $595,000. After almost six years of designing, the construction for the new sidewalk officially began on June 31, 2021.
Redwood High School student Shyla Lensing reported on the project in the September issue of the Redwood Bark
Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day
Last November, dozens of students from the Sausalito School District walked to class to honor Ruby Bridges. Over six decades ago, Bridges, an African-American girl defied the prevalent segregation in the United States by showing up every day to an all-white elementary school in New Orleans. With her act of courage, Ruby attained the unimaginable: the eventual integration of the school.
In preparation for the event, Bayside MLK teachers each read a book to their students about Ruby Bridges. Children were instructed to go to the welcome table in the front of school to receive bookmarks, stickers and other incentives to commemorate Ruby, who is today, one of the most important civil rights activists still alive.
Welcoming the students to school on November 17th were parent volunteers and their kids joined by Vicki Nicols from Age Friendly Sausalito; Doreen Gounard, Aide to Supervisor Stephanie Moulton-Peters; Molly Graham from the Transportation Authority of Marin; and Gwen Froh from Safe Routes to Schools.
Photo – Principal David Finnane rallies students to celebrate Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day.
Their Desire to Roll to School Turned Family into Bikers
Right before the pandemic, Heather Crossen, a mom of two from Venetia Valley School, put her older child on a bike and her little one on a scooter and followed them, jogging at times, on their way to class. Convinced that biking to school is good for their health and for the planet, she totally ditched the car for their commute to school.
When it was getting harder for Heather to keep up with her son, Zimry Vargas, a second grader, and daughter Zainy Vargas, a TK student, she got herself a bike. Later on, her daughter said she wanted to bike too, so the parents got her a bike and taught her to ride without training wheels. At just age four, Zainy was a fast learner and very skillfully follows her brother and mom for about a mile from their home to Venetia Valley. Because the school has few bikers, the three of them have become an example to others.
Not even adversity has deterred this family from their goal to use active travel. . A few months ago, Zimry’s brand-new bike (shown in the picture) was stolen from the entrance of their home. Heather asked people via social media to donate a used bike and was offered one in very good condition that Zimry is now using.
As her interest for green travel grew, the mom decided to volunteer her time to Safe Routes to Schools’ events at Venetia Valley. She has offered fresh ideas and additional energy to an already growing program in the school.
Register Your New Bike
Every year, hundreds of bicycles are stolen in Marin. Local law enforcement work diligently around the county and state to recover lost or stolen bicycles. Take a moment to register your bicycle as that is the quickest way for you to get it back in the event the police recover it. Registered property may also deter theft due to resale difficulties.
Do an online search for bike registration in your town or city. Each jurisdiction is different, however all law enforcement must enter every bike’s serial number into the statewide Automated Property System which reunites people with bikes as soon as they issue a police report. That means that if your bike is stolen in Marin but police find it in Modesto, you can get it back. The serial number is the key to matching bikes entered into the system with its rightful owner. In addition to registering your bike, take photos of your bike and save the original sales receipt in the event that you need to file a report.
The San Rafael Police Department uses an online registration form for local residents. Upon registration, the police department sends out a bike sticker with contact information linking the bike to the original owner. For Mill Valley residents, here is the registration form. The Sherrifs’ Department also provides registration services. The Novato Police Department uses a National Bicycle Recovery program called 529 Garage. 529 Garage and the non-profit Bike Index are gaining in popularity because they service beyond local jurisdictions. Since the services are free, signing up on multiple sites is just a matter of taking the time to do so.
Where is my bicycle serial number? Most serial numbers are located under the bottom bracket where the two pedal cranks meet. Turn your bike upside down and record the number.