Exciting Walk and Roll Opportunities in 2022!

Exciting Walk and Roll Opportunities in 2022!

I Love to Walk & Roll Day – February 2

Happy Pi(e) Walk & Roll Day – March 2

Walk and Roll Wednesdays will continue with monthly themes celebrating Valentine’s Day in February and Pi(e) Day in March. These events are typically held on the first Wednesday of the month, but event days may vary depending on what works best for individual schools and the volunteers that host them.

A Spring Challenge will be launched in April to get students in the habit of walking and rolling to school regularly. There will be an assortment of fun raffle prizes and accolades for the student winners.

National Bike to School Day is on May 4th this year. Safe Routes is developing some fun May the FOURTH Be With You themed promotional materials to celebrate the event. Maybe Yoda will be seen biking to school that day.

Annual Bike Hero Contest! For the 5th year, Safe Routes will invite schools, parents and friends to nominate their Bike Hero – a student who is a good “roll model” for safe riding and encouraging others to ride to school. Nominations open in May.

Family Biking Education will continue with both FREE virtual and in-person instruction to help students and their parents learn the rules of the road and strategies to build confident cyclists. February 24, 6:00 -7:00 p.m. (Virtual) Registration Required; Other Dates TBD

Parent BIKE Education Night! In March, Mill Valley School District is hosting Marin’s first ever Parent Bike Ed. Night. The one-hour presentation covers the rules of the road that govern cycling behavior so parents can best demonstrate and train their own children. Content used to teach Safe Routes’ elementary through middle school bike classes will be shown. Share the Road classes appropriate for High School parents and teens can also be requested. Parent Ed. Night can be scheduled at other schools through contacting Wendi Kallins.

Download Walk and Roll Poster (PDF)

SR2S Newsletter – Winter 2022

SR2S Newsletter – Winter 2022

WHAT’S ROLLIN’  

Lace up those boots and get pumped!

Safe Routes to Schools has a host of activities planned for 2022

Wednesday, January 25, 2022, 11 a.m – 1 p.m. Parent volunteers will hear all about action inspired events for walkers and rollers on a Zoom call. Contact cooper@marinbike.org for the link.

Come learn what’s in store and meet like-minded volunteers who passionately share the joy of promoting walking and rolling to school communities.

Second semester materials, guidebooks and incentives will be distributed. RSVP: Cooper@marinbike.org

Exciting Walk and Roll Opportunities in 2022!

 

Walk and Roll Wednesdays will continue with monthly themes celebrating Valentine’s Day in February and Pi(e) Day in March. These events are typically held on the first Wednesday of the month, but event days may vary depending on what works best for individual schools and the volunteers that host them.

A Spring Challenge will be launched in April to get students in the habit of walking and rolling to school regularly. There will be an assortment of fun raffle prizes and accolades for the student winners.

National Bike to School Day is on May 4th this year. Safe Routes is developing some fun May the FOURTH Be With You themed promotional materials to celebrate the event. Maybe Yoda will be seen biking to school that day.

Annual Bike Hero Contest! For the 5th year, Safe Routes will invite schools, parents and friends to nominate their Bike Hero – a student who is a good “roll model” for safe riding and encouraging others to ride to school. Nominations open in May.

Family Biking Education will continue with both FREE virtual and in-person instruction to help students and their parents learn the rules of the road and strategies to build confident cyclists. February 24, 6:00 -7:00 p.m. (Virtual) Registration Required; Other Dates TBD

Parent BIKE Education Night! In March, Mill Valley School District is hosting Marin’s first ever Parent Bike Ed. Night. The one-hour presentation covers the rules of the road that govern cycling behavior so parents can best demonstrate and train their own children. Content used to teach Safe Routes’ elementary through middle school bike classes will be shown. Share the Road classes appropriate for High School parents and teens can also be requested. Parent Ed. Night can be scheduled at other schools through Peggy@marinbike.org.

 

 


Education Highlights

Safe Routes to Schools is on track to break a new record. Over 10,000 students will have taken its pedestrian and bicycle safety classes by June of 2022. This goal seems attainable because its instructors have taught 170 classes to 5,239 children since in-person teaching restarted, just four months ago.

The majority of the Safe Routes curriculum focuses on grades 2-6, providing in-class instruction as well as walking field trips and blacktop bike rodeos through schools’ PE departments. These lessons are essential to students learning how to safely navigate streets, make smart decisions, and treat all Marin residents with respect. We’ve even been able to provide “make-up classes” for students who Safe Routes didn’t get to instruct last year during the height of the pandemic. If you think your student may have missed out on in-person pedestrian and bike safety teaching last year, contact our Scheduling Coordinator, Peggy Clark (peggy@marinbike.org). We also offer Share the Road classes for high school students

Safe Routes to Schools also has a partnership with the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, which implemented a “receive a bike” program called Cory’s Ride this year. Working with high school students over the course of 12 months, the goal of this program is to provide the joy and benefits of cycling to youth who might not otherwise have the opportunity. 16 students have already finished the classroom component (6 classes) and are on their way towards getting to keep their bicycles, helmets, and gear which will be completed with on-the bike training.

 


Olive Elementary Students Named Mayors of Novato for a Day

 

On December 13, Olive Elementary students Sofía Bermúdez, a kindergartener, and Kaylee Perry, a fifth grader, were Mayors of the City of Novato for a day. To win this grand prize, both students won a raffle conducted among Olive’s students who walked or rolled to school every day in October.

Novato’s Mayor, Pat Eklund, proposed the idea when she hosted a Safe Routes to Schools welcome table at Olive Elementary in October. The Mayor, a long-time Safe Routes supporter, hosted the students for a tour of the police station, the city offices, and City Hall. Mayor Eklund also made arrangements for Sofia and Kaylee to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the commencement of the City Council meeting the next day.

During their visit, Captain Sasha D’Amico offered the students and their parents a tour of the Police Department. She introduced the group to Police Chief, Matthew McCaffery, and explained to them the day-to-day operations of the police force, including the work performed by 911 dispatchers. At the City Building, Sofia and Kaylee met Assistant City Manager, Jessica Deakyne, who talked about the nature of her job and, in general, about what it means to be a “public servant.”

The experience ended with both children sitting at the Mayor’s desk at the City Council Chambers and using the gavel, which was not surprisingly, a highlight of the day.

 


u Walk – u Blend!

 

 

Kent Middle School’s Eco-Action Club came up with u Walk – u Blend! as a follow up on iWalk (International Walk to School Day).  Students who walked or biked to school on Nov. 10th could blend their own smoothies using our bicycle powered blender. It took all 10 Eco-Action club members, working at a non-stop pace, to serve 170 smoothies in a mere 30 minutes before the first bell. The club puts on monthly events to encourage more walking and biking. They chose to do the bike blender event in the winter because in the Spring and Fall there are even more Walkers and Bikers – almost 55% of the school gets there actively. That’s healthy living!


 

Staying Warm & Safe on Your Bike This Winter

The winter season has arrived and that means lower temperatures, shorter days, and likely more precipitation, yet a few tweaks to your bikes and gear can let you coast through the winter months as we await those nice long and warm days of spring and summer. Here are some top tips to ace the winter season and continue to enjoy your bike!

The brighter your lights, the safer your ride. A clip-on red blinking tail light in addition to a handlebar-mounted headlight will light the way and allow drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists to see you coming. Turn them on in the early commute hours and prior to sunset when low light makes motorists’ visibility challenging. The USB rechargeable type is easy to use and worth the investment for longevity. Your local bike shop should have a variety including commuter lights and more powerful lights for mountain biking.

Protect your bike from rain, puddles and moisture.After a ride, give your bike a wipe down with a rag and apply chain lubricant after every half dozen rides or so to protect it from rust. Most chain lube brands come in either a wet or dry mix. Wet is ideal for winter and you can use the dry version for the summer months. A little bit of chain lube goes a long way towards protecting your chain and gears from rust.

Keep the chill at bay. A windproof outer layer blocks the wind and keeps your core temps warm. Hands held in the same position on the bike can get really cold with lack of circulation. Full fingered gloves keep your digits toasty. Pay attention to get the proper fit so you can still safely pull the brake levers and shift your gears.

 


 

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 wkallins@igc.org 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 wkallins@igc.org

 


 

National Infrastructure Bill has Increased Funding for Walking, Biking, and Transit

Children with school mascot

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

Cyclists on a raised path next to passenger cars

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

Students hold banner reading

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

Mother with two children on bicycles

 

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

Image of a bicycle with arrow pointing to underside of bottom bracket

 

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.

SR2S Newsletter – Fall 2021

SR2S Newsletter – Fall 2021

iWALK RETURNS IN PERSON.

 

After having a modified event in 2020 due to Covid, Safe Routes just received the green light from most Marin schools to host, in person, its biggest celebration of the year, International Walk & Roll to School Dayon October 6th.

The event, also known as “iWalk,” marks Safe Routes to School’s return to a new normal: vaxxed and masked parent volunteers will happily greet and hand out incentives to thousands of students from all over Marin who, that morning, walk and roll to school.

Get Your Move On! Walk-Bike-Skate to School

Just a few schools that are part of the program opted for a modified version of the event. They will still participate, but instead of having a welcome table with volunteers, teachers will hand out stickers to all the children who walked or rolled to campus that morning.

For 21 years, iWalk has been a tradition for Safe Routes. It celebrates families’ efforts to reduce traffic, create safer streets, improve air quality, make their kids fitter and more awake in the morning.

For more information contact cooper@marinbike.org for elementary schools;  Lou@marinbike.org for middle and high schools; Monica@marinbike.org for Spanish speakers.

 


New Elementary School Volunteer Coordinator Joins Our Team

 

Cooper Miley headshot

Cooper Miley joined Safe Routes in the summer of 2021 as the Volunteer Coordinator and Assistant Instructor for Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Classes. Cooper is passionate about building community with parents, students, and educators in Marin County.
In his day-to-day activities, Cooper will be working with volunteers on developing and delivering programs and events for 1st-5th grade students, focused on the importance of active transportation, traffic reduction, bicycle safety, and a healthy environment.

Cooper is an avid cyclist and lover of all things two wheels. In his free time, he can be found riding his road or mountain bike on the myriad of great roads and trails throughout the county. He is also an active coach with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) and spends time coaching and mentoring high school athletes.

 



Crossing Guards Wanted

 

School crossing guard assists children crossing street

The Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) is looking to hire new crossing guards to protect children walking and biking to school across Marin. All City Management Services, the agency in charge of the hiring, is aiming to fill positions in cities located in Southern Marin, including Sausalito, Tam Valley, Strawberry, Tiburon, Mill Valley, Larkspur, and Corte Madera. Applicants must be 18 years or older. Seniors are welcome to apply.

To apply, contact Regional Manager Alan Stone  at 415-844-0223 or visithttps://acmssafety.com/careers/ for more information or to apply.

TAM’s program was first implemented in 2006 with 54 crossing guards and has grown to 100 locally funded positions. Funding is provided by Marin’s local ½-cent transportation sales tax and the local $10 vehicle registration fee.

 


 

Safe Routes to Schools Task Force Meetings Now on Zoom

 

Zoom meeting of Task Force

In order to make it easier for school administrators, parents, and city officials to attend its task force meetings, Safe Routes to Schools switched its tri-annual meetings to Zoom.

The task force meetings are an essential part of Safe Routes to School’s work, aiming to modify infrastructure that represents an obstacle for children walking or rolling to school. These meetings present an opportunity for parent volunteers to have their safety concerns translated into improvements.

The collaborative process starts when issues, such as speeding cars, challenging intersections or missing sidewalks, are introduced and prioritized. A walk audit takes place, giving parents the opportunity to show Safe Routes traffic engineers the problem on the ground. The engineers then work with the local jurisdiction on concept solutions to the issue.  Local, state and federal programs provide the funding.  (TAM’’s Safe Pathway program offers local funding every 3-4 years).   Almost every concept plan eventually becomes a built project to protect children on their way to school.

The San Rafael task force meeting can be credited with the fast fix of a crosswalk in front of Laurel Dell Elementary. In the same way, a group of neighbors of Leafwood Drive in Novato obtained the creation of a new crosswalk after a child was hit by a car.

To join a Safe Routes to schools Task Force contact Wendi Kallins at wkallins@igc.org

 


 

Graphic of girl on bike wearing a helmet

Families That Bike Together Safely, Benefit Greatly

 

Group of bikers riding along a path

Starting at the end of May, the first in-person Family Biking classes were hosted once again  at Tam Valley Community Center in Mill Valley. Eight eager families came to hone their skills on the chalked Bike Rodeo course, learning bike skills and rules of the road in a controlled environment away from traffic. All joined for a family friendly ride along the Mill Valley Sausalito Pathway to practice riding in a straight line to the right, walking bikes in crosswalks, and responding to adult instructions.

Bike safety classes are taught annually by Safe Routes League-Certified Instructors to thousands of Marin elementary and middle school students. Family Bikingshows parents firsthand how Instructors teach safe cycling skills and pro-tips for continued reinforcement.

Family Biking classes are being scheduled throughout the year at various schools and locations. Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MarinSR2S  to receive up-to-date notifications.

Two upcoming events are: 1. Drop-In “Pedal Playground” Saturday, Oct. 9 at 5:00-6:30, Novato Town Hall at 901 Sherman Ave: https://www.novato.org/government/parks-recreation-community-services/events/movies-in-the-park; 2. family bike ride and scavenger hunt as part of MCBC’s Biketoberfest October 16, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. in Fairfax. Register here. https://forms.gle/EWsJUoNRV1QLKNtTA

 



Federal Infrastructure Bill is Good News for SR2S

 

Street intersection with traffic cones

The Infrastructure and Jobs Act passed by the Senate in August increases funding for the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), recodifies the Safe Routes to School program into current law, and expands it to cover high schools. The Act would mean a $2.5 billion increase for sidewalks, bike lanes, Safe Routes to School programming, and trails across all five years.

The law also strengthens the language in the federal Surface Transportation Program and the Highway Safety Improvement Program to proactively affirm that those funds can be used for Safe Routes to School projects, rather than just relying on TAP funding.
Under this bill, states would have more flexibility with matching requirements. They could use federal safety funds as the local match for projects that improve safety – including all Safe Routes to School projects.

The new law will also protect TAP funding from being used for other purposes. Under current law, states can transfer up to 50 percent of their TAP dollars out of the program. On average, states transfer roughly 20 percent of funding to other uses, which takes funding away from local governments looking to improve safety. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would only allow transfers if a state has held a competition, provided technical assistance to applicants, and still did not have enough quality applicants to use all the funding.  The bill is still awaiting final approval from the House before it goes to the President for signature.

For a full analysis of the bill go to https://www.saferoutespartnership.org/blog/bipartisan-infrastructure-bill-makes-meaningful-strides-toward-increasing-funding-and-improving.

 


The Hidden Health Reward for Active School Travel

 

Doctor Michelle Jonelis with several bikes

 

Doctor Michelle Jonelis bikes 2.5 miles to school every morning with her 1st and 3rd graders to trigger their circadian rhythms, a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep–wake cycle. As a sleep medicine doctor, she knows how critical morning sunlight and exercise is for daytime alertness, positive mental health, and sound sleep at night.

Her advice to other parents is “make it a priority and don’t give your kids a choice.”  The habit of biking in the morning was first met with resistance, but through Mom’s perseverance and making it fun with a weeklong bike camp, her children are now eager to ride every day.

“It’s magical,” Dr. Jonelis says, reflecting on how they sing songs while riding to school together. “I like being able to get places by myself,” adds her 8-year-old daughter. “It’s fun,” joins her 6 year old brother.

Dr. Jonelis also points to cargo bikes being a game-changer, allowing her family to go from two cars to one when the kids were just two and four. Though the kids now pedal their own bikes to school, she can strap on their bikes for the return trip home.

Other Marin Moms and Dads are investing in their children’s morning health routine. The e-cargo bike is reinventing families’ mobility as it overcomes obstacles such as hills, long distances, and heavy loads. Get inspired by watching MotherLoad on October 15th at 6 pm in Sausalito. Details link here.

 


New Contest will be Launched at Bilingual Schools

 

Walk and Roll Challenge score card

A grant by the Marin Health and Human Services will sponsor a new fall contest at schools where many of the students subscribe to the free and reduced price program. The schools included are Bahia Vista, Laurel Dell, Venetia Valley, Coleman, Lynwood, Olive, Lu Sutton and Loma Verde.

The grant provides incentives for kids at the welcome table when they walk or roll to school along with active mobility raffle prizes, such as scooters, to be awarded in December.

Students receive a card on which they daily track if they walked, biked, scootered or skateboarded to school. The first card will be handed out to children who come to the Safe Routes’ welcome table during International Walk to School Day on October 6th. At the next event, on November 3rd, parent volunteers will swap the completed October cards for a new November card. This contest will run from October to December. Before the Holiday recess, Safe Routes will conduct a raffle among the kids that walked or rolled the most at every school. Students with the greatest number of days actively traveled will also be publicly recognized each month.

For questions, contact Monica Leifer at monica@marinbike.org


Bicycle Safety and Injury Prevention Webinar: Thursday, September 30, 5:30-6:30 p.m

 

 

With bicycle use becoming more popular, and with schools back in session, bicycle safety has never been more important. Bicycle crashes are among the top causes of injury seen in the Emergency and Trauma Department at Marin Health Medical Center and other hospitals. Bicyclists and motorists both play a role in preventing crashes and injuries.

Featured speakers are Gwen Froh, Program Director of Safe Routes to Schools and Education Director, Marin County Bicycle Coalition along with Edward Alfrey, MD,  Medical Director, Trauma, MarinHealth Medical Center and Chair, Department of Surgery, and Director, Marin Health Care District.  For more information: https://mymarinhealth.zoom.us/j/97974901082

This webinar is dedicated to the memories of Deb Hubsmith and Cindy Winter.