SR2S Newsletter – Spring 2022

SR2S Newsletter – Spring 2022

EXCITING NEWS: Our website has undergone a complete remodel so you can easily navigate and find up-to-date events and activities, suggested routes to school maps, on-line ped/bike education, Task Force information and more. Check it out and return often to get the latest information about your Safe Routes to Schools community and activities to keep you in gear.

Some of the new website features include:

  • Reorganized content for ease of use
  • New page highlighting SR2S’s equity work
  • Ability to filter encouragement programs and education classes by grade, topic, etc.
  • Translation widget to translate webpages into Spanish or other languages
  • Streamlined parent and teen volunteer toolkits

You’ll be able to access the new website using the same web address: www.saferoutestoschools.org

GALACTIC EVENTS COMING
THIS SPRING!

Safe Routes to Schools has some out of this world events for walkers and rollers this spring.  Mark your calendars so your student won’t miss out on these special, galactic activities at your school.

For information about activities at Bahia Vista, Venetia Valley, Coleman, Laurel Dell, Loma Verde, Lu Sutton, Olive and Lynwood, contact monica@marinbike.org. For all the other schools, contact cooper@marinbike.org.

Art by Claire Cochrane – White Hill

J.E.D.I. Challenge – Wednesdays: April 13, 20, 27, and May 4

[Dates may vary – check with your school volunteer]

Students can become a Planet J.E.D.I. (Joyful, Excited, Devoted, and Imaginative) by walking and rolling to school for Earth Month.  This four-week contest asks students to use their weekly Walk and Roll Super Powers for a chance to win raffle prizes.  Small “Skywalkers” can participate by parking and walking partway to school (1/4 mile or more).  Participating students can come to the morning welcome tables to get a J.E.D.I. card and have it stamped once per week.  On May 4th, the cards will be collected, and winners drawn. 

There will be Walk and Roll Wednesdays on April 13 (dates can vary by school) for those schools that couldn’t join the J.E.D.I challenge.

 

April 23 – Bridge the Bay Event
for High Schools

On April 23, high school students will come together to help raise climate equity awareness at the first event: Bridge the Bay hosted at Pickleweed Park in San Rafael. A former San Rafael High teacher and professional muralist, Tia Warner, will lead students in creating a street mural to showcase their passion for environmental awareness and justice. Emissions from cars, trucks and airplanes is the primary contributor to climate change in the U.S.  Oil refineries tend to go up in low-income neighborhoods, such as the one in Richmond, negatively impacting the health of our neighbors across the bridge. A bike ride across the Richmond Bridge will be led by Marin County Bicycle Coalition’s Policy Director, Warren Wells.  The Bay Area Bike Mobile will offer free bike repair services for families living in the Canal while the Bike Blender will supply smoothies created by pedal power.  For more information, contact Cooper@marinbike.org

Annual Bike Hero AWARD
– Coming This May


Seeking Bike Heroes – students who are stellar “roll” models by biking to school frequently while following the rules of the road. In May, parents, neighbors, friends, teachers and administrators are encouraged to nominate a Bike Hero from their school worthy of receiving this county-wide award. The award, offered to two elementary and two middle school students each year, is an opportunity to recognize students using safe riding practices (wearing a helmet, riding predictably with traffic on the right and in a straight line (not swerving between parked cars), obeying all traffic signals, riding slowly and in control). Start looking now for a student to nominate when the link on the Safe Routes website becomes active in May.

 

Cory’s Ride Next Year at Sinaloa

The next participants for the Cory’s Ride program were selected from Sinaloa Middle School.  This program provides the benefits of cycling to students who otherwise might not have the opportunity.  Eighteen kids will be working with Safe Routes over the next year, meeting for safety education classes, maintenance clinics, and monthly group rides.  Five to ten of those students will receive brand new bikes and equipment that they’ll get to keep! The Cory’s Ride program is a program of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition made possible by generous support from the Leonoudakis family and MCBC donors.

 

Renee Shelton: from Parent Volunteer to Safe Routes’ Instructor

Meet Safe Routes’ Instructor, Renee Shelton, who has been teaching rodeo classes to thousands of students for over ten years.  When asked what inspires her, she cites the meaningful work. “Not only do the students learn the rules of the road so they can be respectful and safe when riding on the streets, but I love seeing the joy on their faces when they do something they don’t think they can – such as riding over the teeter totter.”    

Renee has long been an advocate for green travel to school and the benefits it reaps.  When her two boys, Marcus and Noah were little, Renee parked her car at The Depot in Mill Valley and walked them to Old Mill Elementary School.  Eventually, she formed a Walking School Bus, fostering happy, excited kids and parents walking and talking as they strolled to school.  As her boys grew, Renee stepped into the role of Safe Routes Parent Volunteer to promote Walk and Roll events, promoting the joy of active travel to other families.

Fast forward ten years: her boys are at Tam High School and on the Mountain Bike team where her husband, Matt, coaches and Renee is a Ride Leader.  Both boys went to Nationals for both Cyclocross and Mountain Biking in 2021 and are slated to go again in 2022.  Marcus even went to Worlds for Cyclocross, in Brussels, at the age of 17.  Renee and Matt also race, but with a low-key, “just have fun” attitude. As Matt says, “it’s a skill to go slow” and the entire family loves riding with all skill levels.

Renee is passionate about sharing her love for biking with students of all abilities. “The bike classes are a great opportunity for kids to get introduced to cycling even if their parents don’t bike.  You can see the appreciation for riding a bike on their faces as their confidence builds.”  Renee adds, “and we have a great team at Safe Routes; the Instructors are all encouraging and supportive, and love sharing their knowledge.”
 

Graphic Art Talent at
White Hill Middle School!

If you’ve wondered where Safe Routes comes up with the graphics for its posters, they come straight from the teens. For the past four years, the wonderful art teachers at White Hill Middle School, Emma Beauchamp and Doretta Ruzzier-Gaul, have incorporated Safe Routes’ graphic needs into their curriculum. They create images of walkers, bikers, or skaters that express the joy and freedom of getting to school through active travel. The students use photographs, tablets, and computer programs to create their inspiring images. Sixty-two students worked on the project this year and loved the Star Wars theme “May the Fourth be With You”. (National Bike to School day is on May 4th). 

So much great artwork was produced that Safe Routes is not only using it for the Elementary and Teen posters, but will be showcasing it on the new website as a rolling slide show. Enjoy the talent!

Art by Sophia Lopez – White Hill

 

Walking School Bus Resources

Thinking about starting a walking school bus for your neighborhood?  Blue Zones provides instructions and a number of resources in its latest newsletter.   Check out the cool video as well. 

You can check out Marin’s resources here, using this link www.saferoutestoschools.org/project/walking-school-bus/

 

Making Butterfield Road Safe for Everyone

Zoom Meeting to be held April 21 at 6 pm 

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 827 2353 7584
Passcode: 572054
One tap mobile +16699006833,,82723537584#,,,,*572054# 

Safe Routes to Schools has been working with Supervisor Rice’s office, the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC), and a group of parents, community members and Town/County staff to make Butterfield Road safe for everyone. Click here to read the results of our community survey, where 90% of respondents support bike lanes!

Butterfield Road runs from San Anselmo into the unincorporated Marin County community of Sleepy Hollow. It connects three schools and is the only way in or out (by car) from the valley. It also serves as a bike through-route to Terra Linda via the pass at the top of Fawn Drive.

The Town section of Butterfield has bike lanes but at the County border (Oak Knoll Road), the bike lane appears to continue north, but no parking prohibition is enforced and there are many parked cars forcing riders and walkers into the path of traffic (there are no sidewalks).

Neighbors and frequent users of the road were uncomfortable with their children riding or walking on Butterfield. While Town and County staff asserted that the number of crashes was in fact below the average, many crashes had gone unreported, and there were countless stories of near misses. 

The Survey
To learn more about the problems encountered on Butterfield Road, the committee led by MCBC and the Sleepy Hollow Homeowners Association initiated a community survey.  The survey was a resounding success, with responses from 891 households accounting for over 2,000 individuals, 80% of whom live in San Anselmo. For those who want to dig into the results, you can find the full survey report here, or an abbreviated infographic version here. 

Users and Comfort
Butterfield Road is used in a wide variety of ways. Many use Butterfield for commuting, but high numbers of people use the road for school, to access Terra Linda by bicycle, to walk/stroll, or to visit neighbors. With regard to comfort among people walking or bicycling, a majority of respondents only felt comfortable “sometimes” or “seldom.”

Crashes
The survey found that a much larger number of crashes had occurred on Butterfield Road than had been reported to police. Over half of the riders involved in crashes were children.

While most of the crashes we learned about were not particularly serious, it’s important to note that almost all of them could have been. Additionally, even minor crashes (especially those involving cars) are enough for a reasonable parent to tell their child, “I’ll just drive you to school from now on.” 

Respondents were asked whether they would support reconfiguring Butterfield Road to provide a complete bike lane, even if it meant removing some on-street parking. The support for this idea was overwhelming: over 85% of respondents answered “Yes, definitely” or “Yes, potentially” to this question.

The Safety Committee will be distributing information about a public meeting, during which the options for moving forward will be discussed, and folks’ questions will be answered. That meeting will be held on Zoom at 6 PM on Thursday, April 21st.

Larkspur’s Doherty Drive to get New Bike Lanes

Doherty Drive in Larkspur, from Magnolia Avenue to Lucky Drive, is getting an upgrade later this year. Almost one mile of buffered Class II bike lanes will be installed throughout the corridor, and a Class IV protected bikeway will be completed in front of the Redwood High School, between Riviera Circle West and Lucky Drive. This will close crucial gaps in the bike network, connecting several schools, parks, and residences along Doherty Drive to multi-use paths on both ends of the road. Other enhancements include a Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacon at the uncontrolled crosswalk at Rose Lane. These improvements will upgrade existing routes and create new routes, opening up the opportunity for more students to safely walk and bike to school. 

Kids and Parents are Learning About
Safe Bicycling

It’s been a busy start to the spring, and Safe Routes is making the most of this beautiful weather with its education program.  Old Mill, Hidden Valley, Sun Valley, Manor, Brookside, Strawberry Park, Pleasant Valley, Lagunitas, Bolinas, and St. Patrick’s all received pedestrian and bicycle safety classes in the six weeks between the mid-February break and Spring Break. 

In early March, Safe Routes hosted a virtual Family Biking Live webinar.  Marin families tuned in to learn bike and helmet fit, how to navigate the road legally and responsibly, and how to build confident, safe cyclists based on age-appropriate development.  Now that spring has sprung, the  Family Biking classes will return to in-person events that include a family mini bike rodeo.  You can learn more and register for future events here.

The first ever Parent Education Night was hosted by the Mill Valley School District and PTA.  Parents were taught all of the things that their students are learning in school with Safe Routes so that they can reinforce behavior, and were able to address community questions and concerns.  E-bikes were one of the main topics of conversation, as the school district has seen quite a few students using them inappropriately.  Safe Routes offered tips and recommendations to help promote safer biking. To learn more about scheduling a Parent Education Night in your district, contact peggy@marinbike.org.

 

Proud Winner of a New Bike at Lu Sutton

Kindergartener Aiden Collins from Lu Sutton Elementary was the happy winner of a brand new bike and helmet raffled off by Safe Routes to Schools and sponsored by Mike’s Bikes. The giveaway was the idea of Eric Lucan, who is not only the new Mayor of Novato, but also the Chief Marketing Officer at Mike’s Bikes. 

To win the grand prize, Aiden walked to school every day for the Safe Routes’ Walk and Roll Fall Challenge. During October, November and December, students logged the days they walked or rolled to school.

“I liked to walk to school for the challenge. Sometimes we timed ourselves. I like that we got to be outside before school. I LOVE my new bike and want to ride it all the time: on ramps, on trails, and to school!” Aiden says.

PTA President Erin Compton also serves as a parent volunteer for the Safe Routes to Schools events at Lu Sutton. “We knew we had to spread the word and encourage the whole community to participate. When the day came, we had a huge turnout and saw the excitement on the faces of students as they learned they could get in on a chance for a new bike,” she said.

Hot Walk-aLot! a Hit

Sinaloa and Kent middle schools used a little play on words and served up hot chocolate to all walkers and rollers in January and February. Those cold mornings were perfect for a little hot cocoa hand warmer. The posters and broadcast announcements brought out hundreds of walkers, bikers, skateboarders, and scooter riders. We encouraged students who live too far away to PARK 10 minutes away from school and WALK the rest of the way. 

The Vice Principal at Kent was very appreciative. She said, “Thanks for this sweet way to encourage and celebrate our students walking and rolling to school! It’s incredible to know that 300 of our Falcons did so today!”

Special thanks to Peet’s Coffee for supplying us with jugs of hot water. 

Walk for Waffles!

The Kent Eco-Action club wanted to serve-up waffles and whipped cream to all walkers and bikers. But their school had approximately 300 students to feed on the rain-free day – too many waffles to serve!  To solve the problem they decided to have a contest pitting Physical Education (P.E.) classes against each other. The P.E. classes with the most walkers and rollers for an entire week won Waffle Parties –  whip cream too! 

Thanks to P.E. teachers Jason Gatti, Matt Gillespie, and MaryEllen Gore for taking the time to promote walking and rolling during your classes.

A big “Shout Out” to all P.E. teachers because you are the ones who spend extra time emailing us back and forth to schedule our classes. Safe Routes couldn’t administer the education program without you. 

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.