This May, a bill surfaced in the U.S. Senate  that would triple federal funding for Safe Routes to School  programs. Livable Streets Community activists have been on the case this week, mobilizing  support 
for the measure. In many communities, however, local policies also have
to change to help kids get to school by walking or biking.
Leigh Ann Von Hagen  -- a planner at Rutgers' NJ Safe Routes to School Resource Center  -- writes about the uphill battle New Jersey advocates are fighting in school districts where students have actually been banned from biking :
Banning bicycling to school is way too common throughout our state. We are in the planning stages of conducting a statewide survey to find out how often bicycling is banned. We are also developing a model policy for walking and bicycling to school. It is true that teenage driving is significantly more dangerous than students bicycling when you look at crash statistics. Yet, no schools consider banning teenage drivers.
Schools often use liability concerns  to get out of taking account of
walking and bicycling to school conditions. A good Safe Routes to School Travel Plan would help with liability issues.
Hagen brought the bike ban to the attention of activists in the Collingswood Streets  group, who promptly got going on a campaign to convince the local school board to overturn the ban .
Also this week: The Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition  is calling for suggestions on where to conduct LA's first-ever bike and pedestrian count . And in NYC, we're pleased to welcome Harlem & Hamilton Heights Livable Streets  and to see the resurgence of Bike Hoboken  and the Brooklyn Bridge Cycle Track Advocates .