Safe Routes to Schools Need Funding in Pennsylvania

Today we bring you a call for action from Pennsylvania network member Bike PGH, which is asking Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell to release funds for the state’s Safe Routes to Schools program:

1627979622_0b4f1a5309_m.jpgPhoto by pawpaw67 via Flickr.

[One] measure of bike and pedestrian friendliness is the level to which Safe Routes to Schools are funded. Well, we have bad news… PA ranks 49th in the nation on Safe Routes to School spending.

If you look at the Safe Routes to School programs map below you’ll notice an enormous hole where PA is filled with only a handful of orange dots. This is shameful.

Pennsylvania has received $21 million over five years (FY05 – 09) for the federal Safe Routes to School program. So far it has only released $2 million of that money to date. Of this $2 million only $55,000 has actually made its way into our communities. This leaves an overwhelming majority of that $21 million collecting dust that is earmarked for making our streets safer so kids can walk and ride bikes to school. We want Governor Rendell to release this money for its intended use—to make our communities safer for kids to walk and bike to school.

Safe Routes to Schools, a national program that "assists communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bike to school" is one of the most promising avenues out there for changing attitudes toward walking and cycling at the generational level. Gov. Rendell is a traditional ally of sustainable transportation advocates, so — presumably — he’ll be glad to hear from his constituents on this issue. If you’re one of them, you can reach the governor’s office at (717) 787-2500.

In a related item from the network, The Overhead Wire picks up a New York Times story about a "piedibus," or "foot-bus," in a small Italian town — an organized group of students, led by adults, that walks safely to and from school each day. Kaid Benfield on NRDC Switchboard looks at a recent slideshow on TIME magazine’s website about shuttered big-box stores, and the accompanying article about "recycling suburbia." And The Bus Bench delivers another tough-minded analysis of the way class differences play out on the buses of Los Angeles.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

An Emerging New Bike Plan for San Francisco is a Bold Path Forward

|
After four years of an agonizing bicycle injunction that prevented the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) from adding any significant improvements to the city’s bike network, a judge earlier this year finally freed the SFMTA to begin building out the city’s long-promised Bicycle Plan. In short order, the SFMTA made some very noticeable improvements, […]

Advocates Call on Gov. Brown to Prioritize Biking, Walking in State Budget

|
This article is cross-posted from the blog of former Streetsblog SF editor Bryan Goebel, who’s aiming to launch a new website “devoted to sustained coverage of biking, walking and transit issues in Sacramento, both at the Capitol and locally.” You can also follow Bryan on Twitter. A proposal in Governor Jerry Brown’s budget that would change how the administration doles […]
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Regional Measure 3 Heads for the Ballot

|
Tolls on most Bay Area bridges will reach $9 by 2025 to raise $4.45 billion for transportation projects, if Regional Measure 3 (RM-3) is approved by voters in June. Yesterday, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) approved putting RM-3 on the June 5 ballot in the nine Bay Area counties. The measure will […]

San Mateo County Bike/Ped Safety Projects Starved for Funding

|
Despite growing demand for better walking and biking infrastructure in San Mateo County, active transportation grants from the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG) cover only a fraction of the projects that cities want to build, leaving many residents without the sidewalks, bike lanes, and other basic ingredients they need to safely […]

SFPD Tickets Bike Commuters Trying to Get By Car Queue on Page Street

|
Here’s today’s edition of egregious waste of SFPD resources used to harass people on bikes. SFPD officers were posted at the bottom of the hill on Page Street at Octavia Boulevard this morning ticketing bike commuters who squeezed to the left of stopped cars. Freeway-bound drivers routinely queue up to turn right, occupying several blocks of Page’s only eastbound traffic […]