Issue: 4  

January 2014

 

 

South Jersey SRTS Program

(856) 596-8228

 

SRTS Resources:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Cross County Connection's South Jersey Safe Routes to School Newsletter! These newsletters contain in-depth articles, news items, and examples of Safe Routes to School work in South Jersey. We hope you enjoy!  

 

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a national program that encourages children to be more physically active and creates safe, convenient and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from their schools. The program also encourages changes in travel behavior, supports increased traffic law enforcement around schools and educates communities about the benefits of active transport.

 

If your school district or community is interested in learning more about SRTS, contact David Calderetti, SRTS Coordinator for Cross County Connection, at (856) 596-8228 or calderetti@driveless.com.

 

 

Infrastructure Grant Opportunities

 

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) will be soliciting applications for the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Infrastructure Grant within the coming weeks. Infrastructure projects include the construction or installation of sidewalks, crosswalks, pedestrian signals, traffic-calming devices, and bicycle facilities within two miles of K-8 schools. These grants are highly competitive. A competitive application should demonstrate municipal and school district support through participation in walking and bicycling education and encouragement activities, supportive walking and bicycling to school policies, and the adoption of Resolutions of Support in favor of SRTS.

 

 

Cross County Connection would like to work with your community to create or grow a SRTS program. Currently, we are working with Absecon, Egg Harbor City, Haddonfield, Fairfield, Pemberton, National Park, Southampton, and Vineland, just to name a few. In Fiscal Year 2012, Egg Harbor City, Galloway, Edgewater Park, Lindenwold, and Haddonfield were awarded SRTS Infrastructure Grants for pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements. Join the growing list of South Jersey towns that participate in SRTS for your chance to be awarded this great opportunity to improve your community.

 

For more information on SRTS Infrastructure Grant opportunities, please visit http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/business/localaid/srts.shtm.

 

 

Bike to School Month 2014

 

With 2014 upon us and Spring right around the corner, Cross County Connection has begun booking events for May's National Bike to School Month! Every year, students across the country take part in events that educate and encourage safe bicycling practices. From Bike to School Days to Bicycle Rodeos, Cross County Connection assists schools throughout southern New Jersey to coordinate activities that celebrate this annual event.

 

In recent years, Bicycle Rodeos held in the City of Camden, Chesterfield, National Park, Fairfield, and Magnolia saw over 400 participants, collectively. A Bicycle Rodeo is a clinic that teaches children the skills to ride a bicycle safely. Cross County Connection can assist your school, school district or municipality in the organization of a rodeo, by setting up the skills course, inviting a local bicycle shop to provide free tune-ups and distributing safety materials and giveaways. All you need to do is provide sufficient space and adult volunteers to man the skills stations.

 

Along with the Bike Rodeos, most towns like to follow up the clinic by hosting a Bike to School Day. In Haddonfield and Egg Harbor City, these events are a tremendous hit with the student body. The number of participants grows exponentially year after year. Bike to School Days are a great way to increase comradery amongst students, while promoting healthy and active lifestyles. Cross County Connection can attend your Bike to School Day and provide quick and simple seminars on how to adjust and fit a helmet!

 

For assistance in organizing Bike to School Month activities for this coming May, please contact Cross County Connection's Safe Routes to School Coordinator, David Calderetti, at Calderetti@driveless.com.

 

 

The National SRTS Center Releases School Policy Workbook Tool

 

Are you looking to help strengthen your SRTS Program through policy changes? In December, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and ChangeLab Solutions released an interactive Safe Routes to School Policy Workbook tool. It is designed to help school board members, administrators, PTA/PTOs, and community members create and implement policies that support active transportation and Safe Routes to School programs.

  

While some view schools solely as settings for education, others recognize schools to be in a prime position to influence the health and behavior of children. According to a study by Michigan State University, students who received an hour of physical activity per day in addition to the standard physical education class showed better academic performance compared to students who only had the standard physical education class. Research such as this demonstrates the distinct relationship between health and educational achievement.

 

SRTS is an initiative that aims to increase the physical activity of children to combat childhood obesity rates by educating and encouraging children to walk and bike to school where it is safe to do so. If your school has been participating in SRTS encouragement activities and is looking to take the next step needed to ensure your program is sustainable, or if you are strictly looking to make active transportation policy changes, please visit http://changelabsolutions.org/safe-routes/welcome.

  

 

                      

 

Sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Transportation with funding from the Federal Highway Administration. The Federal Government and the NJDOT assume no liability for the contents.