Issue: 14       

November 2014

 

 

South Jersey SRTS Program

(856) 596-8228

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Communities can earn Sustainable Jersey certification points by participating in SRTS!

Communities that participate in the Sustainable Jersey certification program will be pleased to learn that developing a Safe Routes to School program is an eligible 10 point action item!

For more information about obtaining Sustainable Jersey points for creating an SRTS program, contact David Calderetti at (856) 596-8228 or visit www.sustainablejersey.com.

 

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 transportation.

 

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.

 

 

Local Spotlight: Gibbsboro

   

During the 2013-2014 school year, Cross County Connection began working with Gibbsboro School to develop a sustainable non-infrastructure SRTS program. Gibbsboro is located in Camden County, south of Voorhees Township and serves students from Pre-Kindergarten to Eighth grade with a student population of about 265. This past September, Gibbsboro School rolled out their SRTS program to the delight of students and parents alike! Gibbsboro School holds a Satellite drop-off walk to school day monthly, where students meet up at various spots around the school district and walk to school. Monthly walk to school events are the cornerstone of their program, with bike rodeos scheduled for June of next year to educate and encourage safe bicycling practices.

 

Gibbsboro School is not only encouraging physical health through their SRTS program, but mental health as well through character building. At every monthly event, students are asked to come to school with their character shirt, which helps promote fundamental character traits such as compassion, motivation, and responsibility just to name a few. Character Day helps to instill positive character traits in the Gibbsboro Community, which encourages students to be conscientious of their decisions and their actions towards others.

   

Gibbsboro is also a local leader in the implementation of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The Borough has an extensive 8.69 mile network of off-road paths, the majority of which are located in the wooded eastern portion of the municipality between Old Egg Harbor Road and United States Avenue. These trails feature helpful wayfinding signage and connect to bikeways in Voorhees Township and Lindenwold Borough. Gibbsboro also has an innovative ordinance that requires developers to build a sidewalk or bikeway alongside new developments. By mandating these provisions through their municipal code, Gibbsboro has developed one of the largest existing municipal bicycle networks in Camden County.

 

Gibbsboro School will host its first bike rodeo in June of next year, which coincides with a ribbon cutting for an extension of a local bike path.

 

 

International Walk to School Day Update!

 

International Walk to School Day was held on October 8th, however lots of Walk to School events took place throughout October in southern New Jersey. Some events kicked off year long Walk to School programs and others were inaugural events for first time participants. From Burlington County to Cape May County, Cross County Connection assisted in the coordination of 22 events in the following municipalities:

  • Chesterfield
  • Collingswood
  • Egg Harbor City
  • Fairfield
  • Gibbsboro
  • Haddonfield
  • Margate City
  • Mount Holly
  • National Park
  • Pemberton Township
  • Pleasantville
  • Somers Point
  • Southampton
  • Vineland
  • Woodbine

Collingswood, Margate, and Vineand organized unique events this year. In Collingswood, Tatem Elementary walked for Pink! Students wore pink and carried posters with supportive language as they walked to school to support a teacher who is currently battling cancer.

 

Margate kicked off their weekly Walking Wednesday Program. Every Wednesday, students that walk or bike to school receive a sticker. Students with the most stickers at the end of the year will be entered into a raffle to win a gift certificate from a local surf shop. 

 

In Vineland, Sabater Elementary used Walk to School Day to celebrate a grant that was awarded to the Vineland Health Department to complete a Travel Plan for eight K-8 schools.  

 

Future events will be held in Buena Borough, Hammonton, Maple Shade, and Woodbury Heights during the month of November.  

 

 

Public Service Announcement: Fall into Good Habits - Time Change

 

As we prepare to "fall back" and adjust to changing the clocks, it is important to keep in mind safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as motorists. After school programs do not end during winter months so some students will have to walk or bike home. Please advise students and school staff to follow the tips below to ensure the well-being of all while traveling in the dark. 

 

Walk Safely

  • Wear bright colored clothing with reflective materials
  • Be predictable
    • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
    • Look left, right and left again when crossing and stay alert as you cross
  • Keep electronic devices stored in a safe place and keep your head up, paying attention as you cross the street.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them
  • When possible, walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up
  • Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars

 

Bike Safety 

  • Wear reflective clothing
  • Make sure your bike has working lights; a red light should be connected to the seat post and a white light should be connected to the handlebars
  • Always wear a helmet

 

Be a Conscientious Motorist 

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs
  • Keep your headlights on
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully

 

 

 

Local SRTS Programs in the News

 

Egg Harbor City to support International Walk to School Day  

October 6, 2014 | Shore News Today  

 

Taking steps toward health, safety in Vineland 

October 8, 2014 | The Daily Journal

 

Zane North Stars Join International Walk to School Movement  

October 10, 2014 | Collingswood Public Schools

 

Margate's Walk to School Day promotes good health, safety, and independence for children 

October 13, 2014 | Shore News Today 

 

                      

 

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.

 

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