Issue: 3  

November/December 2013

 

 

South Jersey SRTS Program

(856) 596-8228

 

 

SRTS Resources:

 

 

 

 

 



Safe Routes News

 

 

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.

 

SRTS Recognition Program Deadline is Fast Approaching

 

Has your school or community participated in SRTS activities that promote safe pedestrian and bicycle activity? If yes, then your school qualifies to be nominated into the SRTS Recognition Program. The nomination deadline is fast approaching and come mid-January all applications are due.

  

Recognition with the New Jersey Safe Routes to School program helps schools and municipalities achieve a sustainable SRTS program. If awarded NJ SRTS Recognition, your school will be listed on the NJ SRTS website, receive a certificate of recognition from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and will be highlighted in the SRTS Scoop Blog.

 

Participants in the SRTS Recognition Program will:  

 

  • Gain access to technical assistance from New Jersey's SRTS Regional Coordinators
  • Promote and encourage safe walking and biking to school for students in their communities
  • Earn Sustainable Jersey points for their municipality
  • Gain recognition both locally and statewide for efforts towards enhancing SRTS

If you think your school is eligible, please visit www.saferoutesnj.org for more information, or contact David Calderetti at (856) 596-8228.

 

 

 

Walk to School Month (iWalk) is Over, What Now?

 

Riding the wave of momentum generated from participating in iWalk events is crucial to creating sustainable SRTS programs. With October behind us, you may be asking yourself "what now?" Although annual events are a great start, capitalizing on the enthusiasm of students will help facilitate a permanent change in your community. Below are a few ways to progress SRTS efforts over the next few months.

 

Conduct Student Travel Tallies and Parent Surveys. Student Travel Tallies are a great way to make the case for hosting more walk/bike to school events - a decrease in traffic congestion observed during designated Walk to School Days shows that an impact has been made. Send parents/guardians a letter, along with a survey, to let them know how successful the event was and its effects on student travel. Ask for feedback to plan future events.

 

Schedule weekly or monthly events. Themed events are a great way to increase participation and student camaraderie. Fun names like Walking Wednesday or Foot Trip Friday can capture interest. Themes that coincide with monthly observances can be fun, too.    

 

 

 

STEP up your program with Walking School Buses. Parent recruitment can be made easy through Parent Surveys that can be sent home. Have parents lead a group of students that walk a fixed route to school.

 

Including Safe Routes to School in your school's Wellness Policy is a great way to solidify the initiative.

 

 

 

Jingle Walk All the Way to School

 

Living in the Northeast, we all must deal with seasonal temperature changes. What does not change is the fact that children still need to get to and from school whether or not the conditions outside are favorable. SRTS programs do not have to suffer and be put in the closet to collect dust until Spring.

 

In an effort to keep SRTS momentum going throughout  

the winter months, schools in Fairfield, Pemberton and Absecon are participating in themed walk to school events for the Holiday Season. To help get into the festive spirit, these events are called Jingle Walks. In these communities, teachers, parents and volunteers will be escorting students to school from various locations. What better way to celebrate the holidays than to promote comaradery?

 

 

 

Welcome Aboard!

 

Cross County Connection TMA  would like to congratulate the following  school districts that have recently passed a Resolution of Support in favor of establishing Safe Routes to School programs:     

 

  • Absecon  
  • Collingswood
  • Fairfield
  • Hammonton
  • Somers Point

 

Moving forward, Cross County Connection TMA will be assisting these districts with the implementation of bicycle and pedestrian educational and encouragement activities in their schools. The collaborative efforts will work toward decreasing traffic and pollution near schools and increasing the health of children and their communities.

 

 

 

Safety Message

 

With fall upon us and winter approaching, two things reign true: it is getting colder and hours of sunlight are minimal. Fret not; these facts are not reasons to suspend outdoor activities. By having a "safety first" mindset, there are precautions that can be taken to keep walking and bicycling programs moving. 

 

During the winter months, with low light conditions worsened by the  occasional winter storm, it becomes imperative to wear reflective gear and carry a flashlight. Inexpensive items like glow in the dark bracelets and zipper pulls make walking and bicycling much safer. Just like in warmer months, pedestrians should be very predictable when traveling; using crosswalks and sidewalks when available allows other roadway users to assume pedestrian movement. If you bicycle, be sure to purchase a white travel light for the front of your bike and a red one for the back. Wearing bright colored clothes will also help you stand out when bicycling or walking.

 

In the northeast, each change of season is marked by new weather conditions that we must adjust to. When the question arises as to how to continue SRTS activities throughout fall and winter months, it is helpful to realize that the success of an event can only be judged by doing, not assuming. Always keep in mind, dress appropriately and have fun!

 

 

 

                      

 

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.