Safe Routes to Schools is a Sound Investment

Feb 26, 2013 by

Safe Routes to Schools is a Sound Investment

Our kids are worth investing in.

SB 5506 (Safe Routes to Schools) responds to the recent federal transportation budget changes by ensuring that current SRTS budgets are secure for the future. While this bill already had its hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee on Feb. 13, it still needs to be voted on this week or face being put on the shelf until next year. Senate Committee Transportation member information can be found here.

You can help!

  1. Communicate with all members of the Senate Transportation Committee ASAP – email, phone or letter and ask them to get this bill voted on this week.
  2. As a backup plan, tell Committee members that even if the bill does not get a vote this week, that the crux of this bill can also be captured in the annual transportation budget.
  3. Use your own advocacy network to alert your constituencies about the importance of SB 5506.

What you should know –
SB 5506 provides a guaranteed infrastructure to Safe Routes to School programs statewide

  • We hear about the numbers nearly every day—21% of healthcare spending is on obesity and it’s threatening to overwhelm the healthcare system. Right now, Washington State has adult obesity rates of 25-30%, and our kids aren’t far behind. Developing a transportation system that works for all people is a necessary component of obesity prevention.
  • Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are increasing children’s walking and bicycling to school where the funding has reached, but there are many more worthy applications that are going unfunded.
  • Daily physical activities like walking or biking to school are needed for our youth. The health benefits are clear and it also enables students to be ready to learn.
  • Providing safe access for our students is particularly important in disadvantaged communities. Low-income populations may be more likely to walk for transport and have more exposure to traffic hazards, making these SRTS programs invaluable.

We encourage you to use the above points and our letter in contacting the Senate Transportation Committee and spreading the word on SB 5506. Let’s make our streets safer for our kids to walk, bike and play!

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