Have you looked at your school, district or community policy concerning walking and biking to school? Several districts have been grappling with designing policy that benefits all constituents while allowing children and youth, and their parents, to feel comfortable walking and biking to school. 

Here's a tool from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.  This interactive policy tool walks you through the needed steps to develop your own Safe Routes to School district policy! 

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Below are some examples of policies that have been enacted in Oregon and throughout the country that could be a start for your school and/or district:

H.R.3 is called SAFETEA-LU and is the Federal Transportation funding package passed by Congress in 2005. It has a funded provision for establishment of a national and state based Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS or SR2S).     Funding is allocated based on the number of K-8 students in the state. The ODOT Transportation Safety Division (TSD) will administer the program in Oregon. ODOT TSD estimates funding will be approximately $1 million per year for 5 years. The full text of the legislation passed by congress can be accessed via the web link below: 

H.R.3 – SAFETEA-LU – Subtitle D – Highway Safety, Section 1404 - Safe Routes to School (Federal – enacted in 2005)  http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/safetealu/factsheets/saferoutes.htm    

ORS 2745 was enacted by the 2005 State Legislature, establishing a State Safe Routes to School Program, to be coordinated with SAFETEA-LU. No funding was provided by this legislation, though it addresses possible options for the Federal monies. The full Statute can be access via the web link below:      

ORS 2742 – Safe Routes to School Funding (State) {Enacted in 2005}

ORS 195.115 was passed by the state legislature in 2003 (see text below). It requires local governments to identify barriers to bicycling and walking to schools in their jurisdiction. No funding was provided. The statute reads,    

“ORS 195.115 Reducing barriers for pedestrian and bicycle access to schools. City and county governing bodies shall work with school district personnel to identify barriers and hazards to children walking or bicycling to and from school. The cities, counties and districts may develop a plan for funding of improvements to reduce barriers and hazards identified." [2001 c.940 1]    

Note: 195.115 was enacted into law by the {2003} Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS Chapter 195 or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.”

School Siting – SB 962 (2007) “City and county governing bodies shall work with school district personnel to identify barriers and hazards to children walking or bicycling to and from school. The cities, counties and districts may develop a plan for the funding of improvements designed to reduce barriers and hazards. The school districts shall work with cities and counties when making school siting decisions to ensure that the decisions place priority on factors that facilitate walking or bicycling to and from school by children.”

School Zone Speed Limits – HB 2840 (2005) Oregon House Bill 2840 made sweeping changes to the state’s school speed zone laws to establish clear and fair standards for enforcement of school speed zones. Before the bill, speed limits in school zones were enforced 24 hours a day, seven day a week. The new speed limit law is enforced only when school zone lights are flashing or between the hours of 7 am to 5 pm during school days.

Below are excellent resources looking at programs and policies throughout the country:

2009 Policy Report: Moving to the Future: Building on Early Achievements

Getting Students Active through Safe Routes to School: Policies and Action Steps for Education Policymakers and Professionals  

National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Program  

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