Safe Routes to School recently announced their approved project list with total funding at $48.5 million dollars. This is a great way to encourage young people to walk or bike to school. However, under the new Transportation Bill, Safe Routes to School will now be a part of the Transportation Enhancement Program and will have to share funds with other bike programs.
The plight of the bicycle always seems to follow in this manner: a dose of good news with a dose of bad. As an example, often bike lanes are added in cities but without connectivity in many areas. I guess I should be appreciative of any progress. (Or maybe that’s the problem! Cyclists are thrilled with even minimal effort from our city’s transportation department.)
But I digress, if funding in your state is still available for the Safe Routes to School (and often states miss out on available funding because paperwork doesn’t get filed in time), there’s still time to collect the remaining amounts until September as Safe Routes to School will be working with states to allocate the funds.
Another way to advocate bicycling in your city is to actually ride your bike, ask local merchants to install bike racks, and stay abreast of how bicycles infrastructure is being added in your neighborhood. The more we can advocate bicycling to the younger generations, the more likely they will be healthier and actually ride their bikes.