Safe Routes to School National Conference to be Held in Ohio
The national Safe Routes to School program helps school districts and local governments improve roads, add signals, build paths or take other actions to help young people walk or ride bikes to school safely. There is a broad coalition of professionals encouraging active transportation and they will meet in Ohio in 2016 for a large conference.
School officials, elected officials, state and federal agencies, professionals in planning, public health, and parks and recreation are all concerned with national programs to encourage more young people to walk and bike to school. The Safe Routes to School Conference invites this diverse group to a comprehensive seminar on the subject every other year. The 2016 Safe Routes Conference will be held in Columbus, Ohio April 5-7, 2016. Early bird registration is now open for the conference.
The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program can be a source of significant funding for jurisdictions with a solid plan. The City of Toledo will receive about $460,000 in SRTS funding for district-wide infrastructure improvements. See that story here.
The April 2016 agenda includes nearly 50 sessions, workshops, and tours. Officials who are developing a School Travel Plan (required before applying for funding) will learn strategies and tools for success. Case studies will show how SRTS programs can work in low-income communities and in rural areas. See more about the Ohio requirements for a School Travel Plan here.
The program will span three days with optional pre- and post-conference events. The schedule includes a mix of plenary sessions, breakouts, workshops, and many special events. It will also feature mobile workshops and tours of local model programs and projects in the region.
The conference host is MORPC, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, a TMACOG partner and a member of the Ohio Association of Regional Councils. Previous conferences have been held in Dearborn, Michigan; Portland, Oregon; Sacramento, and Minneapolis.
The conference is sponsored by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.