Even as an adult, as soon as August begins to slip into early fall, I can feel the echoes of my childhood back-to-school excitement. It was an optimistic beginning—I could show up and be the best version of myself with a perspective as fresh as my new notebooks. I have the same feeling now, that it’s a good time to review my habits as I soak up the beautiful weather. The new habit I’m trying to form is going for a walk in my neighborhood before starting work from my home office.
I love hearing from our Safe Routes to School and active transportation community with questions about what’s happening on Capitol Hill and with federal policy. Here are some of the questions I got this month while Congress was on recess – and answers to those questions.
What federal funding programs are open that I can apply for to improve walking and bicycling?
At the close of the third quarter of 2023, a few things stand out when we review the quarterly State of the States spreadsheet tracking states’ implementation of the Transportation Alternatives Program. For starters, states are doing a great job obligating funds. In quarter 3, which ended on June 30, 2023, states obligated over $255 million in projects that support walking, bicycling, and Safe Routes to School.
This blog post was collaboratively written by Marisa Jones (Safe Routes Partnership), Caron Whitaker (League of American Bicyclists), and Mende Yangden (National Resources Defense Council).
What is required for long-term change? Our Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program is all about making changes, big and small, to make park access safe, convenient, and equitable for people walking and biking. However, we know that making changes to a sidewalk or holding one community engagement meeting isn’t going to have as long-term of an effect if we don’t zoom out to see the whole system that created unsafe routes or inequities in the first place.