Applications are now being accepted for the 2012 James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award. The Award recognizes schools and communities that have improved the safety or increased the number of elementary and/or middle school students who walk and bicycle to school. Every year, the National Center for Safe Routes to School gives the Award to an exemplary Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program in the United States.
The application deadline is Thursday, June 28, 2012, at midnight Eastern Time. To learn more and to download the application, view the Call for Applications.
The Award is named for James L. Oberstar, former chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (2007-2011) who served as U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District from 1975-2011. The federal Safe Routes to School Program, which strives to create safe settings to enable more children and parents to walk and bicycle to school, was begun under his leadership.
Past winners include:
2011: Heatherwood Elementary School (Boulder, Colo.) and Omro Middle School (Omro, Wis.) both received the Award. Heatherwood took on ambitious infrastructure, education and encouragement activities that increased the percentage of students regularly walking and bicycling to school. Omro integrated active commuting into its school culture through an innovative cycling program using a fleet of 35+ bicycles maintained by the school’s “Young Mechanics.”
2010: Alpine Elementary School (Alpine, Utah) increased the percentage of children who regularly walked and bicycled to school and encouraged families to shift habits to a less car-focused commute.
2009: Ben W. Murch Elementary School (Washington, D.C.) built community support and infrastructure for safe walking and bicycling to school and overturned a school policy that had discouraged walking and bicycling to school.
2008: Bear Creek Elementary School (Boulder, Colo.) engaged 70 percent of the student population in walking and bicycling throughout the school year.
2007: The Michigan Department of Transportation successfully and expeditiously implemented a statewide Safe Routes to School program.