2011-2012 Summary Annual Report: Promotion

Highlights

  • Documented more than 170,000 visits to the National Center’s website.
  • Selected two 2011 Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award recipients, Heatherwood Elementary in Boulder, Colo., and Omro Middle School in Omro, Wis.
  • Coordinated Walk to School events in the U.S. on October 5, 2011. Participation reached a record high with more than 4,000 registered events from all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
  • Held the first national Bike to School Day on May 9, 2012, with 950 events registered in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Launched a new website: www.walkbiketoschool.org.
  • Held an in-person meeting of the National Review Group.
  • Awarded 26 mini-grants to support local SRTS programs, bringing the total number of mini-grant awards to 135.

Website

The National Center’s website, www.saferoutesinfo.org, is an efficient tool to facilitate the dissemination of information to the general public, state governments and local stakeholders. The more than 170,000 visitors to the website this year highlight the interest and reach of SRTS. Visitors benefit from an array of easily accessible online resources from the SRTS Guide to news releases on new products and services, including case studies and available training.

Below are the number of visits, visitors and pages viewed by quarter.

Quarter Visits Visitors Page Views
July-September 56,768 45,204 161,088
October–December 55,399 43,778 147,037
January-March 54,273 43,610 144,216
April-June 53,547 42,760 132,580
Total 219,987 170,127 584,921

E-newsletter

The National Center’s Safe Routes Matters e-newsletter has more than 4,300 subscribers who receive a regular newsletter as well as news briefs that announce new resources and upcoming events.

International Walk to School and National Bike to School Events

The National Center for Safe Routes to School actively promotes International Walk to School Day and Month in October, and maintains websites especially designed for the event (walktoschool.org for U.S. and iwalktoschool.org for the international community). In spring of 2012, the National Center held the first National Bike to School Day and launched a new website to support both U.S. events: walkbiketoschool.org. Combined visits to both the old Walk to School website and new Walk and Bike to School website reached 98,124 visits during the reporting period. Of these visits, the Walk and Bike to School website, which was launched in April 2012, garnered 23,987 visits from 16,751 unique visitors by the end of June 2012. The website houses a new resource introduced in time for Bike to School Day; Map-a-Route is a route mapping tool that is part of a “tool box” for Bike and Walk to School Day event coordinators.

2011 Walk to School Day and Month

In 2011 Walk to School Day and Month participation reached a record high with more than 4,000 events from all 50 states and the District of Columbia registered on the Walk to School website (walktoschool.org). Many additional communities held events but did not register.

The National Center for Safe Routes to School supported Walk to School Day and Month in a variety of ways beyond its websites.

  • Created and posted new Walk to School Day 2011 logo with “Hike it! Bike it! I like it!” slogan.
  • Developed and distributed seven weekly Walk to School Day e-newsletters for 2011 event organizers.
  • Provided 17 State Coordinators with weekly reports of events within their state.
  • Provided downloadable event planning resources and technical support, via email and phone, for event organizers.
  • Organized and participated in two national events:
    • In New York City, as a collaboration with NYC DOT, the U.N. Decade of Action for Road Safety, SafeKids and Sesame Street Workshop.
    • In Washington, D.C., with Secretary Ray LaHood and Administrator Mendez, as a collaboration with DC DOT, Safe Kids and the Office of the Secretary.

2012 Bike to School Day

The National Center held the first national Bike to School Day on May 9, 2012, and registered 950 events in 49 states and the District of Columbia.

The National Center for Safe Routes to School supported Bike to School Day in a variety of ways beyond its websites.

  • Co-hosted a national Bike to School Day event in Lincoln Park, Washington, D.C., with the District Department of Transportation. Participants included more than 200 students and parents from 12 Capitol Hill area schools, NHTSA Administrator David L. Strickland, and representatives from SafeKids Worldwide and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.
  • Awarded 10 bicycle racks in a bike rack prize giveaway co-sponsored by Saris Racks.
  • Designed a Bike to School Day logo.
  • Designed and promoted the use of event materials branded with the Bike to School Day logo such as event fliers, banners, stickers, badges and certificates.
  • Partnered with League of American Bicyclists to promote Bike to School Day on its website and at the National Bike Summit.

James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award

The National Center established the Safe Routes to School Award in 2007 to recognize outstanding achievement in improving the health and well-being of an entire generation of schoolchildren by creating safer environments for walking and bicycling to school and encouraging children to walk to and from school. It is named for Congressman James L. Oberstar to honor his dedication to American schoolchildren as the pioneer for the National Safe Routes to School Program.

  • The National Center for Safe Routes to School (with its Selection Committee) selected two Safe Routes to School Award recipients in 2011: Heatherwood Elementary in Boulder, Colo., and Omro Middle School in Omro, Wis.
  • In February 2012, the awards were presented to both schools in separate ceremonies. During the Omro Middle School ceremony, the SRTS National Partnership presented a plaque of special recognition to Congressman Petri after the SRTS Award presentation.

National Review Group

In 2009, the National Center established a National Review Group comprised of more than 30 transportation, education, health and advocacy leaders, to provide advice and feedback on the goals and objectives of the National Center.

  • In lieu of a fall conference call, the National Center communicated individually with existing NRG members to thank them for their service, provide them with two recent evaluation reports, elicit their concerns or ideas regarding the SRTS program and ask them to continue their service to the National Center as appropriate.
  • The fourth in-person meeting of the National Review Group was held in conjunction with the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C., in March 2012. The group discussed local SRTS program success stories, received an update on the federal transportation legislation, reviewed the new walkbiketoschool.org website and provided input on future considerations for the National Center.
  • Prior to the 2012 meeting, National Center staff identified potential new strategic members for the National Review Group. Five new organizations accepted an invitation and sent representatives to attend the March 2012 meeting:
    • National Association of School Resource Officers;
    • National Organizations for Youth Safety;
    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Children’s Health Protection;
    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Sustainable Communities; and
    • U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Education.

Mini-grants

The National Center mini-grant program is designed to foster additional SRTS programs by providing funds to communities or schools to begin or expand program activities. Five rounds of mini-grants have been offered since Spring 2010, providing grants of $1,000 to 135 schools across the country.

During this reporting period:

  • Summary reports for the first three funding rounds were sent to FHWA.
  • Round 4 mini-grants were implemented and final reports were reviewed.
  • A Call for Applications was released, 26 awards were made and implemented, and final reports reviewed for Round 5 mini-grants.

Participation in Teleconferences and Conferences Related to SRTS

Staff from the National Center for Safe Routes to School participated in conferences as attendees and as presenters to reach groups of stakeholders who can influence the development and success of Safe Routes to School programs.

  • The National Center sponsored and participated in the third SRTS National Conference in Minneapolis, Minn., August 16–18, 2011.
    • Made seven presentations (including two plenary remarks).
    • Provided background information for the plenary presentation by FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez.
    • Held Annual State SRTS Coordinators’ Meeting in conjunction with the conference so that Coordinators could also participate.
  • Conducted additional presentations at:
    • 2012 Lifesavers Conference;
    • National PTA Health and Safety Chairs Monthly Teleconference; and
    • Meetings of the TRB Pedestrian Committee, Bike Committee and School Transportation Subcommittee.
  • Staffed a booth at:
    • 2012 National Bike Summit; and
    • Bureau of Indian Education Summer Institute.

 

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