Under the direction of Secretary Foxx, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) is focusing more attention on equity in transportation. Access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation is central to the U.S. DOT agenda, and a key factor in creating ladders of opportunity for disadvantaged communities.
Safe Routes to School programs have demonstrated success in reaching disadvantaged communities, both under the previous SAFETEA-LU transportation legislation (Safe Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users) and the current MAP-21 legislation (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act). This webinar will discuss why effective transportation in disadvantaged communities is important to the U.S. DOT, and highlight key aspects of the Safe Routes to School program that may differ from typical federal transportation programs. Representatives from State Departments of Transportation and a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will describe program measures that support equitable distribution of safe routes funding, and highlight successful projects in low resource communities that improved access to schools and other essential community services.
Wesley Blount, FHWA Safe Routes to School Program Manager, Office of Planning, Environment and Realty, Federal Highway Administration.Mr. Blount will provide an overview of the U.S. DOT perspective and expectations relative to ladders of opportunity.
Seth LaJeunesse, Program Manager, National Center for Safe Routes to School.Mr. LaJeunesse will review highlights from the Federal Safe Routes to School Program under SAFETEA-LU, including data collected on state progress in administering funds. He will introduce various strategies used by State programs and MPO’s to reach disadvantaged communities.
Cookie Leffler, Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Mississippi Department of Transportation.Ms. Leffler will describe measures used by the Mississippi DOT to support disadvantaged communities during the SRTS funding application process and post-project award, and will highlight a successful project in Central Mississippi.
Julie Walcoff, Bicycle Pedestrian and Safe Routes to School Program Manager, Ohio Department of Transportation.Ms. Walcoff will describe Ohio’s school travel planning and project selection process, and highlight a successful project benefiting a low resource community in central Ohio.
Bill Swiatek, Senior Planner, Wilmington Area Planning Council, Delaware.Mr. Swiatek will describe a community planning initiative to improve safety and access to key destinations in an Environmental Justice neighborhood in northern Delaware, including a successful safe routes to school program that also benefits residents.