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Congressman Brown Reintroduces Legislation to Improve School Routes Safety

"It’s estimated that Safe Routes to School infrastructure improvements, currently funded through the Transportation Alternative Program, resulted in a 75 percent reduction in collisions involving people of all ages walking and bicycling."

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) reintroduced the “Safe Routes to School Expansion Act” which would expand funding for infrastructure improvements critical to student safety. The legislation expands eligibility under the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) to include projects under  Safe Routes to School Programs such as sidewalks, crosswalks, signage and bus stop shelters. The “Safe Routes to School Expansion Act” was included in the landmark infrastructure package the House of Representatives passed last year.

“Students, parents and educators deserve infrastructure around our schools that promote safety and accessibility,” said Congressman Anthony Brown. “By prioritizing the safety of our students and teachers going to and from school, we will better facilitate a quality educational environment and put an end to preventable, heartbreaking tragedies. Schools are the cornerstones of our communities and the improvements we make to school routes will ultimately benefit all pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists alike.”

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 1 in 5 children killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians. Currently 20 percent of traffic deaths are people biking and walking. Yet less than one percent of Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) money is used to address these issues. It’s estimated that Safe Routes to School infrastructure improvements, currently funded through the Transportation Alternative Program, resulted in a 75 percent reduction in collisions involving people of all ages walking and bicycling. 

The “Safe Routes to School Expansion Act” will also allow the Department of Transportation to fund non-infrastructure related projects such as awareness campaigns on pedestrian and bus stop safety. The bill would also require the consultation of educational officials in safety planning.

Cosponsors of this bill include fellow members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; Congresswoman Julia Brownley (CA-26), Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Congressman Jared Huffman (CA-02), Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01) and Congressman Andre Carson (IN-07).

The “Safe Routes to School Expansion Act” is endorsed by the Safe Routes Partnership, League of American Bicyclists, American Public Health Association, American Planning Association, American College of Sports Medicine, American Society of Landscape Architects, Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, Association of SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators, Association of State Public Health Nutritionists, Health Resources in Action, Healthy Schools Campaign, National Athletic Trainers' Association, Public Health Institute, Society for Public Health Educators, Trust for America's Health and American Heart Association.

“The Safe Routes Partnership applauds Representative Brown for his continued leadership in reintroducing the Safe Routes to School Expansion Act," said Cassandra Isidro, Executive Director of the Safe Routes Partnership. "This bill would restore key elements of the original Safe Routes to School program that created safe routes in communities of all sizes across all 50 states and would give states more flexibility to use safety dollars to keep kids out of harm's way walking and rolling to school. We are thrilled with this comprehensive approach and encourage Congress to take this important step toward making it easier, safer, and more equitable for kids to walk and bicycle to and from school and throughout their communities.”

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