Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ask Connecticut's Senators to Co-Sponsor the Safe Routes to School Reauthorization Bill

On May 21, 2009, Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Susan Collins (R-ME) joined together to introduce the Safe Routes to School Program Reauthorization Act (S. 1156). S. 1156 would expand funding for SRTS to $600 million per year, include high schools, simplify regulatory compliance to improve project delivery, and strengthen research and evaluation. All of these changes will make SRTS grants more widely available, and help more schools and communities across the country make it safer for children to walk and bicycle to school.

This is an exciting step forward, as these five diverse Senators have agreed to champion the program. Now, Connecticut's Senators need to hear from more constituents about the importance of strengthening the Safe Routes to School program in the next transportation bill.

Please take a few minutes to contact Senator Lieberman and Senator Dodd to ask them to show their support for the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program by co-sponsoring the legislation. If you do not already have personal contacts within their offices or do not wish to make a direct phone call, one way to do so is to follow this link: A list of national supporters can be found here.

It is a good idea to personalize your message with a sentence or two about Safe Routes to School needs in Connecticut. Connecticut's school districts have participated in the program in a fairly limited way so far, but interest has been growing over the past two years, and an application for the program is expected to be submitted for New Haven in the coming year.

For more details on the legislation, including a summary of the bill’s provisions, a list of supporting organizations, and the text of the legislation, please visit

Hat tip to Keep Kids Alive Drive 25, one of New Haven Safe Streets Coalition's partner organizations, for information that this post was adapted from.

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