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February 2018 edit: Enjoy this look at TTAT past from our archives, then register for TTAT 2018, coming to Austin May 2-4. Questions? Call us at 512-476-7433.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) made its debut at the Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference 2010, thus adding Texas to the list of states that hold a statewide SRTS conference
The four Safe Routes to School breakout sessions featured 12 speakers. Carol Campa, SRTS Coordinator for the Texas Department of Transportation, shared with the attendees the necessary elements to create a high-scoring SRTS grant application. Lourdes Cardenas, with Walter P. Moore Consulting group, joined her to share her expertise on how to prepare a successful SRTS grant proposal.
In another session Gary Graham, Project Manager from BWR Corp. and a SRTS National Course Instructor, shared his wealth of knowledge about school "radius plans". Tareka Wheeler, Director of the Safe Kids Coalition in Austin, showed the excellent work of the participants in Safe Kids Austin's photojournalism project, in which children document their view of a journey to school through photos.
On Friday Docia Craft, a physical education teacher from Murchison Elementary in Pflugerville, told the audience how Murchison organizes one of their hugely successful Bike and Walk to School Days.
Leslie Luciano from Bicycle Sport Shop in Austin; Tim Carlin an inventor of the Freiker program from Colorado; and Krista Rettig, Director of Advocacy at Trek Bicycle Corporation in Wisconsin, introduced the Freiker (Frequent Biker) program to Texas. Following their session they hurried off to the exciting kickoff of the Freiker program at Sommer Elementary in Round Rock. Hundreds of childern, local dignitaries and the media were on hand for the launch.
Freiker uses innovative radio frequency technology to automatically record each child's walking or biking trip to school. Bicycle Sport Shop, Trek Bicycle Co. and BikeTexas jointly sponsored Texas' first Freiker test, while Leslie Luciano led the charge!
The final SRTS session, Successes and Challenges from the Voices of Experience, featured Sharon Canclini, a clinical instructor of Public Health Nursing at Texas Christian University. For the past three years she has combined her passion for teaching young nursing students with the promotion of public health and safety in the community. She told of her huge efforts and the significant challenges to bring a SRTS initiative to a tri-school area in Arlington.
Doug Ballew, a Public Health Educator with the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Dept has over 15 years of experience teaching bicycle safety to children. He spoke about selecting candidate schools for successful SRTS Encouragement Program implementation. Nikki Trevino, a health education specialist with Austin/Travis County, finished off the informative session with an emphasis on using health strategies for SRTS, and the importance of partnerships and collaboration to the success of the program.
Pictured: TxDOT SRTS Coordinator Carol Campa