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Deb Hubsmith to Present National Safe Routes to Schools Proposal to Congressional Briefing on April 7, 2005

Deb HubsmithOn Thursday April 7, Deb Hubsmith, Advocacy Director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, will present a national Safe Routes to Schools proposal in the Nation's Capitol before Congressional members and their staff.

This Thursday's policy briefing in Washington DC will highlight the importance of key bicycling provisions in the House and Senate versions of the federal transportation bill. Deb Hubsmith will present on Marin's national model Safe Routes to Schools program, Mele Williams from the League of American Bicyclists will also be speaking, as will Congressional members and key Committee staffers. The event is being hosted by the Congressional Bike Caucus, Chaired by Congressman Earl Blumenauer.

Congressman James OberstarCongressman James Oberstar (D-MN), the ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, selected Marin County in the year 2000 to be a national model for Safe Routes to Schools after meeting with Hubsmith, Joe Breeze (bicycle innovator), and former Supervisor John Kress in Washington DC. Since that time, Marin County's Safe Routes to Schools program has grown to include nearly 40 schools at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Marin's Measure A will provide $36 million for Safe Routes to Schools over the next 20 years in Marin, including funding for the educational program, crossing guards, and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure to improve safety around schools.

Hubsmith's speech in the Capitol will highlight how the educational component of Marin County's Safe Routes to Schools program is working. The program reduced traffic around schools by 13% last year, with some schools doubling the number of children walking and bicycling.

Press Conference at U.S. CapitolThe House of Representatives version of the transportation bill currently includes $875 million to create a national Safe Routes to Schools program (with funds for both education and infrastructure), to be distributed through States over the next five years. The Senate version of the bill will go to the Senate floor later this month and currently does not have funds for the educational component of Safe Routes to Schools. Hubsmith's presentation is intended to provide the information to change that omission.

Deb Hubsmith states, "Everyone who has ever worked to promote Marin's Safe Routes to Schools program should be applauded. Marin's local success contributed substantially towards getting Safe Routes to Schools into the draft federal transportation bill."