Embracing Equity in Safe Routes to School Programs

Serving all members of all Oregon communities

What do we mean by equity?
Equity recognizes that people from different backgrounds have unique barriers to living healthy, fulfilled lives. To support breakthrough outcomes for historically marginalized communities throughout Oregon we need to understand the different barriers and opportunities that affect different groups, and craft our policies, programs, and overall approaches with those various challenges and needs in mind.

What does it have to do with Safe Routes to School?

  • Children from low-income families are twice as likely as children from wealthier families to walk to school, but they often face significant traffic and personal safety challenges on the trip to school.
  • Low-income, urban residents are more likely to experience busy streets, poor pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and threats from crime and violence.
  • Low-income, rural communities often lack sidewalks and may see high-speed state highways bisecting their communities.
  • Low-income communities and communities of color often have inadequate street infrastructure and do not have the funding, strong policies, or staffing resources available for building streets that are safe for walking and bicycling.

How does ORSRTS advance equity?
We believe all children and adults of all economic and social backgrounds, and people of all physical and mental abilities deserve the right to walk and bike safely in their communities. Oregon Safe Routes to School is committed to advancing active transportation in underserved communities and schools. We know that if we foster communities that support health and opportunity for historically underserved populations we can help get more children and families walking, biking and rolling to school safely.

We are working to build equitable outcomes into Safe Routes to School initiatives in Oregon. As a network of SRTS advocates and practitioners our intention is to make more resources available to the broader ORSRTS network.

Have ideas or want to get more involved, please let us know here.

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