What do a walking street sign, a rolling beetle, 650 Safe Routes to School practitioners, and 135 PowerPoint presentations have in common? The Safe Routes to School National Conference!
The National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) have created a series of nine instructional brieﬁng sheets for transportation practitioners to use for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program planning and implementation. The briefing sheets will support transportation engineers and planners as they work to establish safer walking and bicycling routes near schools.
The series includes the following topics:
Chagrin Falls is a village of about 4,000 residents located 17 miles southeast of Cleveland. The village school system includes an elementary school (grades K-3), an intermediate school (grades 4-6, school population about 480), a middle school (grades 7-8, school population about 320), and a high school.
Six years ago, Community Connections, a local nonprofit that runs afterschool programs in Montpelier, Vt., public schools, identified a need to get students more physically active during the school day. The organization saw the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program as the perfect way to get students excited about physical activity.
After receiving a non-infrastructure SRTS grant from the state, Community Connections spent the next two years running programs that concentrated on the five E’s: Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, Evaluation and Engineering.
Sometimes, one day can turn into something much bigger.
In Kauai, Hawaii, a Walk to School Day event at Kapa’a Elementary School boosted community support for a full-fledged Safe Routes to School program. The community was concerned about traffic as well as childhood and adolescent obesity. In 2009-2010, the school was selected to serve as a pilot school for a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program.
The National Center has prepared a new resource, “Safety-based Prioritization of Schools for Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Projects: A Process for Transportation Professionals” that describes a straightforward way to identify the schools and specific locations that have the greatest need for pedestrian infrastructure improvements .
The biggest concern about implementing a Safe Routes to School program in Stevensville, Michigan, was the semi-rural Township’s lack of sidewalks near Roosevelt Elementary School. The largest subdivision is located within a mile of the school, but no one walked or biked because the route to school was along a busy street without sidewalks. Most streets in the Township are asphalt with soft shoulders, resulting in inadequate space to walk on the side of the driving lane.