Engineering

The Relative Risks of School Travel

Authoring Organization: 
Transportation Research Board

Active Transportation to School: Trends Among U.S. Schoolchildren, 1969-2001

Please visit Am J Prev Med. 2007 Jun;32(6):509-16.
Active transportation to school trends among u.s. Schoolchildren, 1969-2001. by Noreen McDonald to read the abstract and access the article.

Authoring Organization: 
American Journal of Preventive Medicine

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Can Safe Routes to School be used for crosswalk marking?

Under the federal Safe Routes to School program, the program's guidance does not preclude crosswalk markings from being an eligible expense under the infrastructure piece of the funding provided that the location of the crosswalk is in the public right-of-way and public land, including those lands owned by public school districts, and within the two-mile boundary around the elementary or middle school.

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What percentage of morning traffic congestion is caused by children being driven to school?

Personal motor vehicles taking K-12th grade students to school accounted for five to seven percent of vehicle miles traveled and 10 to 14 percent of all personal vehicle trips made during the morning peak period (7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.) in 2009.(1)  These percentages are based on an analysis of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Household Travel Survey and Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey. 

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How can we get the City to install a traffic signal at our school?

When there is a safety problem, such as speeding traffic near a school, you could be tempted to frame the issue in terms of the solution. For example, you might think a traffic signal would solve the problem. Although it is possible your idea is a good solution, it is more effective to seek input from the professionals before deciding on a solution.

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How can I improve the signage to alert motorist of entering a school zone area?

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) is the leading manual used throughout the US to set the standards and guide decisions on the type and placement of various traffic control devices. Chapter 7 of the MUTCD provides a tremendous amount of technical details on traffic control devices that have been approved by the Federal Highway Administration for use in school areas.

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Can Engineering treatments alone adequately address the unique traffic conditions at rural schools?

Typically not. Engineering is only one piece of the solution to improving traffic safety and reducing congestion at all schools. The use of Enforcement, Education, and Encouragement tools are even more important for rural schools on two-lane arterials or State highways. Police Enforcement, along with the educational measures listed above may be needed to bring about safe and desirable traffic conditions.

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Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) - Part 7 Traffic Controls for School Areas

Section 7A.01 Need for Standards
Support: It is important to stress that regardless of the school location, the best way to achieve reasonably safe and effective traffic control is through the uniform application of realistic policies, practices, and standards developed through engineering judgment.

Authoring Organization: 
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration

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