High-speed motor vehicles pose a serious threat to the safety of children who are crossing streets. One of the biggest challenges in providing children with safe walking and bicycling routes to school involves slowing down traffic.
Children that walk or bicycle to school need safe and well-designed facilities between their home and school. The following describes the types of infrastructure found along the school route that improve the condition for walking and bicycling including;
Engineering is one of the complementary strategies that Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs use to enable more children to walk and bicycle to school safely. Communities tailor a combination of engineering, education, encouragement, and enforcement strategies to address the specific needs of their schools.
Many school administrators are unfamiliar with traffic control and
safety devices. Also, many smaller communities do not have a
traffic engineer or planner on staff. The purpose of this booklet
is to give school administrators a brief overview of safety devices
that might be incorporated into a local plan. We hope that you will
find this booklet of use in planning your community's Safe Routes use in
to School program.
National level data from 2009 show that 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) Older data suggested that twenty to twenty-five percent of morning rush hour traffic is attributable to parents driving their children to school.(2)(3)