The best way to understand walking and bicycling safety issues at a particular school is by observing students arriving or departing during a normal school day. This includes observing children as they walk or bike the routes to school, how they cross streets, the interactions they have with cars and buses on the school campus, and how they make their way to the school door. The goal is to identify two main things:
As the importance of drawing upon community assets to sustain SRTS programs continues to grow, thinking beyond the "usual suspects" as partners is more important than ever. In this sixty minute program, we will highlight partner ideas from four outstanding programs that provide wonderful examples of building strong ties with other community organizations.
So much has happened since our last Safe Routes Matters. So many important decisions, events and announcements that will help to move forward the idea behind Safe Routes to School. Starting with International Walk to School Day, the lucky seventh since the National Center was formed. Once again the country set a new record for the number of registered events—4,250 to date, with one week of reporting to go. All of you reading this had something to do with making that happen, so a big congratulations to you.
For most readers of this e-newsletter, Walk to School Day will be a happy memory at this point. Not so for Don Cross. He’ll have some warm and fuzzies for sure, but with more still to come for another week or so.
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.
This report explores environmental health and Safe Routes to School through a review of the relationship between environmental health and school travel, a discussion on measuring the environmental health impacts of school travel, and five examples of methods used by SRTS programs to estimate the impact of their activities on local air quality and carbon dioxide emissions.
Though some Safe Routes to School programs have to address safety problems first, most programs ultimately aim to increase walking and bicycling among students. Some programs yield a greater response than imagined; others start out by showing great promise, but end up not reaching their goals.
The National Center for Safe Routes to School, in an effort to better understand what factors might contribute to increases in walking and bicycling, examined programs for elements linked to measured walking and bicycling outcomes.
This study explores how school-level dynamics that underlie the planning and implementation of SRTS programs relate to the percentage of students who walk and bicycle between home and school.
Shifting Modes: A Comparative Analysis of Safe Routes to School Program Elements and Travel Mode Outcomes identifies the following four key factors that successful SRTS programs share: