Two Lawton, Oklahoma, schools have begun walking school buses to address different challenges, and both schools have seen unexpected benefits from their efforts.
Principal Brenda Hatch has been instrumental in Safe Routes to School programs at both schools in the pilot project: she was principal at Howell Elementary School when the program started in 2007, and now she is principal at Whittier Elementary School.
Nine elementary and middle schools in Mansfield, OH, received funding for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). As a result, more than 1,000 students will benefit from sidewalk improvements and installations, as well as from various education and encouragement activities.
The Denver Osteopathic Foundation partnered with Denver Public Schools to launch a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program to increase walking and bicycling at Ellis Elementary and other schools in Denver, Colo. Ellis Elementary School is a kindergarten through fifth grade school with a diverse student population of which more than half of the students live within one mile of the school.
With the passage of the federal transportation legislation, SAFETEA-LU, in August 2005, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) began implementing its Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. CDOT first created an advisory committee comprising teachers, parents, law enforcement officers and local planners. The committee worked tirelessly to develop the process and procedures for identifying, selecting and implementing the project, as well as creating a new program for oversight, the budget and evaluation.
The Riverside County Department of Public Health Injury Prevention Services (IPS) developed a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program at several priority schools, which it identified by mapping youth pedestrian and bicycle injuries and deaths in the county. The mapping process “enables us to strategically map where the SRTS efforts might be beneficial,” says Gail Carlson, Program Coordinator, IPS.
In August 2000, the Marin County Bicycle Coalition was funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to participate in a Safe Routes to School pilot program. Congressman James Oberstar, then the ranking Democrat of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, endorsed the program as a means to reduce traffic congestion around schools and promote healthy alternatives to driving.
Maybe it’s not feasible to travel by jet pack, but that didn’t stop students from including the idea on a middle school mural that highlights creative, non-car ways to arrive at school. The alternative transportation mural, painted on the corner of Mile High Middle School in Prescott, AZ, just behind the bicycle rack, was part of an encouragement effort, according to Lisa Barnes, Executive Director of Prescott Alternative Transportation (PAT), a non-profit pedestrian and bicycling advocacy organization.
Maricopa County Department of Public Health- Office of Health Promotion and Education in 2008 began working with Griffith Elementary School on “Walk n-Rollers,” a Safe Routes to School program to address parent concerns about traffic, speeding and safety as students walk and bicycle to school. Griffith is a neighborhood school with about 650 students, more than half of whom live within a quarter mile of the school. The school population is predominantly low income, and obesity issues are a concern.