Murch Elementary School built community consensus for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) efforts that enabled it to overcome barriers to walking and bicycling to school, to educate and encourage students to walk and ride to school, and to build sidewalks to make that trip safer. The school’s efforts earned it the 2009 James L. Oberstar Award for Safe Routes to School.
Bluffton Elementary, H. E. McCracken Middle and Bluffton High Schools are located in a complex in Bluffton, South Carolina, bordered by a heavily traveled county road and surrounded by residential neighborhoods. Of the more than 1,000 students living within 1.5 miles of the complex, many are bussed to school because the lack of infrastructure prevents them from walking.
Melrose Elementary and Lawn Middle Schools in Jamestown, Rhode Island, have been concerned about students safely walking to school for several years. A local group that focuses on increasing pedestrian and bicycle accessibility throughout Jamestown has taken a special interest in solving this issue. In 2007, the schools in Jamestown began incorporating Safe Routes to School ideas into their existing encouragement and safety programs.
Broad Street Elementary School is located in the borough of Mechanicsburg, an older section of town where the traditional pattern of the blocks make it a great place to walk. Many of the school’s students already walked to school, but there was no formal Safe Routes to School program or an annual Walk to School Day until 2005.
Skinner Road School is in Vernon, Conn. As a kindergarten to fifth grade school, it supports 330 racially and economically diverse students. In 2003, Skinner Road had the lowest testing scores in the district. At this time, the school also had poor fitness test scores, with only 9 percent of fourth graders passing all four parts of the fitness test. In 2006, school staff and parent volunteers initiated Skinner Road’s first Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program with the belief that healthier students will learn better.
Since its inception in February 2006, the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s (ConnDOT) Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program has awarded approximately $1.6 million in federal funding for promotion, training and infrastructure projects. Approximately $1.3 million of this amount went to fund infrastructure projects, such as installing pedestrian signals, creating dedicated bicycle lanes and filling in gaps in discontinuous sidewalk networks.