2011-2012 Summary Annual Report: Evaluation and Research

Highlights

  • Finalized and disseminated Progress Report of the Federal SRTS Program.
  • Finalized and disseminated Federal SRTS Program National Evaluation Plan.
  • Released Considerations for Conducting a Crash-based Evaluation of the Federal Safe Routes to School Program: A Feasibility Study.
  • Released student travel tally/case comparison report titled Shifting Modes: A Comparative Analysis of SRTS Program Elements and Travel Mode Outcomes.
  • Released Getting More Students to Walk and Bicycle: Four Elements of Successful Programs based on the findings of the Shifting Modes report.
  • Released How Children Get to School: School Travel Patterns from 1969 to 2009.
  • Completed Safety-based Prioritization of Schools for Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Projects: A Process for Transportation Professionals and accompanying worksheet.

The National Center’s research program was established in 2008 with funding from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The evaluation and research function includes work to advance the assessment and understanding of the effect of SRTS implementation at the local, state and national levels. Findings are intended to inform practitioners, decision makers and researchers to further the state of the practice.

Safety Monitoring Program

Understanding safety outcomes is an important element of evaluating the SRTS program. The National Center has been working to determine the feasibility of a crash-based evaluation of the SRTS program and to document potential methods for conducting the study.

  • Released Considerations for Conducting a Crash-Based Evaluation of the Federal SRTS Program.

SRTS Strategy Evaluation

Based in part on the recommendations in the GAO report on the SRTS program and the National Center’s aim to support local SRTS programs in setting goals and evaluating them, the National Center launched a project to evaluate SRTS strategies. In January 2010, FHWA requested that the scope of work for this project be rewritten to include a process evaluation and recommendations for an outcome evaluation plan for the Federal SRTS Program so work on this project reflects both of those intents.

  • Produced How Children Get to School: School Travel Patterns from 1969 to 2009.
    • Worked with a researcher at UNC Chapel Hill and the SRTS National Partnership to develop a fact sheet based on school travel information reported in the 2009 National Household Travel Survey.
  • Released report titled Shifting Modes: A Comparative Analysis of SRTS Program Elements and Travel Mode Outcomes.
    • Based on interviews conducted with a selected sample of SRTS programs that increased walking and bicycling rates and control sites that did not, the report described patterns and differences discerned.
    • Produced a summary resource focused on implications for the practitioner, titled Getting More Students to Walk and Bicycle: Four Elements of Successful Programs.
  • Completed Progress Report of the Federal SRTS Program.
  • Completed Federal SRTS Program National Evaluation Plan.
    • Publicized report’s release.

Safety Index

The National Center completed development of a process to assist local transportation professionals in prioritizing infrastructure improvements across multiple schools.

  • Posted final guide, Safety-based Prioritization of Schools for Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Projects: A Process for Transportation Professionals and accompanying worksheet.
  • Planning webinar and ProWalk/ProBike Conference session to promote the process and describe its uptake.

 

Back to 2011-2012 Summary Annual Report