Understanding changes in walking and bicycling to school just became easier for communities that use the National Center for Safe Routes to School’s data system. A new reporting feature makes comparing data on walking and bicycling to school from the beginning of a program to any subsequent time that data were collected an automatic process.
“We are particularly pleased to be adding this feature, which is designed to both produce comparison reports and provide an explanation that helps interpret these findings,” said Lauren Marchetti, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School. “It automatically calculates the significance of changes and provides that information as part of the report.”
The Data System, which is free to use, offers communities Parent Surveys in multiple languages, Student Travel Tally questionnaires, and reports that summarize those data. If a local Safe Routes to School program has collected Student Travel Tally questionnaires for the same school more than once, the Data System now offers the option to create a report that directly compares student travel data from two data collection periods. For example, if a school collected Travel Tallies in April 2011 and again in March 2012, a report can be created that uses tests to determine whether any increases or decreases in student travel modes between April and March were statistically significant—e.g., the change was too great to be attributable to chance.
The Student Travel Tally and the Parent Survey questionnaires yield information about students’ school travel patterns and parents’ perceptions of walking and bicycling to school. Local programs at more than 6,350 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have used these resources to gather and study information about student travel modes.
The online Data System offers local Safe Routes to School Programs a mechanism for storing, retrieving and creating summary reports of the Student Travel Tally and Parent Survey questionnaire data they collect. To learn more about the data services offered by the National Center, please visit www.saferoutesinfo.org/data-central.
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Established in May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School assists states and communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bicycle to school. The National Center serves as the information clearinghouse for the federal Safe Routes to School program. The organization also provides technical support and resources and coordinates online registration efforts for Walk to School Day and Bike to School Day in the U.S.A. and facilitates worldwide promotion and participation in International Walk to School Day. The National Center is part of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. For more information, visit www.saferoutesinfo.org.