The National Center has prepared a new resource, “Safety-based Prioritization of Schools for Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Projects: A Process for Transportation Professionals” that describes a straightforward way to identify the schools and specific locations that have the greatest need for pedestrian infrastructure improvements .
Granville County is a rural North Carolina community with two main cities: Oxford and Butner. Although some children walk to school, the numbers are small, according to Justin Jorgensen, Granville County transportation planner. Approximately 80 percent of parents will not allow their students to walk to school due to perceptions of traffic and crime.
Speeding and distracted driving are two common safety risks for children traveling to school. Addressing these issues in a data-driven way can result in a better understanding of the scope of the problem and the effectiveness of the solution.
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:
As over 3,500 Walk to School Month celebrations come to an end this October, many communities across the country are considering establishing programs to encourage safe walking and bicycling to school on their campuses. Why not take a few tips from the playbook of one of the nation’s top programs?
Communities initiate Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs for a variety of reasons. In an attempt to reduce the barriers for students to walk and bicycle to school, some programs focus on reducing traffic congestion and the number of cars around schools.
The Child Pedestrian Safety Curriculum, developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teaches and encourages pedestrian safety for students grades Kindergarten through 5th Grade. It is organized into five lessons: walking near traffic, crossing streets, crossing intersections, parking lot safety, and school bus safety. Each lesson builds upon previous set of skills learned.