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.
Eldorado K-8 School in Superior, CO has more than 1,000 students, and more than 950 of them living within two miles of the school. The number of students living in close proximity to school creates the potential for a large number of them to walk and bicycle to school.
The area around the school already has many important infrastructure components, such as sidewalks and street signs, but many of the parents perceive the area as dangerous for their children to walk or bicycle to school, or the parents are accustomed to driving their children.
In less than a year, a nearly 40 percent reduction in motor vehicle traffic resulted at Eagle Crest Elementary School when students and parents embraced the school’s Safe Routes to School program and chose to SOAR or Step Often and Ride to school.
“There are no cars waiting to drop students off,” says Physical Education Teacher Jason Goldsberry, who is the school’s SRTS coordinator. “It almost seems like a ghost town.”
Roosevelt Middle School and the surrounding community of Eugene, Oregon, have successfully developed a team of community organizations committed to providing Safe Routes to School (SRTS) for children.