The kindergarten through sixth grade students at Shelley Elementary School in American Fork, UT, have no bus system to take them to and from school.
The only buses available are intended for the pre-kindergarten students and those students in special education, which means the remainder of the student population, totaling 1,021 children, must walk, bicycle or carpool to school.
Alpine Elementary School, a K–6th grade school with 780 students, is part of Utah’s Alpine School District, the lowest funded school district in the nation. The primary barrier to walking to school had been traffic congestion, but that changed in 2008 when a man attempted to abduct a 6th-grade student on her way to school. The student successfully escaped and told an adult crossing guard what happened, but the fear from that incident created another hurdle to creating a Safe Routes to School program.
Neighborhoods and schools in Taylor will be connected with a 2.4-mile pedestrian and bike path to make the way to school safer for elementary, middle and high school students.
Taylor has a growing population of approximately 18,000, and it is part of the Austin metropolitan area. Its economy is based on both agriculture and manufacturing. The community within Williamson County takes pride in its ethnic diversity.
Rosa Guerrero Elementary is a Title 1 neighborhood school, and 75 percent of the 850 students live within walking distance of the school. Sidewalks lead to the school, and approximately 30 percent of the students have permission from their parents to walk to school. The majority of Guerrero Elementary School’s student population is Hispanic, which means that 90 percent of the students are at risk for obesity, according to PTA SRTS Coordinator Lorraine Maiella.
When officials from the Town of Pleasant View saw that children were walking to school—even without sidewalks—they decided to take action.
The town of Pleasant View has a population of about 4,100, and approximately 595 students in kindergarten through fourth grade attend Pleasant View Elementary School. Within two miles of the school, there are three neighborhoods comprised of a total of more than 300 homes, as well as the downtown area and Main Street.
Safe Kids Tucson, through the Tucson Medical Center in Pima County, AZ, recently was awarded $40,790 in federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funds to set up SRTS pedestrian and bicycle safety education and encouragement programs at seven schools in the county. These schools are Bloom Elementary School, Johnson Primary School, Lawrence Intermediate School, Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary School, Whitmore Elementary School, Keeling Elementary School and Davis Primary Magnet School.
The Union County school system in Liberty, IN, enrolls 1,600 students in its two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Although the county is the second smallest in Indiana, staff at Union County’s Health Department think big when it comes to creating safer routes to school for the children.
Wilmette, IL, is a town near Chicago with a population of 28,000 people. With the combined efforts of its Bicycle Task Force and the local law enforcement, Wilmette implemented an encouragement program for bicycling around the town and to and from school.