Since its inception in February 2006, the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s (ConnDOT) Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program has awarded approximately $1.6 million in federal funding for promotion, training and infrastructure projects. Approximately $1.3 million of this amount went to fund infrastructure projects, such as installing pedestrian signals, creating dedicated bicycle lanes and filling in gaps in discontinuous sidewalk networks.
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.”
More than 4,000 Portland metro area students from 30 schools signed up to compete against Portland State University (PSU) students in the Portland May 2008 Walk + Bike Challenge Month.
Eugene, OR, is home to Roosevelt Middle School, which was constructed in 1942. The combination of the school’s small parking lot and high volume of car traffic created safety hazards for student pedestrians and bicyclists. Parents and teachers at Roosevelt recognized that promoting bicycle and pedestrian safety must occur alongside addressing car traffic concerns.
Cleveland Elementary School is located in urban Oklahoma City, OK. The kindergarten through fifth grade school has more than 300 students. Wanting to increase the amount of physical activity among the students, school staff and community leaders organized an event in fall 2007 to encourage walking and bicycling to school.
Two Lawton, Oklahoma, schools have begun walking school buses to address different challenges, and both schools have seen unexpected benefits from their efforts.
Principal Brenda Hatch has been instrumental in Safe Routes to School programs at both schools in the pilot project: she was principal at Howell Elementary School when the program started in 2007, and now she is principal at Whittier Elementary School.