A brief report about the effectiveness or success of the national SRTS initiative has not been developed. The SRTS program is a nation-wide effort and a national evaluation would be very difficult to carry out given the many physical, cultural, and political factors that can potentially impact both the number of children walking and bicycling to/from school, as well as the safety of those children who already walk and bicycle.
In order to carry out a comprehensive study of the SRTS program, evaluators would need to collect detailed pedestrian and bicyclist counts and safety indicators (e.g., crashes) and at a large sample of sites that are representative of the US population. Even so, it is not certain that schools that participate in the SRTS program are representative of all schools across the country. Second, evaluators would have to collect the same information from a number of carefully selected "reference schools" that had not implemented SRTS programs, but are similar enough to SRTS schools to be comparable. Given these restrictions, no major academic study on the "effectiveness" of SRTS programs has been conducted. Finally, though SRTS is often thought of as a standardized "one size fits all" program that schools use to solve problems, reality suggests that to date, schools have been looking to achieve different outcomes (e.g., increase the number of children walking/bicycling to/from school; improve safety for those children already walking/bicycling to/from school; or both) in a variety of ways (e.g., some focus mostly on infrastructure improvements; others concentrate on doing encouragement activities, etc.). Therefore, local programs have had to determine the success of their unique SRTS program on a case-by-case basis. For more examples on schools' different SRTS-related objectives and the various ways they have implementing activities, see our SRTS success stories.
In helping your local program determine how to go about developing and evaluating its effectiveness, we encourage you to reference the Evaluation section of our SRTS Guide. This section offers users guidance on how to select activities that get desired results, examples of how to carry out activities, and ways to measure progress toward achieving your local program's SRTS goals.