School Administrator's Guide to School Walk Routes and Student Pedestrian Safety

This Guidebook (1) explains the laws and liabilities associated with school walk routes; (2) provides an background on student pedestrian safety education; (3) identifies potential partnerships and responsibilities for improving school pedestrian safety; (4) suggests processes for developing and maintaining school walk routes; (5) presents guidelines for identifying when pedestrian enhancements should be considered; and (6) recommends procedures school administrators can use to work with their local public works agencies to implement needed improvements.

This Guidebook does not address school siting, public transit, or school bus safety considerations. Site master planning, transit, and school bus route planning efforts are well documented in other references. In addition, the procedures and recommendations in this guidebook may not be applicable to bicycle transportation.

This Guidebook is not intended as a comprehensive reference for all aspects of student pedestrian safety, developing school walk routes, or improving school trip safety. While it discusses student pedestrian safety education, it is not a curriculum. It highlights and briefly discusses key steps in the walk route development process and provides guidelines for decision-making wherever possible. However, it cannot replace professional judgement, nor can it fully educate school administrators or other professionals on all aspects of this subject. Therefore, professional traffic engineers should be consulted as appropriate throughout the process.

Authoring Organization: 
Washington Traffic Safety Commission and Washington State DOT