According to the Federal Program Guidance on Safe Routes to School:
Infrastructure projects constructed with these funds [federal aid funds] must be accessible to persons with disabilities, per the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) at 28 CFR Part 36, Appendix A, as enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice and FHWA, and as required under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
To assess whether conducting an online parent survey is appropriate for your school community, please see our web page called Evaluation: Parent Survey Online Parent Survey Option. This pages contains a number of frequently asked questions about the cost of surveying online, the differences between the online Parent Survey and the paper-based Survey options, and several other topics.
The National Center has prepared a resource, “Safety-based Prioritization of Schools for Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Projects: A Process for Transportation Professionals” that describes a straightforward way to identify the schools and specific locations that have the greatest need for pedestrian infrastructure improvements .
The biggest concern about implementing a Safe Routes to School program in Stevensville, Michigan, was the semi-rural Township’s lack of sidewalks near Roosevelt Elementary School. The largest subdivision is located within a mile of the school, but no one walked or biked because the route to school was along a busy street without sidewalks. Most streets in the Township are asphalt with soft shoulders, resulting in inadequate space to walk on the side of the driving lane.
The Hillside Learning and Behavior Center in the Allegan-area ESA School District serves 93 students with disabilities from seven local school districts. Students range in age from pre-kindergarten to 26 years old.
St. Thomas Aquinas School is located in an urban neighborhood approximately four miles north of downtown Indianapolis. It serves 221 students in kindergarten to 8th grade. Officials estimate that 85 percent of the students live within two miles of the school and could walk or bicycle to school if conditions were better. However, surveys taken prior to instituting an SRTS program showed that less than 15 percent of students walked or biked to school.
Granville County is a rural North Carolina community with two main cities: Oxford and Butner. Although some children walk to school, the numbers are small, according to Justin Jorgensen, Granville County transportation planner. Approximately 80 percent of parents will not allow their students to walk to school due to perceptions of traffic and crime.
One of the greatest challenges Safe Routes to School organizers face is obtaining funding for their programs. Whether it is for small incentives for the students, healthy snacks for walk or bike to school days, flyers and advertisements for events, or eventually hiring a staff member, finding funding is an important part of growing your program. Unfortunately, it can often seem like a daunting task.
When most people think of Safe Routes to School, walking is the first thing that comes to mind. However, cycling is another healthy, fun, and efficient way for children to travel to and from school and is a growing part of Safe Routes to School Programs across the country. Developing ways to encourage people to bike to school is a crucial component of expanding the reach of these Programs. By including bicycling in our Safe Routes to School toolkits we are able to potentially reach those living further away from their school.