Flourishing Safe Routes to School projects see remarkable changes in the way
students and parents choose to travel to and from school. These projects
succeed by including each of the ďFive EsĒ of Safe Routes to School to
ensure that their project is a well-rounded, multi-prong, and a time-tested
approach to getting more students walking and bicycling.
Safety is an ongoing community event!
Educational activities include teaching pedestrian, bicyclist, and
traffic safety and creating the awareness of the benefits and goals of
Safe Routes to School. Be sure to include the entire community when
planning the education strategies.
Adults learn best when they feel the topic is relevant to them. Children
learn best when presented with a combination of educational methods such
as group activities, hands-on skill building, and discussion. Practical
experience is important!
Itís all about having fun! Encouragement
programs are meant to get people to try walking or biking to school. If
itís a simple fun event that builds interest and enthusiasm it will
attract attention and support for more activities and changes that
require substantial time, energy, and resources. Here are some ideas to
Walking School Bus
Itís a bus without the bus! A walking school bus is a group of families
that walk along an established route together, collecting more families
as they go. Walking school buses can operate daily, one week a month, or
just on certain days. Choose the model thatís right for your community.
Bike trains are great ways to encourage more children to ride to school.
It is more complex than walking school buses, but can be equally as
enjoyable and rewarding. Group riding is a skill above and beyond basic
safe riding skills and should only be taken on by someone who is an
experienced and confident rider.
Walk and Bike to School Day
Take advantage of the International Walk and
Bike to School Day which is always the first Wednesday in October.
Organize a local walk and bike school day and partner with www.walkbiketoschool.org to
make a difference and have fun!
Park and Stride
Promotes walking to school from a remote location. If students live far
away from school or if conditions make walking or biking unsafe, try
partnering with a church, shopping center, or other facility that has
parking options to meet and walk as a group to school. It allows for
more participation in the program, allows more kids to get some
exercise, and decreases the pollution while increasing the safety at the
arrival and departure areas at school.
Engineering improvements change the physical
infrastructure of an area or the design, operation, and maintenance of
traffic control devices. The physical environment often determines
whether children walk or bike to school. Well-designed, maintained,
and accessible routes to and from school, on the school grounds, and
at entrances are necessary to increase the amount of students walking
and biking to school.
In a SRTS Program, engineering improvements should be used in
conjunction with education, encouragement, and enforcement activities to
ensure consistent and safe use of engineering treatments.
The SRTS Team should rely on the recommendations of local experts to
determine what information may be helpful and needed.
Law enforcement activities are a critical
component of a successful SRTS effort. Law enforcement personnel can
help ensure that the vision for the local SRTS Program takes advantage
of existing youth or community-related law enforcement initiatives that
are already underway in the school area.
In addition, local law enforcement can provide data that may not be
easily accessible and have existing partnerships within the community
for sharing information, grant opportunities, and other city resources.
Law enforcement agencies may be able to:
Provide student bicycle and pedestrian safety education
Provide safety education and training to teachers, school
administrators, parents, and the general community
Provide training and monitoring of adult crossing guards and student
Offer assistance for parents and school administrators regarding
personal safety issues like stranger danger or neighborhood bullying
Offer assistance with non-traffic related crime and neighborhood
security issues that affect the ability of children to walk or bike
to school safely
Provide enforcement for speed, failure to yield, and other
identified infractions around schools
Evaluation is one of the necessary components
of successful SRTS Programs. Good data that is generated from a variety
of evaluation tools allow project managers, donors, and communities to
see the results of the project.
Whether it be survey results or success stories, data can also be a very
powerful tool for the promotion of your program locally, statewide, and
nationally. Having easy access to the data you generated will be
valuable when you invite media or others to support your event