Health Evaluation of the Local School Project of Safe Routes to School—Project Schools, Background and Program Planning Activities
Kawana Elementary, Santa Rosa, CA
(School at which Kaiser Permanente had an established community partnership): The Kawana local school team was led by the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition and the Sonoma County Department of Public Health. Over 90 percent of students live within a two-mile radius of school, with 50 percent of these within one half mile. The Kawana team participated in International Walk to School Day, implemented a Walking Wednesday and walking school bus program; provided bicycle helmet education and low-cost helmets for sale; collaborated with local law enforcement to identify areas suitable for traffic enforcement; and successfully applied for federal SRTS funding for both engineering and enforcement/encouragement/education at Kawana Elementary and other Santa Rosa schools.
SRTS state grant funds applied for and received: $1,111,700.
DC Preparatory Academy, District of Columbia
(School at which Kaiser Permanente had an established community partnership): While DC Preparatory Academy is a public charter school, 62 percent of students live within two miles of the school. To combat traffic congestion, the local school team initiated efforts to reduce traffic flow and speed, build a pedestrian bridge and improve the streets near the school. The school’s team participated in International Walk to School Day, distributed information packets to parents and taught students about pedestrian and bicycle safety. Additionally, the Metropolitan Police Department increased their patrol in strategic areas around the school.
Grant funds applied for and received: $345,000 (includes in-kind services).
Knollwood E.S., DeKalb Co., GA
(School at which Kaiser Permanente had an established community partnership): The entire student body of Knollwood lives within two miles of the school, but the roads surrounding the school are busy, with traffic traveling at high speeds and limited pedestrian access. Knollwood received money for infrastructure improvements through a local school team partner, a nearby bicycle shop and Georgia Kaiser Permanente. A community walking and bicycling audit addressed problem areas, resulting in the installation of bicycle parking on campus, the repair of neighborhood streetlights, and acknowledgement of the need for traffic speed reduction. Knollwood participated in International Walk to School Day, sponsored an ongoing walking school bus program, educated students in bicycle safety and provided competitions and incentives for walking and bicycling to school.
SRTS local grant funds applied for and received: $8,150 (state funds to be applied for in 2010).
King Elementary, Urbana, IL
King’s efforts were led by a local team including the school principal, a police officer and the statewide Active Transportation Alliance. Engineering efforts at King included the installation of bicycle racks on campus, replacement of neighborhood school zone signs, repainting of crosswalks, and the improvement of school parking lot traffic. King participated in International Walk to School Day, gave away refurbished bicycles (in conjunction with an accompanying traffic safety clinic) and initiated walking school buses and bike trains. Additionally, members of the city police department attended school meetings and increased law enforcement around the school.
SRTS state and local grant funds applied for and received: $171,500.
Lebanon Elementary, Lebanon, KY
Lebanon’s local school team members include the school principal, a physical education teacher, the school’s family resource center director, city officials and the county school transportation coordinator. Over half of Lebanon’s students live within two miles of the school; however, the school is located on a busy highway without shoulders. Engineering efforts included the creation of safe street crossings as well as sidewalk renovation, neighborhood traffic signs and bicycle rack installation on campus. These renovated routes are being used for three walking school bus routes for the 2009-2010 school year.
SRTS state grant funds applied for and received: $163,235.
Drew Elementary, New Orleans, LA
The local school team at Drew initially made great strides towards raising funds for improving infrastructure, and SRTS activities. However, a new principal was appointed in 2008 and was unwilling to continue the program during the 2008-2009 school year. The local team hopes efforts will resume. Despite setbacks, the team was able to work with the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission and DODT to find funding and install bicycle lanes and crosswalks near the school. In the spring of 2009 a bicycle lane was completed in front of the school, representing the first-ever bicycle lane striped in the city of New Orleans.
SRTS state and local grant funds applied for and received: $412,530.
Hamlin Park Elementary, Buffalo, NY
This school presents a particular challenge as a citywide policy allows parents to choose their child’s school. Consequently, only 20 percent of Hamlin Park’s students live within a half-mile. Hamlin Park’s local school team is led by Be Active New York State and the Hamlin Park Neighborhood Association. Funding is going towards the reconstruction of three main intersections along school routes, which includes new curb features, crosswalk marking, lighting and signage. The local school team has a plan for the upcoming school year including a walking school bus, bicycle train, Recycle-A-Bicycle program, school travel maps, the promotion of Walk to School Day events, and safety classes. Additionally, in the upcoming school year school officers will monitor traffic safety.
Local funds for neighborhood renewal and SRTS state grant funds for intersection improvements applied for and received: $1,550,000.
Highland Park Elementary, Stillwater, OK
Approximately 75 percent of students live within two miles of Highland Park with access to sidewalks, although many are in need of repair. The principal is currently devising methods to reduce traffic congestion on school grounds to improve the safety of children walking and bicycling. Regular Walking Wednesdays were implemented at Highland Park after success with International Walk to School Day and the school is planning additional walking programs for the coming year. A cycling clinic was provided at Highland Park to train adults to teach students about bicycle safety.
SRTS state grant funds applied for and received: $20,000, plus $200,000 pending.
Johnson Elementary, Bryan, TX
Local school team members at Johnson include the school principal and physical education teacher, who among others, assessed the pedestrian and bicycle environment surrounding the school. The majority of Johnson’s student body lives in neighborhoods surrounding the school, but there is a need for new sidewalks, safer traffic crossings and traffic calming efforts. The school has participated in the past two International Walk to School Days and is currently developing additional encouragement activities. The community police officer conducted a bicycle skills clinic for students.
State and local funds will be applied for in 2009- 2010.
Mount Vernon Elementary, Alexandria, VA
(School at which Kaiser Permanente had an established community partnership): The entire student body of Mount Vernon lives within two miles of the school and 47 percent of its students live less than a half-mile from the school. In June 2009 Mount Vernon received a SRTS mini grant to provide a bicycle skills clinic, offer giveaways, generate walking maps and participate in Walk and Bike to School Day, which has spurred a Walking Wednesdays program. Mount Vernon has recently improved infrastructure around the school with bicycle lanes, crossing signals, a street median and bicycle racks. Education efforts have included a bicycle skills clinic and a Healthy Fun Day.
SRTS state grant funds applied for and received: $5,000; the school neighborhood also received a portion of $2 million in citywide traffic safety improvements.
Download entire evaluation, "Safe Routes to School Local School Project: A health evaluation at 10 low-income schools,"