SafeTREC Researcher Uses Hirschman to Discuss Safe Routes to School

November 26, 2013

SafeTREC Research Associate Swati Pande, a second-year MPP student at the Goldman School of Public Policy, blogs in a recent edition of the school's online magazine, PMJ Online, about using A.O. Hirschman's concepts to understand Safe Routes to School.

"These insights provide a framework for thinking about other projects that are ambitious not simply because of scale but because of their proposed impact. [Emphasis added.]

"For example, Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a transportation program that aims to increase the number of children walking and bicycling to school. The focus is to make walking and bicycling safer through infrastructure and non-infrastructure programs. The Hiding Hand is clearly at work here as increasing the numbers of young pedestrians and bicyclists on the roads is not an easy task. This requires behavior change which takes time and requires involvement from parents, school officials, law enforcement and several other stakeholders. SRTS activities are targeted at schools and so require coordination and cooperation from school staff and administrators. Schools already have several competing demands on their time; the academic calendar is short, so planning activities at schools is challenging. Roadway use by vehicles can be easily quantified by vehicle volume. But data on pedestrian and bicyclist volume is often not available."