The Safe Routes to School Launch Program, a joint project of the Safe Routes Partnership and UC Berkeley SafeTREC, was designed to start strong and sustainable Safe Routes to School programs in California communities. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
About the Safe Routes to School Launch Program
The Safe Routes to School Launch Program assists communities in creating strong Safe Routes to School initiatives that include the six E’s approach to Safe Routes to School – engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation, and equity. With broad engagement of community members, school staff, and agency personnel, the assessments, trainings, and technical assistance provided through the program will increase the safety and health of students in selected communities in California.
Participation in the Safe Routes to School Launch Program consisted of three phases:
- Phase I: Getting to Know Your Community – help us understand where your community is with regard to students’ ability to safely walk and bicycle to school and existing Safe Routes to School efforts.
- Phase II: Workshop – a half day training in your community to provide education about the importance and benefits of Safe Routes to School, crucial planning strategies, and how to start and sustain a local Safe Routes to School program.
- Phase III: Safe Routes to School Initial Action Plan & Follow Up Assistance – with assistance, develop a tailored Safe Routes to School Initial Action Plan for your community based upon the workshop planning efforts and identify any necessary additional technical assistance.
Starting in 2019, the Safe Routes to School Launch Program training was offered in two formats: an in-person Safe Routes to School community workshop with an interactive action planning session or a virtual Safe Routes to School training curated for your community. Visit the Safe Routes to School Launch Program website for more information about the program or contact Michelle Lieberman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 2017, the pilot year of the program, the Safe Routes to School Launch Program has helped thirteen communities move to a new level of safety and support for students walking and biking to school. The table below provides links to action plans that were developed as a result of the workshops, and include a summary of current conditions related to walking and biking to school, recommended strategies and actions for Safe Routes to School, and a summary of potential funding resources for implementation.
|2017||Morgan Hill||Morgan Hill Action Plan|
|2017||Willits||Willits Action Plan|
|2017||Monterey||Monterey Action Plan|
|2017||Rancho Cordova||Rancho Cordova Action Plan|
|2017||Garden Grove||Garden Grove Action Plan|
|2018||Modesto||Modesto Action Plan|
|2018||Delhi||Delhi Action Plan|
|2018||Fresno||Fresno Action Plan|
|2018||Pomona||Pomona Action Plan|
|2018||Walnut Park||Walnut Park Action Plan|
|2019||Huntington Park||Huntington Park Action Plan|
|2019||King Middle School||King Middle School Action Plan|
|2019||Madera||Madera Action Plan|
Learn more about the successful pilot year on the Safe Routes to School National Partnership blog!
Why Safe Routes to School?
School zones have been identified as danger zones for aggressive driving habits and behaviors. Over a quarter of children younger than age 15 killed in motor vehicle collisions were pedestrians, compared to 20.5 percent nationally. Children and youth are more vulnerable than adults to traffic dangers, accounting for nearly one-third of all pedestrian fatalities and injuries, despite comprising only 28 percent of California’s population. Safe Routes to School initiatives address these concerns, increasing the safety and numbers of children walking and bicycling to and from school by providing education and encouragement programs along with improvements to street infrastructure.
Ensuring that communities have the tools and know how to effectively implement Safe Routes to School programs is particularly important in light of increased interest in bicycling and walking among Californians of all ages. In California, walking and bicycling mode share has doubled since 2000, and now constitutes 18 percent of all travel, according to the most recent California Household Travel Survey. For school-aged students, rates of walking and bicycling are even higher, making up 26 to 31 percent of trips to and from school, as shown by the California add-on to the National Household Travel Survey. Among students of color and those from low-income households, more than 45 percent walk or bicycle to school.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).