All Things to All People
It's mom, apple pie and safe routes to school. Like "traffic calming" a few years ago, "Safe Routes to School" is now the nation's favorite cycling and pedestrian concept. In March, Transportation Alternatives and the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) released a draft report on all sixteen Safe Routes to School programs across the United States. STPP, a national transportation reform group headquartered in Washington D.C., funded the document and is distributing it to key elected officials and advocates. In the United States, Safe Routes to School is defined as any initiative intended to reduce crashes involving children cycling and walking around schools, and/or promoting cycling and walking to school.
T.A. found that Safe Routes to School projects in the United States follow four broad, sometimes overlapping, approaches:
1. Traffic Calming. This includes T.A.'s The Bronx Safe Routes to School, which focuses on changing street design.
2. Statewide Funding Programs. STPP won legislation in California that sets aside $17 million a year in federal safety funds for local safe routes projects.
3. Encouragement. Events and marketing to persuade kids and parents to get kids out of cars and walking or biking. The "walking school bus" falls into this category.
4. Enforcement. Enhanced
police traffic enforcement around schools.