The Safe Routes to School Program: Progress and Opportunities

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Posted 11/18

The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program was created in 2005 when federal funding was allocated to each state for the purpose of improving the safety and comfort of walking and bicycling to school for students in kindergarten through the eighth grade. This memorandum reviews the legislative history of SRTS throughout the United States and program efforts in Massachusetts. The memo presents national walk and bicycle-to-school statistics and new, comparable statistics for SRTS schools in the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization region. In addition, the memo presents a set of individual case studies discussing the specific infrastructure and program efforts of five schools. The conclusions commend the individual infrastructure improvements, but point to the impact of broader cultural trends on travel mode choice. The study results presented in the memo recommend placing SRTS firmly in the context of overall transportation planning and making data collection an ongoing process.

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