Safe Routes to School – A Year in Review
The 2017-2018 school year proved to be a busy one for Safe Routes to School Programs. WALKSacramento teamed up with ten schools to launch Safe Routes to School efforts in Sacramento and West Sacramento. Schools communities participated in each of five E’s of Safe Routes to School: education, encouragement, enforcement, engineering, and evaluation.
Programming in Sacramento City Unified School District is part of a three-year program funded by The California Endowment and a one-year program funded by Sacramento County through Supervisor Patrick Kennedy’s office. WALKSacramento and the City of West Sacramento partnered in the Washington Unified School District to relaunch a citywide program at each of the City’s seven public elementary schools. The program was intended to both support ongoing education and encouragement programs while also informing a Safe Routes to School Chapter in the City’s Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Trails Master Plan.
2,800 students learned tips and tricks for walking and biking to school safely and school staff received resources to help encourage active transportation throughout the year. By the numbers, 2,500 students parents, staff, and community members celebrated Walk to School Day events, 230 students tested their skills at bike rodeos, 14 schools and 2 community centers will receive new bike racks over the summer, and 200 students got fitted for free bike helmets.
In addition to programs at schools and with nearby community groups, the Sacramento City Unified School District approved a resolution to recognize May as National Bike Month and adopted a brand new Safe Routes to School Board Policy. This new policy is a major step forward for SCUSD as it is the eleventh largest school district in California and one of the few that have never had district-wide SRTS programs. The policy lays the groundwork for the District to further develop actionable Safe Routes to School efforts.
Through technical assistance programs, WALKSacramento also facilitated two trainings with Yuba City Unified School District and held two walk audits with elementary schools. The goal of the workshop was to enable collaboration between the City of Yuba City and individual schools to prioritize needed improvements for future funding. Following the technical assistance program, the City of Yuba City successfully applied for and won funding to develop a Citywide Safe Routes to School Master Plan.
Finally, look out for new and innovative programs starting this fall. Working with the San Juan Unified School District and Sacramento Air Quality Management District, we’re developing a trip matching app for students and parents to encourage more carpooling, walking school buses, and bike trains to school and ride sharing for parents to get to work. We’ve also recieved funding from the Sacramento Department of Health Services through its Obesity Prevention Program to develop Safe Routes to Parks and Safe Routes to Health Retail toolkits that will inform grassroots and agency-led work to improve active mode access to these key community destinations.
We are incredibly thankful to the schools, communities, and countless community partners who participated in Safe Routes to School programs and helped to make the 2017/18 one of our most successful in terms of improving safety, encouraging public participation, and creating lasting change that supports active transportation. Over the summer, we will be planning for the 2018-2019 school year where we will expand to even more schools in the cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento.
Check out our highlight reel for more!