On April 1, 2013, WALKSacramento began work to complete the Safe Routes to School: School and Community Education and Programming project in the Natomas Unified School District. The work will include providing walking and bicycling to school programs, pedestrian and bicycle safety education, volunteer training and other support to make it safer for K-8 students in Natomas to get to school on foot or on wheels. WALKSacramento will manage the program overall and work directly with six schools in South Natomas. The North Natomas Transportation Management Association’s Safe Routes program will work with ten North Natomas schools under contract with WALKSacramento. The current effort will kick off with Bike to School Day on May 8 and May is Bike Month activities. The project will be completed in summer 2014 but calls for planning to sustain the Safe Routes program after the current project has done its work. Monika Jansen will serve as WALKSacramento’s staff lead on the project.
WALKSacramento has a long history of working for Safe Routes to School in Natomas. Funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provided support for walk programs at Bannon Creek, Jefferson and Natomas Park elementary schools from 2003 to 2008. Walk audits around the three schools in 2005 led to grants for street improvements to the schools that were completed in summer 2012. In 2006 WALKSacramento helped draft the grant application that funds this current program, and has provided technical support for physical improvements, and encouragement and education programs, for Safe Routes in Natomas for over a decade.