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Safe Routes to School. Improving Health, Safety and Transportation. Madison, WI. The need for Safe Routes to School. Fewer kids today walk and bike to school Unintended consequences have resulted SRTS programs are part of the solution.

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Safe routes to school l.jpg

Safe Routes to School

Improving Health, Safety and Transportation

Madison, WI

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The need for Safe Routes to School

  • Fewer kids today walk and bike to school

  • Unintended consequences have resulted

  • SRTS programs are part of the solution

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1. Fewer kids are biking and walking. More parents are driving.

  • 2001: 16% walked

  • 1969: 42% walked

    (CDC, 2005)

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Parents driving driving.

Parents driving children to school:

20%-25% of morning traffic

(NHTSA 2003; Dept. of Environment)

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School siting issues: A generation ago driving.

  • Small schools

  • Located in community centers

    (EPA, 2003)

Madison, WI

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School siting issues: Today driving.

  • Mega-schools

  • Built on edges of towns and cities

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It’s not just distance and school

Students who live within 1 mile and walk or bike:

2001: 63%

1969: 87%

(CDC, 2005)

Madison, WI

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Most common barriers to walking and bicycling to school and school

  • Long distances 62%

  • Traffic speeds/volume 30%

  • Adverse weather 19%

  • Fear of crime/danger 12%

    Note: Sum of percentages is more than 100% because respondents could identify more than one barrier.

    (CDC, 2005)

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Traffic danger and school

Milwaukee, WI

Middleton, WI

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Adverse weather and school

Centreville, VA

Howard’s Grove, WI

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Individual community issues and school

  • Fear of crime (both real and perceived)

  • Abandoned buildings

  • Other reasons

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2. The unintended consequences of less walking and bicycling and school

  • On the environment

  • On individual health

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Results of the ban downtown Atlanta

  • Morning traffic – ä 23%

  • Peak ozone – ä 28%

  • Asthma-related events for kids – ä 42%

    (Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA], 2001)

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Engine Idling downtown Atlanta

  • Reduces air quality

    • Idling an engine produces 2X exhaust emissions as an engine in motion

  • Increases air pollution around the school right at the time when children are present

  • 10 seconds of idling wastes more fuel than restarting the engine

  • Wastes money

Madison, WI

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Air quality downtown Atlanta

Measurably better around schools with more walkers and bicyclists

(EPA, 2003)

Chicago, IL

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Physical inactivity downtown Atlanta

  • Most kids aren’t getting the physical activity they need

  • Recommended 60 minutes on most, preferably all, days of the week

    (US Depts. of Health and Human Services and Agriculture, 2005)

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Overweight children have an increased risk of… downtown Atlanta

  • Type 2 Diabetes

  • Low self esteem

  • Decreased physical functioning

  • Obesity in adulthood

  • Many other negative emotional & physical effects

    (Institute of Medicine, 2005)

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Good news! downtown Atlanta

Communities are taking action on behalf of children through Safe Routes to School

Winston-Salem, NC

Alhambra, CA

Phoenix, AZ

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3. Safe Routes to School programs are part of the solution… improve walking and bicycling conditions increase physical activity decrease air pollution

Dallas, TX

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More benefits of SRTS programs solution…

  • Reduce congestion around schools

  • Can lead to cost savings for schools(reduce need for “hazard” busing)

  • Others: increase child’s sense of freedom, help establish lifetime habits, teach pedestrian and bicyclist skills

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Elements of SRTS programs solution…

  • Education

  • Encouragement

  • Enforcement

  • Engineering

  • Evaluation

Madison, WI

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Education solution…

  • Imparts safety skills

  • Creates safety awareness

  • Fosters life-long safety habits

  • Includes parents, neighbors and other drivers

Chicago, IL

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Encouragement solution…

  • Increases popularity of walking and bicycling

  • Is an easy way to start SRTS programs

  • Emphasizes fun

Elmhurst, IL

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Enforcement solution…

  • Increases awareness of pedestrians and bicyclists

  • Improves driver behavior

  • Helps children follow traffic rules

Richmond, VA

Denver, CO

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Engineering solution…

  • Creates safer conditions for walking and bicycling

  • Can influence the way people behave

West Valley City, UT

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Evaluation solution…

Is the program making a difference?

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Federal Safe Routes to School program solution…

  • $612 million to States 2005-2009

  • Funds infrastructure and non-infrastructure activities

  • Requires State SRTS Coordinators

More information:

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Wisconsin’s program solution…

Renee CallawaySRTS Program ManagerWisconsin Department of TransportationPO Box 7913, Madison, WI 53707-7913Phone: (608) 266-3973Fax: (608) 266-0658Email: [email protected]

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Safe Routes to School goals solution…

  • Where it’s safe, get children walking and biking

  • Where it’s not safe, make changes

Green Bay, WI

Winston-Salem, NC

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Your Safe Routes to School Plan solution…

  • Your Safe Routes to School Plan will contain the following chapters:

    • Executive Summary

    • Introduction to SRTS

    • Present Conditions and Past Studies

    • Safety Issues and Routes

    • Study Recommendations

    • Developing a School Campaign

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Timeline solution…

  • 2007

    • September: Meeting #1; data collection

    • September/October: Walking and Biking Audits; Distribute and Collect Surveys

    • October: Continue Walk/Bike Audits; Continue to Collect Surveys

    • November: Surveys Compiled; Meeting #2; Develop Alternatives

    • December: Develop Alternatives

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Timeline… solution…

  • 2008

    • January: Develop Alternatives; Meeting #3; Start to Assemble Draft Plan

    • February: Assemble Draft Plans

    • March: Meeting #4; Finalize Document

    • April: Finalize Documents; Delivery

Safe Routes to School: Practice and Promise (2004)

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SRTS Audit solution…

  • Purpose

    • To assess the conditions of a ½ mile radius around each school as they relate to biking and walking

    • Will help determine the recommendations in the plan

    • Can be used to apply for infrastructure grants in 2008

    • Grant requirement

  • Volunteers needed!

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SRTS Audit Team solution…

  • Jack Hirt

    • Executive Director of Bicycle Federation of WI

    • Involved in Safe Routes to School planning and implementation since 2004

    • Abilities include classroom instruction of bicycle and pedestrian safety, and facility design and planning for specific school sites

    • Year-round bike and walk commuter

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SRTS Audit Team solution…

  • Jessica Wineberg

    • She currently bikes to work everyday at the Bicycle Federation of WI

    • She runs the largest Safe Routes to School program in the state with the Milwaukee Public Schools

    • She is a League Cycling Instructor

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SRTS Audit Team solution…

  • Charley Weeth

    • Executive Director of Wisconsin Walks

    • Years of experience with pedestrian safety and access issues

    • Avid walker and bicyclist, routinely out and about with his German Shepherds

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Success! solution…

  • The success of the plan depends on you

    • Talk to your neighbors and friends

    • Participate in the School Campaign

    • Call your local papers

    • Envision success!

Madison WI

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  • Additional Information from the Wisconsin DOT includes:ApplicationsToolkitSurveysContactsLinks to additional information

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Websites solution…

  • Additional Information from Schreiber/Anderson Associates includes:Introductory PacketSurveysContactsProject progress