Five Ways SRTS Can Help Advance Youth Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Beyond the School Trip

The National Center for Safe Routes to School’s report Advancing Safe Walking and Bicycling for Youthexamines how the Federal Safe Routes to School Program provides a foundation for broader initiatives such as Vision Zero, to improve safety for children and youth walking and biking throughout their communities.

This report highlights the progress made by the Federal Safe Routes to School Program, including how at least 6.8 million students have been reached by the Program, and discusses the urgent need to use these achievements and strategies to better serve children and youth as they walk and bicycle beyond the trip to school.

Using input from more than 40 transportation and public health professionals and advocates who participated in the National Center for Safe Routes to School’s  Roundtable on Safe Routes to School: Ten Years of Progress, held at the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, DC in late 2015; findings from the report Creating Healthier Generations: A Look at 10 Years of the Federal Safe Routes to School Program; and input from State Safe Routes to School Coordinators, this report offers explanations of how the following five ways that SRTS strategies can be used to increase safe walking and improve safety for youth on every trip, to every destination:

1.       SRTS provides a logical starting point for innovative infrastructure to improve driver and pedestrian safety behavior at crossings.

2.       SRTS programs create opportunities to try behaviors and inspire community-wide change.

3.       SRTS initiatives serve as starting point for using bold ideas to tackle difficult safety issues like speeding.

4.       SRTS creates safe networks for walking and bicycling.

5.       SRTS attracts a robust base of support by promoting broader community benefits.

To bolster the strategies, the report specifies the research evidence for infrastructure improvements that work to address enhancements at street crossings, speed reduction strategies, school zone changes and other methods.

View the full report here.