Before we dig too far into the presentation, I thought it best to start us all off on the same page. San Mateo County Safe Routes to School is a countywide initiative that is part of a larger national initiative to promote walking, biking, carpooling and the use of transit.
Unique to the San Mateo County Safe Routes program is the management of the Safe Routes dollars. In San Mateo County, we recognize that the reasons why parents drive their children to school varies from one district to another and in many cases, from one school to another. In this vein, we realize that the answer to getting kids out of cars and safely walking, biking, carpooling, and using transit as a means to get to school doesn’t lie at the County level, but lies much closer to school sites. So, we dole out dollars through a formal grant program. We release a call for applications in January, engage in project selection in mid-March, and then develop formal Memorandums of Understanding between the County Office of Education and the grantee.
Projects submitted request dollars for any combination of:Small capital infrastructure projects such as signageWalk AuditsNon-infrastructure projects Small Cap and Walk audits are unique to a county level program because of Measure M and John’s expansive knowledge of programming the dollars and the requirements of each of the pots we draw from.
Many people hear about the Safe Routes to School program and wonder, ‘Why are we spending money on getting kids to bike and walk…I used to walk/bike to school and it didn’t cost me anything.” and an even larger question is why would districts already taxed with huge shifts like the Common Core State Standards, School Safety, Anti_bullying, the New Smarter Balance Assessment system be asking for prom dollars to tackle a new initiative? Often what frames that statement is a vision of the past. In this side, on the left we see downtown Baltimore’s shopping district in 1950 and there’s one car far off in the distance. On the right we see a neighborhood in Daly City just off of Skyline Blvd in 1960. Today, one might be lucky to find parking.
This program exists to support schools manage traffic mitigation, increase student safety, improve air quality, and promote student health because the reality is that in one generation, we have shifted from the majority of students biking and walking to school to less than 15%of students in schools without Safe Routes to School biking, walking, and carpooling to school.
Safe Routes addresses things like increasing student safety through the 5 E Model-education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement, and evlauation.
County-wide:240 Bike Rodeos352 Bike and Pedestrian Student Education Workshops29 Parent Education Workshops10 Family Fun Education EventsDevelopment of one Safety Educational VideoDevelopment of 30 Route Maps
Funding supported:3 County-wide Events occurring on:October 3: International Walk to School Day91 Schools participated in event activitiesApril 22: Earth Day49 Schools participated in event activitiesMay 8: National Bike to School Day67 Schools participated in event activities18 Encouragement Events organized by vendors 627 Volunteer coordinated encouragement events including:Walk/Bike Across California EventsGolden Sneaker Contest EventsMonthly/Weekly Walk and Roll Days
County-wide:Funding provided:19 Walkability/Bikability AuditsWalk and Bike audits often bring the city and school district together in a collaborative conversation in which both look at traffic problems in their entirety and begin to consider how they can both be part of the solution.This is in fact what happened in San Carlos.Last sring walk audits were conducted at BA and Central. At present the city is engaged in collaborative conversation with the school district.
County-wide:Funding facilitated the training and materials necessary for the implementation of:15 Kiddie Valet/Student Valet programs to encourage safe driver behavior at pick-up and drop-off locationsAlso to note-there are local law enforcement and school district partnerships. In San Mateo-Foster City the two police departments and the school district collaborated to develop a parent letter outlining safe driver behaviors, expectation of parents, and consequences.
Program evaluation was conducted in the Fall of 2012 and again in the Spring of 2013. Program evaluations suggests that education, encouragement, enforcement, and engineering efforts are increasing parental awareness of the Safe Routes to School program and participation in program activities. For instance, awareness of the San Mateo County Safe Routes to School Program increased from 32% to 36.9% from the Fall of 2012 to the Spring of 2013. Evaluation data also suggest that while speeding, traffic volumes, unsafe intersections, and stranger danger continue to be concerns of parents, program activities are facilitating some positive changes in driver behaviors and the development of supportive communities.
The results of the 5E approach is that commitment to the Safe Routes initiative is increasing. In 2012/13, 2 school districts adopted resolutions and in 2013/14, we’ve already seen 4 cities (Pacifica, Belmont, San Mateo, Foster City) make a move to support Safe Routes and a School District move forward with board policy.
Making progress with the 5 E’s hinges on collaboration from all stakeholders. It is at this point that I would like to turn things over to Mindy Hill, Wellness Coordinator of the San Carlos School District to highlight what is happening with the schools and her work with the city.
San Carlos Traffic Circulation Commitee Presentation
Safe Routes to School
Daina Lujan, Coordinator Safe Routes to School, San Mateo County Office of Education
Mindy Hill, Wellness Coordinator, San Carlos School District
What is Safe Routes to School (SR2S)?
San Mateo County Safe Routes to School Program Goal:
Encourage and enable school children to walk, bicycle,
carpool, and utilize transit as a means of getting to
District & City Process Framework
Citizens, Parents, SCSD & SMCOE
Collaborate on Issues
SCSD Categorizes & Prioritizes
City Reviews Priorities & Analyzes Data
to Develop Engineering Solutions
SCSD & SMCOE Work with City to
City & SCSD Collaborate to Inform
Parents & Citizens
San Mateo Program Structure
Project Selection Process
501c Nonprofit Organizations that serve children of San Mateo
County request funding for:
• Small Capital Infrastructure Projects
• Walk Audits
• Non-Infrastructure Projects
San Carlos School District
Mindy Hill, Wellness Coordinator, San Carlos School
SCSD Schools = ~3,000 Students
Brittan Acres (Pre-K – 4)
Central Middle School
Heather (Pre-K – 4)
San Carlos Charter Learning Center K-8*
Tierra Linda Middle School (Pre-K – 8)
White Oaks (K-4)
• Reduce the # of trips by car (Currently 2,346/week)
• Address unsafe intersections, crossing guards, traffic and stranger danger
• Target ½-1-milers with Walk-To-School Programs (see below)
• Boost encouragement by schools for walking, biking and carpooling
– Walking school bus
– Remote drop off locations
– Safe Routes to School classroom/school lessons
• Parents more likely to be influenced by bike rodeos
• Students more likely to be influenced by safe routes lessons and walking school busses
• Improve coordination of carpooling
– Route maps
• Stagger pick up and drop off times
• SMCOE Safe Routes Grants
– Currently SCSD awarded $23,500 for 6 campuses
• Build 2 new schools with safer access
• Coordinate with the 4-Corners Workgroup
• Partner with City of San Carlos to address
priority projects and intersections
• Communicate with Parents through PTA