How does Safe Routes to School Boston work?

  • The program works through a collection of strategies that work collectively to address infrastructure and environmental concerns while educating and promoting involvement. 

     

    Safe Routes Strategies

    Examples in BPS

    Evaluation

    Ensures that the aims of the program are being met, and that strategies to support active transportation are delivered to the schools/neighborhoods that show the greatest need or opportunity for success.

    • Evaluation of student transportation methods occurs through student hand tallies.
    • Evaluation of walking routes occurs via walk audits that lead to improvements and preferred walking routes.

    Engineering

    Aims to improve the physical conditions that surround a school; the goal of engineering is to establish safer crosswalks or pathways, and to reduce traffic congestion or speed.

    • School-based walk audits provide information that the City uses to repair crosswalks and curbs, or provide better traffic signage near schools.
    • Infrastructure concerns in neighborhoods are reported through BOS:311 for engineering repairs.

    Encouragement

    Events provide opportunities to encourage students to walk or bike to school on special days in order to establish healthy habits.

    • International Walk to School Day occurs on the first Wednesday of October and is a great way to kick off SRTS Boston!
    • Winter Walk Days provide opportunity to conduct winter-themed activities or challenges.
    • Annual Spring Walk to School Day celebrates the spring walking season each April.

    Education

    Informs students and families with the options available for taking an active approach to school travel, while also providing students with specific safety instruction and training.

    • The PE Department supports a pedestrian safety curriculum for students in K-8.
    • Walking tips and simple pedestrian safety lessons designed for the classroom are available online.

    Enforcement

    Local law enforcement supports active travel by ensuring that drivers obey traffic laws; posting crossing guards to assist students on their routes to school; and providing police presence to enhance safety along travel routes.

    • Walking Routes are shared with local police stations for heightened awareness on popular routes.

    Equity

    Recognizes that different people have different barriers to overcome, and ensures that SRTS initiatives benefit all demographic groups.

    • BPS considered the barriers, concerns, and opportunities that face families in our neighborhoods. It is the goal of the SRTS Boston program to consider equitable opportunities in each strategy of this initiative.