Had the state legislature passed a proposed transportation package this session, it would likely have included millions of dollars in additional funding for the Safe Routes to School program, which focuses road safety investments near Washington schools. While the ill-fated package was controversial, the data shows that investing in Safe Routes to School is remarkably and undeniably effective.
In fact, the Bicycle Alliance of Washington recently pointed out a December 2012 document with this incredible fact: There had been zero reported collisions at Safe Routes to School project locations. Zero.
And yet, the rate of funding projects remains below 25 percent. There are few government programs this effective, and the state should do whatever it can to fully fund such wise investments in road safety. Imagine if the state had the goal of zero dangerous streets near schools within five years? We could do it, all we need is the leadership to make it happen.
From the document:
The goal of the Safe Routes to School Program is to increase the numbers of children walking and biking to school safely. Safe Routes to School projects that have provided evaluation results show:
- an average increase of 20 percent in the number of children walking and biking to school;
- completion of about 75,000 additional feet of sidewalks near schools;
- a reduction in motorist travel speeds and traffic citations in school zones;
- increased student compliance with safe crossing behaviors;
- no collisions occurring at completed project locations.
Here’s the full document:
6 responses to “Washington’s Safe Routes to School projects brought collisions to zero, program remains underfunded”
I’m impressed at how effective the SRTS improvements have been – I wouldn’t have guessed it! This is useful to know – Thanks Tom.
For those that don’t want to deal with Scribd, here is the download link:
[…] Washington’s Safe Routes to School projects brought collisions to zero, program remains underfunde… […]
The Safe Routes to Schools for Thornton Creek School is misleading. Half of the routes have no sidewalks, and another portion sidewalks on one side only. Sidewalks can help prevent up to 88 percent of “walking along roadway” accidents, according to the Federal Highway Administration Report No. FHWS-RD-01-101. So while the routes may be suitable for bicycle riders, they are not for elementary children walking to Thornton Creek. A new 660-student school will be built there and the old school not demolished. This could mean over 1,000 elementary students at this one campus. With the lack of so many sidewalks making for such unsafe routes for kids to walk, more parents will drive, adding even more to the traffic burden on residential streets that the new school will bring.
I should have added that Thornton Creek Elementary School is in NE Seattle.
[…] of a December 2012 report there had been ZERO collisions reported at any of Washington State’s Safe Routes to School project areas since the program began half a decade […]