Ten Years Later: Examining The Long-Term Impact Of The California Safe Routes To School Program

Background:  California was the first state to legislate a Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program under Assembly Bill AB 1475 (1999). SR2S funds construction projects that make it safer for children to walk/bicycle to school and encourage a greater number of children to choose these modes of travel for the school commute.

  • Purpose:  The main goal of this project was to assess the long-term impact of program-funded engineering modifications on walking/bicycling levels and on safety. 
  • Methods:  Evaluation of improvements was determined using a targeted method of determining the countermeasures to result in safety and mode shift.
  • Results:  Major results indicate infrastructure improvements resulted in a 75 percent reduction in collisions involving bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages within 250 feet of the improvement. There was also evidence of improvements resulting in increased rates of walking and bicycling to school.
  • Conclusion:  Positive results for safety and mobility, as well as improved data collection for funded programs, should make Safe Routes to School programs competitive among other transportation needs.

Ragland D, Pande, S, Bigham. J, Cooper JF. Ten Years Later: Examining the Long-term Impact of the California Safe Routes to School Program. In: TRB 93rd Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers. Transportation Research Board; 2014. p. 15.

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