Safe Routes to School programs
are most successful when
they include a combination
of program elements that
consider the "5 E's
of Safe Routes to School":
A variety of improvements can
be implemented to create
safer walking and cycling
environments including improving
roads and sidewalks, enforcing
speed limits, educating students
and improving personal safety.
An engineering approach creates operational and physical improvements to the infrastructure surrounding the school that reduce speeds
and conflicts with motor vehicles and establishes safer crosswalks and pathways.
The enforcement approach partners with local law enforcement to ensure that traffic laws (speeding, idling, cell phone,
yield-to-pedestrian) are obeyed in the vicinity of schools and initiating community enforcement, such as crossing guard programs.
Education teaches children and parents about the broad range of transportation choices, instructing them in important lifelong
bicycling and walking safety skills and launching driver safety campaigns in the vicinity of schools.
An encouragement strategy promotes walking and bicycling to school on a regular basis through events and activities.
Adults walk with children in
Maplewood. (Images provided by Sharon
A temporary curbed island near
a school in
Westfield, designed to ensure
that traffic on the side
street does not form two lanes
and block the views of pedestrians
and school children. (Image provided by Gordon
A speed monitor sign in Delanco. (Image provided by Elise
School bike safety program
in Wharton. (Image provided by Patrick
Monitoring the different strategies and documenting their outcomes and trends by collecting data before and after their intervention is a
critical part of determining the effectiveness of each strategy.
Although each strategy can stand
alone, the most successful
programs integrate elements
from all of them. One way to
"5 E's" is to develop a Safe
Routes to School Travel Plan for
your school. A Safe Routes
to School Action Plan will
address specific conditions
within a municipality, district
or school relevant to journeys
to and from school. Action
plans not only address physical
infrastructure needs such as
sidewalks and roadway crossings,
but also concerns about personal
safety and health.