200953 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Partnership's Local School Project (LSP): Baseline Evaluation Results

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tracy McMillan, PhD, MPH , PPH Partners, Flagstaff, AZ
Swati Pande , Traffic Safety Center, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Jill F. Cooper, MSW , SafeTREC, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a national movement to create safe opportunities for children to walk and bicycle to and from schools. We developed an evaluation framework for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership Local Schools Project, which supports local SRTS projects at various schools across the country during the 08-09 school year. Baseline data were collected in Fall 2008 for four sites in Virginia, Washington DC, Georgia, and California. Follow-up data will be collected in the spring of 2009. This abstract focuses on the baseline data in three areas: safety observations, vehicle counts, and focus group data.


The evaluation at each school site included the Parent Survey and Student Travel Tally from the National Center for SRTS as well as safety observations, vehicle counts, and focus group findings.


Focus groups revealed that parents were concerned about neighborhood crime and traffic safety near schools and adult supervision would increase participation in SRTS activities. Observations showed that most children crossed the street with an adult or crossing guard; very few conflicts were reported between pedestrians and vehicles. Medium sized vehicles were the most commonly observed vehicle type.


Baseline data provide valuable feedback on current prevalence of walking/biking to school at each location, as well as barriers to walking/biking. The results provided information critical to the planning and development of SRTS activities at the four sites, and will be used with the follow-up data to evaluate the program at the conclusion of the school year.

Learning Objectives:
1. Define 3 elements associated with Safe Routes to Schools programs. 2. Explain the results of an evaluation of Safe Routes to School projects in 4 states in the US.

Keywords: Children, Motor Vehicles

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Serves on the evaluation team of the Safe Routes to School project, has demonstrated SAS expertise, provides data analysis for injury prevention and traffic safety projects.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.