228594 An evaluation of the Safe Routes to School Local School Project

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jill F. Cooper, MSW , SafeTREC, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Tracy E. McMillan, PhD, MPH , PPH Partners, Flagstaff, AZ
Monica Altmaier , SafeTREC, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Swati Pande , SafeTREC, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Thomas M. Rice, MPH, PhD , Department of Environmental Health Services, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Local School Project was implemented in ten schools located in low income communities across the country, from April 2008 to December 2009.


Sites were encouraged to collect data both during the baseline and post implementation period (spring 2009). Data collection tools included the parent survey and student travel tally from the National Center for SRTS as well as safety observations, vehicle counts, and focus groups. CO2 emissions were calculated to assess air quality at school sites. An evaluation handbook was created for local communities to use for data collection.


Parent surveys revealed a modest increase in walking/bicycling across all school sites in spring 2009. Calculated CO2 levels near school sites appeared to decrease. Focus groups revealed concerns about crime and traffic safety near school sites. Sites with paid coordinators were able to collect data more effectively. Exit interviews showed that policy changes were made during the year across nearly all sites.


The project was successful in increasing positive perception of walking and bicycling to school among parents in low income communities. It emphasized the importance of data collection and partnerships in successful program implementation.

Learning Objectives:
Describe an evaluation of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program activities. Evaluate program outcomes of the evaluation. Analyze challenges in implementing SRTS activities in low income communities.

Keywords: Evaluation, School-Based Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the key person in the study and I have overseen various programs on pedestrian safety, evaluation studies, teen driving safety, transportation and land use.
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.