Safe Routes to School

The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program helps community leaders, schools and parents improve safety and encourage more children to safely walk and bicycle to school. The program works toward reducing traffic congestion and improving health and the environment, making communities more livable for everyone. SRTS is a national program. Shasta County Public Health received a 3-year grant from
Caltrans to develop an education and encouragement
program in six target schools.

Walk to School Day 2014

Shasta Safe Routes to School is offering safety kits, supplies and training for K-8 schools who want to coordinate Walk to School (W2S) Day, October 8, 2014.

Complete the application and return it by August 22, 2014 to be eligible.

Kits include safety vests, banners, posters, flyers, and prizes for students that walk, and pedestrian safety educational materials.

Parent groups/organizations and site councils are encouraged to apply. A mandatory training to coordinate the event will be held Tuesday, August 26, 5:30 pm at Shasta County Public Health in the Community Conference Room.

Schools need to have a parent group/organization (ie. PTA, parent club, site council) willing to coordinate the event, which must include an on-going walking school bus. A walking school bus is a supervised group of children walking together to school. Typically the students meet at a park or church parking lot to walk as a group.

For more information, contact Cameron Lievense at 229-8456 or clievense@co.shasta.ca.us.

Promote Walk to School Day at your school with these flyers:
W2S full-page flyer - Use this one to post information around campus.
W2S half-page flyer - Send this one home with the students! We'll provide the copies you need. Just fill in the blanks on the flyer and then email the file to Cameron. Be sure to let us know how many students you need flyers for.

Walk to School Day Resources

Walking School Bus Basics (pdf)
Walking Safety Tips for Parents (pdf)
Walking Safety Tips for Kids (pdf)

Additional Walk to School Day tips and resources available at http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/.

The components of SRTS include the five Es:

Education - teaching pedestrian, bicyclist and traffic safety and creating awareness of the benefits of walking/biking to school.

Encouragement - building interest and enthusiasm by offering incentives to increase the number of students walking/biking to school.

Enforcement - enforcing rules for safe walking, bicycling and driving, along with neighborhood watch programs.

Engineering - slowing down traffic and installing paths, sidewalks, and safer crossings.

Evaluation - assessing the number of children walking/biking to school and finding out why they do it to determine program goals and objectives.

The 6 Target Schools

  • Anderson Heights
  • Burney Elementary
  • Cypress Elementary, Redding
  • Meadow Lane, Anderson
  • Shasta Lake School
  • Turtle Bay School, Redding

Events and Activities

  • Develop a county-wide task force
  • Offer pedestrian and bicycle safety curriculum to 2nd and 6th graders at target schools and throughout Redding School District
  • Assist with coordinating bicycle rodeos and helmet distribution
  • Assist with coordinating and celebrating annual Walk to School Day (October) and Bike to School Day (May)
  • Offer assistance with coordinating ongoing walking/biking to school programs
  • All Shasta County schools can request assistance and resources

Walking to School is Fun!

Has your child ever asked if he/she can walk/bike to school? Kids think its fun to walk and bike!  Support their desire to walk/bike by walking/biking with them to school. Live too far away to walk? Park a short distance from school and walk from there. If your child takes the bus, walk him/her to the bus stop. Walking to school is a great way for kids to get exercise before starting their school day and relieve congestion in front of the school, making it safer and easier for more children to walk/bike.

Why is Walking to School Important?

Thirty-three percent of children are overweight. Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day for their health. Studies show when children are physically active before school, they are more prepared to learn and can concentrate better in class.

Up to 25% of morning commute traffic is school related. Air quality is noticeably better at schools where many children arrive by bike/on foot.

Remind children of the following safety tips:

  • Cross the street at intersections or crosswalks
  • Look left, right, and left again before crossing
  • Walk in pairs or groups
  • Form a walking school bus/bike train (supervised group of children walking/biking to school)
  • Don't talk to or take rides from strangers

Get Involved with Safe Routes to School at Your Child's School!

Here are some ideas:

  • Join the Shasta County Safe Routes to School Task Force
  • Walk/bike your child and others in the neighborhood to school
  • Assist with helmet fitting
  • Assist with bike rodeos/other safety events
  • Coordinate Walk to School Day
  • Coordinate a frequent walker/rider program
  • Integrate Safe Routes to School program into class curriculum
  • Walk and bike more in your neighborhood
  • Be a role model

Success Stories

First Bike to School Day 2012
Nine schools participated in the first ever Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 9th. Shasta County schools joined over 1000 schools in 49 states to participate. Four schools, Anderson Middle School, Anderson New Tech, Redding School of the Arts, and Sequoia, continued to participate the following week in the Bike Commute Challenge. Two students were lucky winners of new Trek 3500 mountain bikes. Congratulations to Maria from Anderson Middle School and Logan from Sequoia School for taking on the bike challenge and winning bikes! Biking to school is a great way for kids to get exercise and to gain confidence and a sense of independence. The Safe Routes to School program will be working with several schools over the next three years to do bicycle and pedestrian safety education.

School Bikeway at Lema Ranch
The McConnell Foundation has added trails and made some trails OK for bikes so that children at both Mountain View Middle School and Redding School of the Arts now have more bike and walk friendly options for commuting to school. Select Lema Ranch trails are now open to bicycles during school commute hours. See map below.
School Bikeway Map

New Sidewalks at Lassen View School
Lassen View School celebrated the new sidewalks along Loma Vista Drive on Friday, January 13, 2012. Through a Caltrans Safe Routes to School grant to the City of Redding and a partnership with Neighborhood Church, the entire length of Loma Vista has sidewalks from Churn Creek Road to Bechelli Lane. Students are now able to more safely walk to Lassen View School. Francie Sullivan, City of Redding City Council member, and Brain Winstead, Superintendent of Enterprise Elementary School District, performed the ceremonial ribbon cutting. All students took a walk on the new sidewalks throughout the school day to learn about walking safely and to see the new sidewalks.

Avoid the Loop Walks at Turtle Bay School
Shasta Safe Routes to School helped Turtle Bay School launch Avoid the (traffic) Loop walks on Fridays. Avoid the Loop is spear-headed by a parent volunteer, the principal, and supported by the vice principal, teachers, and parents. This weekly program has decreased traffic congestion and given kids a great opportunity to be physically active before starting their school day. Read more below.
Avoid the Loop Success Story - Turtle Bay School (pdf) 

Crosswalk at Mistletoe School
Shasta Safe Routes to School has been working with local schools over the past three years to provide education and encouragement for kids to walk/bike to school. Below is a success story of how the Shasta Safe Routes to School Program partnered with the City of Redding and Mistletoe School to obtain funds to build an enhanced crosswalk, making it safer and easier for students to cross a busy street in front of the school. Walk to School Day was celebrated last October, which gave many students an opportunity to try the new crosswalk.
SRTS Success Story - Mistletoe School (pdf)

Resources

For more information contact:

Sara Sundquist
Safe Routes to School Coordinator
Shasta County Public Health
(530) 245-6457
ssundquist@co.shasta.ca.us