Friday, May 22, 2009
Kids encouraged to walk with Safe Routes to School program
At the May 11 Planning Board meeting, board member Marc Lamere reported that Carlisle is participating in a program managed by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation. As liaison to the Pathways Committee, he said that the committee has had initial meetings with program representatives.
The Safe Routes to School program aims to reduce congestion, air pollution and traffic congestion near participating schools, while increasing the health, safety and physical activity of elementary and middle school students. The program offers schools technical assistance designing, implementing, marketing and evaluating initiatives tailored to each school’s needs and priorities. Surveys gauge student travel modes before and after program implementation through parent and student surveys. Walkability and bikability checklists examine routes for students traveling to and from school. Preferred routes are designated, based on the outcome from the checklist, to provide consistency and improve safety through the program.
Communities can be eligible for infrastructure projects, either state or federally funded, targeted to enhancing safe access to schools. An on-call team of engineers, planners and pedestrian/bicycle experts assess school environments making recommendations for possible operational and physical improvements to the roads and walkways surrounding schools. ∆
© 2009 The