The Carlisle Mosquito Online

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. ∆

HOOFING IT. Fifth-graders (left to right) Emily Barrow, Katie Belanger, Lucy Hill, Catherine Gladstone and Daniel Picard walked to school during National Walk to School Day on May 6. They are shown walking along Church Street by the Town Common and the location of the proposed new section of the pathway. (Photo by Beth Clarke)


© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito