Our mission is to assist our communities, schools and parents in enabling and encouraging children, including children with disabilities to safely walk and bike to school. The Coalition strives to equip children and their families with the knowledge, training and technical information needed to implement safe and successful strategies. In the process, these programs are working to reduce traffic congestions, improve health, the environment and making communities more livable for everyone.
Through the Safe Routes to Schools grant received from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in 2011, a Land Planning Consulting firm was hired to conduct physical assessment of safe routes to the 12 schools included in the grant. H&L Planning Consultants commenced the assessment of the areas around the schools in early 2012. The criteria for assessment included:
- default_titleReview of walking paths and bicycle pathways within the 2 mile radius of the schools
- default_titleReview of existing traffic signal locations and assess need for change in signal timing and signal count down
- default_titleIdentify crossing guard locations and areas where crossing guards may be needed
- default_titleIdentify any other physical problems such as curb, ramps or lack of, stop signs, crosswalks
- default_titleEvaluate the pickup and drop off area at schools
- default_titleEvaluate bus traffic
- default_titleDetermine if there is a need for additional bike racks at schools
- default_titleIdentify any other hazardous characteristic such as students crossing at midblock, drivers not yielding to pedestrian/students in cross walk
- default_titleIdentify any other physical needs to assist in providing Safe Routes to school
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On March 17, 2011, the School District received a Safe Routes to Schools Non-Infrastructure grant for $129,200. The grant initially expired on September 28, 2012. However, approximately half of the funds will not be spent at that time, therefore the District requested and FDOT approved an extension for the implementation of this grant to February 2013. The Safe Routes to School Coordinator will continue working with the schools implementing the Commit 2B Fit® program, the Walking School Bus program and continue to educate the students on measures they and their parents can take to get to and from school safely. Afterschool projects will be conducted with students to educate them on the benefits of walking and bicycling to school.
The Safe Routes to Schools Coalition, which was formed in 2010, consists of representatives from various School District departments including Legal Services, Transportation, Risk & Benefits Management, School Police, Office of Community Involvement, Curriculum and Learning Support, and Planning and Real Estate Services, and representation from the District's Wellness Promotion Task Force. In addition there are representatives from Palm Beach County Traffic Engineering, Palm Beach County Metropolitan Planning Organization, Palm Beach County Health Department, Safe Kids of Palm Beach County, Commit 2BFit®, Caridad Center, FDOT /South Florida Commuter Services and other agencies that work to keep children safe. The Coalition meets monthly to address traffic concerns and safety issues and provides updates on safe routes and other related programs.
Safe Routes to Schools Coalition Meetings ~ FY 2011-2012