Document Sample
Katonah Elementary School             Katonah, New York

                      November 2010

         Katonah Elementary School Workshop Attendees
                          Jonathan Kaplan, Principal
                      Terry Costin, Assistant Principal
       Peter B. Harckham, Westchester County Legislator, 2nd District
               Lee Roberts, Supervisor of the Town of Bedford
    Janet Harckham, Parent and Katonah Lewisboro Board of Education
    Kevin Winn, Commissioner of Bedford Department of Public Works
Bob Mascianica, Deputy Commissioner of Bedford Department of Public Works
               Lt. Robert Mazurak, Bedford Police Department
     Mark Thielking, Parent and Director of Bedford Energy Resources
                           Darlene Esposito, Parent
                              Sara Weale, Parent

                           Prepared for:
           Westchester County Department of Transportation
                     Naomi Klein, Principal Planner
                        Charles Sutter, Planner

                           Prepared by:
                       Alta Planning + Design
                          Jeff Olson, Principal
                       Phil Goff, Project Manager
                       Shannon Simms, Designer
                                                               Table of Contents
I.     SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL OVERVIEW ............................................................ 1
       1.1 Introduction ....................................................................................................................................... 1
       1.2 Safe Routes to School Program Overview .................................................................................... 2
       1.3 Why are Safe Routes to School Important? .................................................................................. 2
       1.4 Benefits of a Safe Routes to School Program ............................................................................... 3

II.    EFFORTS AT KATONAH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ................................................. 4
       2.1 History of SRTS efforts at KES ..................................................................................................... 4
       2.2 SRTS Recommendations Workshop (2010) ................................................................................. 4

III.   SAFE ROUTES RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................................... 6
       3.1 ENGINEERING: Physical Improvements ................................................................................. 6
             3.1a –– New and improved sidewalks along Huntville Road ...................................................................................... 6
             3.1b –– New and enhanced crosswalks .......................................................................................................................... 6
             3.1c –– Incorporate New School Area Signage and Pavement Markings .................................................................. 7
             3.1d –– Traffic Calming .................................................................................................................................................... 8
             3.1e –– Improve the School Drop-off Loop ................................................................................................................. 9
             3.1f –– Create Covered and Easily Accessible Bicycle Parking .................................................................................10
             3.1g –– Changing district boundaries ............................................................................................................................11
       3.2 EDUCATION and ENCOURAGEMENT Programs ............................................................ 11
             3.2a –– Create a Formal SRTS Committee ..................................................................................................................11
             3.2b –– Walking/Bicycling Challenges .........................................................................................................................12
             3.2c –– Incorporate SRTS Lessons for Students and Parents ...................................................................................12
             3.2d –– Walk and Bicycle to School Day......................................................................................................................12
             3.2e –– Walking School Buses .......................................................................................................................................13
             3.2f –– Suggested Route to School Maps .....................................................................................................................13
             3.2g –– Bicycle Rodeos ...................................................................................................................................................13
             3.2h –– Internal dismissal times .....................................................................................................................................13
       3.3 ENFORCEMENT Activities........................................................................................................ 14
       3.4 EVALUATION Programs ............................................................................................................ 16

APPENDIX .................................................................................................... 17
I. Safe Routes to School Overview
1.1 Introduction
The goal of this Recommendations report is to identify potential physical improvements, operational
measures and programs for Katonah Elementary School (KES) to facilitate safe walking and biking
to school. These elements are based on a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) workshop held at KES,
located in Katonah, New York, on October 29, 2010. Of the 480 students attending KES,
approximately 30% walk or bike to school in good weather. Another 30% come by car and
approximately 40% ride the school bus. During the recent International Walk/Bike to School Day
in early October 2010, KES had 140 walkers and 41 bicyclists, or 58% of the student population.

Katonah Elementary is a school
with a strong sense of
community. It has the
advantage of being located in a
residential neighborhood where
many students are close enough
to walk or bicycle to school.
While KES already has relatively
high rates of walking and cycling
compared to other area schools,
there are improvements that can
be made to help KES becomes a
model for Safe Routes to School
in Westchester County and even
throughout New York state. As
decided by workshop attendees,
                                      Orthophoto view of Katonah Elementary School and environs, courtesy
the ultimate goal for KES is to              of Westchester County Department of Transportation
achieve a walking and bicycling
rate of 50% with 100% walking and bicycling during International Walk/Bike to School Day 2011.
Some issues that need to be addressed in order to achieve these goals include traffic calming on
Huntville Road and other nearby streets, sidewalk and crosswalk improvements, enhanced bicycle
parking and parent/student education and awareness. With the proper strategic actions, KES
parents and students will feel more confident and enthusiastic about walking or cycling to school.

This report is available for use by the Town of Bedford, parents and school officials as a framework
to guide successful next steps, both in the short and long term. It reflects recommendations made in
a short period of time and should not be mistaken for a comprehensive plan for radically altering the
number of children walking and biking to Katonah Elementary School. For that shift to occur, a
more thorough evaluation will be required in the future. The effort reflected in these pages included
a site visit to the school and a workshop with a group of approximately a dozen parents,
administrators and town officials.

Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
1.2 Safe Routes to School Program Overview
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a national program that creates safe, convenient and fun
opportunities for children to walk and bicycle to and from their schools. With the increasing need to
improve the health and safety of children, SRTS can improve communities by making walking and
bicycling safe ways to get to school and by encouraging more children to do so. To accomplish this
goal, a comprehensive program must be established to create an environment that enhances,
supports, and sustains walking and cycling as viable options for travel. With this in mind, SRTS
emphasizes a holistic approach to create change that encompasses the five ““E”” approach;
Engineering, Enforcement, Encouragement, Education and Evaluation.

     •    Engineering: physical improvements to the environment such as crosswalks, sidewalks,
          bike lanes and signals.
     •    Education: methods to teach children, parents and neighbors about the benefits of walking
          and cycling to school as well instructing age-appropriate walking, driving and cycling
          behaviors to support safe travel in the school zone.
     •    Encouragement: programs such as Walk to School Day, the Walking School Bus, contests
          and other initiatives to entice children (and their parents) to walk or bicycle to school.
     •    Enforcement: incorporates law enforcement efforts to ensure drivers, bicyclists and
          pedestrians obey traffic laws and practice appropriate behavior near schools.
     •    Evaluation: uses measurements or indicators such as the number of children walking or
          bicycling to school to ascertain the success of any SRTS program.

1.3 Why are Safe Routes to School Important?
Although most students in the United States walked or biked to school prior to the 1980s, the
number of students walking or bicycling to school has sharply declined since then. Statistics show
that 42% of all students between five and 18 years of age walked or bicycled to school in 1969,
including 87% of students who lived within one mile of the school they attended. In 2001 fewer
than 16% of students walked or bicycled any distance to get to school1. This decline is due to a
number of factors, including urban growth patterns and school siting requirements that encourage
school development in outlying areas, increased traffic and parental concerns about safety. The
situation is self-perpetuating: as more parents drive their children to school, there is increased traffic
at the school site, resulting in more parents becoming
concerned about traffic and driving their children to school.

According to a 2004 national survey by the Center for
Disease Control, parents whose children did not walk or bike
to school cited the following barriers:

     •    Distance to school: 61.5%
     •    Traffic-related danger: 30.4%
                                                                                     The downward spiral of walking
                                                                                         and bicycling to school
1U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Barriers to Children Walking to or from School United States 2004, Morbidity
and Mortality Weekly Report September 30, 2005. Available:
Accessed: December 28, 2007.
Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
    •    Weather: 18.6%
    •    Crime/Danger: 11.7 %
    •    Opposing school policy: 6.0%
    •    Other reasons (not identified): 15.0%

A comprehensive Safe Routes to School program addresses many of the reasons for reductions in
walking and biking through a multi-faceted approach that uses education, encouragement,
engineering and enforcement efforts to develop attitudes, behaviors and physical infrastructure that
improve the walking and biking environment.

1.4 Benefits of a Safe Routes to School Program
Safe Routes to School programs directly benefit school children, parents, staff and teachers by
creating a safer travel environment near schools and reducing motor-vehicle congestion at school
drop-off and pick-up zones. Students that choose to walk or bike to school are rewarded with the
health benefits of a more active lifestyle and the responsibility and independence that come from
being in charge of the way they travel. They can also learn at an early age that walking and biking can
be safe, enjoyable and good for the environment. SRTS programs offer additional benefits to
neighborhoods by helping to slow traffic and provide infrastructure improvements that facilitate
walking and biking for everyone. Identifying and improving routes for students to safely walk and
bicycle to school is one of the most cost-effective means of reducing morning traffic congestion and
auto-related pollution.

In addition to safety and traffic improvements, a
SRTS program helps integrate physical activity into
the everyday routine of school children. Since the
mid-1970s, the number of children who are
overweight has roughly tripled from 5% to almost
17%. Health concerns related to sedentary lifestyles
have become the focus of statewide and national
efforts to reduce health risks associated with being
overweight. Children who walk or bike to school
have an overall higher activity level than those who
are driven to school, even though the journey to
school makes only a small contribution to activity
                                                                           SRTS-themed artwork developed by a 2nd
levels.2                                                                    grader at a workshop in Portsmouth NH

2Cooper A, Page A, Foster L, Qahwaji D. Commuting to school: are children who walk more physically active? American Journal of
Preventive Medicine. 2003 November; 25(4):273-6.

Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
II. Efforts at Katonah Elementary School
2.1 History of SRTS efforts at KES
Katonah Elementary School is unique among the
elementary schools in the district. It is truly a
community school that has traditionally embraced
both walking and bicycling to school. There have
been many initiatives to promote such activities
among students. In the past, the school's ““Compact
Team”” has conducted Walk to School Friday
initiatives. During Earth Week in April 2010, the
PTO sponsored a Walk to School initiative. On one
of these days, 61 bikes were counted on the school
racks while fewer than 40 cars brought students to
school. Because of this the school was inspired to
purchase an additional bike rack. On International
Walk to School Day in October 2010, 41 bicycles          KES students lock their bicycles to a rack outside
were counted at the school bicycle rack and more                            the school
than 140 ““I Walked to School Today”” pencils were
handed out.

2.2 SRTS Recommendations Workshop (2010)
As part the KES Safe Routes to School Recommendations effort, Alta Planning + Design held a
workshop at the school on October 29th, 2010 with a pre-visit held on October 21st. The visit
included an observation of student arrival to the school with workshop attendees. The arrival
period was intense and congested, lasting roughly 10 minutes. Buses and private automobiles
jockeyed for position on the loop road to the school while numerous vehicles queued along
Huntville Road waiting to enter the loop road. Meanwhile, children walking and bicycling in some
instances needed to weave in between the queuing cars, though most proceeded to the front door

 Vehicles queued along Huntville Road waiting
 to enter the loop road at arrival time
Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
without conflict. The workshop group consisted of parents, school administrators, a school board
member, a County Legislator, the Town of Bedford Supervisor, Department of Public Works
Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, and a Lieutenant of the Bedford Police Department.
After an introductory presentation on the importance of promoting Safe Routes to School, the goals
of the program and the ““five E’’s”” structure of SRTS planning efforts, discussion focused on
locations still in need of traffic safety improvements for the children currently walking and biking to
school. The workshop attendees also provided Alta with ideas for encouragement and education
programs. Many of these comments have been incorporated into the recommendations presented in
this report.


Sara Weale, a KES parent, presents her and her neighbors’ safety
concerns at the October 29th workshop

Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
        Safe Routes Recommendations
The final section of this Recommendations report advises the school administration, the Town of
Bedford and Westchester County on potential projects and programs structured around the five E’’s:
Engineering, Encouragement, Education, Enforcement and Evaluation.

3.1 ENGINEERING: Physical Improvements
Engineering measures for Safe Routes to School
include the design, construction and maintenance
of physical infrastructure that can improve the
safety and comfort of students who are walking
and biking to school. This infrastructure includes
signage, road stencils and traffic-control devices
such as stop signs, bulb-outs, sidewalks, paths, bike
lanes and trails. When considering engineering
measures, it is best to identify the problem first and
then use accepted engineering practices to develop
an appropriate solution. Traffic engineering
analysis reveals that unnecessary control measures
tend to lessen the respect for those controls that            Engineering measures such as highly-visible
                                                           crosswalks can improve real and perceived safety
are needed. Effective traffic control can best be
obtained through the uniform application of
realistic policies, practices and guidelines developed through properly conducted engineering studies.
A decision to use a specific device at a particular location should be made on the basis of an
engineering and/or traffic study with the input of the Bedford Town Engineer, school staff and
affected stakeholders.

3.1a – New and improved sidewalks along Huntville Road

The asphalt sidewalks along Huntville Road are very narrow but well
used. Many children either walk along a portion of Huntville Road or
cross it to reach the school. The sidewalks on Huntville Road between
KES and Bedford Road alternate on different sides of the road. In the
short term, creating crosswalk connections between these alternating
sidewalks would assist pedestrians. In the long term, new five-foot
(minimum) concrete sidewalks should be constructed so that there are
complete sidewalks on both sides of Huntville Road from KES to
Bedford Road.

3.1b – New and enhanced crosswalks
                                                                                   Narrow sidewalks along
School crosswalks denote the preferred location for children to cross       Huntville Road are crowded
                                                                           with students during dismissal
the street. Crosswalks should be marked at all intersections on                        time
established routes to schools where substantial conflict between
motorists, bicyclists and pedestrian movements exist and at uncontrolled designated school
Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
crossings where students are encouraged to cross between intersections. Ladder-style crosswalks are
the easiest for motorists to see, especially with bright
yellow ““yield to pedestrians”” crossing bollards.

The crosswalks running parallel with Huntville Road
closest to KES are not easy for motorists to see. These
crosswalks should be replaced with high-visibility ladder-
style crosswalks similar to the ones across Huntville Road
at Glenridge Road and South Road. There is a natural
desire line between the school and the parking lot on the
opposite side of Huntville Road, used frequently by
parents and students during school dismissal. A high-
visibility crosswalk added here would improve safety for
those walking directly from KES to the parking lot.            Desire line between the school and parking lot
                                                               across Huntville Road

                                                 A long-term option is to create raised crosswalks
                                                 along Huntville Road. While currently the
                                                 crosswalks located at the intersection of South Road
                                                 and Huntville Road and Glenridge Road and
                                                 Huntville Road are well marked and monitored by
                                                 crossing guards, raised crosswalks at these locations
                                                 would add an extra measure of safety, especially
                                                 during hours in which the crossing guards are not
                                                 present (mid-day, evenings and weekends). Raised
                                                 crossings would increase the visibility of pedestrians
                                                 and serve as a traffic calming device. The crossing is
                                                 essentially a speed table with the height kept at
 Raised crosswalks (like this one in Keene NH)
 effectively slow traffic near schools and
                                                 sidewalk level and striped with crosswalk markings.
 facilitate safe pedestrian crossing.            Advanced signage and chevrons striped onto the
                                                 hump itself are necessary to warn motorists of the
                                                 presence of the raised crosswalk.

3.1c - Incorporate New School Area Signage and Pavement Markings

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) provides guidance on
the use of school area signs and markings. This is the manual used by the State of
New York for standard signage design, pavement markings and traffic control
devices. The key signs include the School Advance Warning Assembly, the School
Crosswalk Warning Assembly and the School Speed Limit Assembly. One way of
increasing the visibility of school area signage is through the use of Fluourescent
Yellow-Green (FYG) signs. The MUTCD has adopted the yellow-green as the                    FYG School advance
standard for all new school zone signs and any existing standard yellow signs             warning sign from the
should be upgraded as part of the Recommendations report.                                  MUTCD, figure S1-1.

Pavement markings have important functions in school area traffic control. In some cases, they are
used to supplement the regulations or warnings provided by devices such as traffic signs or signals.
Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
In other instances, they are used alone and produce results that cannot be obtained by the use of any
other device. They can serve as an effective means of conveying certain regulations, guidance and
warnings that could not otherwise be made clearly understandable. Pavement markings have
limitations: they may not be clearly visible when wet or covered in snow and they may not be
durable when subjected to heavy traffic. The ““SLOW SCHOOL XING”” marking, used in advance
of uncontrolled crosswalks, is an important school-specific pavement marking. The MUTCD also
provides guidance on the use of stop lines, yield lines, curb markings and other symbol markings.

3.1d – Traffic Calming

                  During weekday morning and mid-afternoon hours, motorists driving along
                  Huntville Road or Cherry Street present a potential hazard to children when they
                  are meeting or exceeding the posted 30 mph speed limit. At this speed, a crash
                  involving a child (or any pedestrian or cyclist) would likely result in a fatality.
                  Motorists approaching the school from either direction along Huntville Road or
                  Cherry Street should be required to slow down to 20 mph to ensure a safer
                  environment for the school children. Local police should also enforce the new
                  speed restriction during the posted hours. In the long term, additional traffic
                  calming measures should be studied as well. Closing Huntville Road to through
                  traffic during school arrival and dismissal hours would make it much safer for
                  students to walk and bicycle to school. This strategy could be tested by doing a
   MUTCD          trial closing during an event, such as an end-of-school year block party.
 School Zone
sign example      Aside from Huntville Road, many of the residential side streets to the north of the
                  school act as cut-throughs for motorists to get to the school during arrival and
dismissal times. Several of these roads do not have sidewalks, or only have sidewalks on one side of
the street and have a posted 30 mph speed limit. To make this area safer for students to walk and
bicycle to school, the town could create a No Thru-Traffic Zone that only allows local residents to
access these streets by car. This will greatly reduce the traffic volume in the neighborhood during
morning and mid-afternoon hours. Speed humps can also keep traffic speeds low. This may be
most useful in areas with blind spots, such as at the intersection of Cottage Place and South Road.

 Suggested traffic-calming strategies in the neighborhood north of KES
Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
Narrowing traffic lanes is another strategy used to slow motorists down. Painting shoulder lines is
one way to narrow the perceived width of the road. The striping also keeps motorists closer to the
centerline and away from pedestrians or cyclists who may be on the side of the road. An ideal area
for striping is on Huntville Road, especially the portion on the hill between Bedford Road and
McQueen Streets where there are no sidewalks. Striping here will help motorists stay clear of the
sidewalk when it appears at the top of the hill at McQueen Street. Striping 10’’ travel lanes would
also be an effective traffic calming measure on Cherry Street, particurly near the intersection with
Huntville Road.

3.1e – Improve the School Drop-off Loop

The drop-off loop at KES is currently a one-way loop where buses and private automobiles enter
from Huntville Road west of the school, circulate past the building’’s main entrance and exit on the
east side. Buses unload in the lower, eastern side of the loop, and bus-riding students enter the
school building from a lower entrance. This is also the entrance that cyclists use because it is closest
to the bicycle racks. Pedestrians may use either the main entrance or the lower entrance, depending
on the side from which they approach. Students brought to school in cars are dropped off curbside
near either the main entrance or the lower entrance. The drop-off loop becomes extremely
congested in the morning with school buses and parents driving cars. The KES principal and
assistant principal are often actively managing the traffic flow in front of the school. The drop-off
area appears to be designed to prioritize vehicular access to the school, which potentially sends the
wrong message about the type of environment that KES wants to create. By re-routing private
automobile traffic to a second, future drop-off loop closer to Huntville Road, the upper loop could
have a bus-only lane next to a buffered bike lane. This way, the entrances to the school are a more
welcome space for students arriving by bicycle or by foot. In addition, removing the parking space
closest to the east exit of the drop-off loop will greatly help school buses make the turn back out
onto Huntville Road.

 Proposed new student drop-off loop in front of KES

Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
3.1f - Create Covered and Easily Accessible Bicycle Parking

Providing secure and convenient bicycle
parking helps encourage more children, faculty,
staff and visitors to bicycle to school. Good
bicycle parking should be:

    •   Plentiful
    •   Convenient to destination
    •   Protected from weather
    •   Protected from vandalism/theft

Currently, a significant number of KES
students bicycle to school. During nice
weather, 20 –– 30 bikes are typically parked at
                                                          Students walk their bikes to the racks near the
bicycle racks near the lower entry. The school                   eastern entrance to the school
recently installed a second bicycle rack after a
school event challenged so many students to ride to school that they ran out of room to park them.
The existing bike racks are ““wheel bender”” style racks that make securing a bicycle to the rack
difficult. These racks are exposed to the weather, discouraging their use during rainy days or those
that threaten precipitation. In addition, the racks are only located near the lower entrence to the
school. Upon arriving at school property, students are required to dismount and walk their bikes on
                                                    the sidewalk to the bike rack. Students
                                                    approaching the school from the west must
                                                    dismount and walk their bicycle past the main
                                                    entrance where there is no bicycle parking
                                                    provided, to the racks that are on the east side of
                                                    the building.

                                                    Covered bike parking is recommended to protect
                                                    bikes during inclement weather. Building a simple
                                                    roof structure over the existing bike rack location
                                                    would suffice, or an awning could be attached to
                                                    the side of the school and the racks placed
                                                    underneath. KES should also consider installing
                                                    racks near the main entrance of the school
                                                    building to serve students approaching the school
                                                    from the west.

                                                    The preferred bike rack design should keep the
                                                    bike upright by supporting the frame at two
                                                    points, allow the bike to be locked by the frame
                                                    and allow one or both wheels to be secured.
   Examples of preferred bike rack design that
 support a bicycle in an upright position without
 placing additional strain on the wheels, ideally
              with a shelter above.

Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
                                        - 10 -
3.1g – Change school district boundaries

One long-term proposal worthy of consideration is to change the school district boundaries so that
students who live within walking or bicycling distance of KES on the south side may also attend the
school. Currently this area is in the Town of Bedford, of which Katonah is an unincorporated
hamlet. Rather than busing or driving these students to a school much further away, they could be
included in the KES district. Clearly this is a broader issue that will require discussion with the
Town of Bedford and the regional school district.

Education and Encouragement recommendations are operational measures that the school can
consider to enhance the effectiveness of the physical improvements recommended in sections 3.1.
These tools focus on teaching traffic, pedestrian and bicycle safety to parents and students,
increasing public awareness of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) goals and benefits, and promoting
changes in behavior to increase walking and bicycling. The instruction can come from many sources
such as teachers, parent volunteers, police & fire personnel and traffic-safety advocates. Other
educational lessons can be brought in to health, science, physical education and other class-lesson
plans. Resources for these programs are available from The National Safe Kids Campaign:

Encouragement activities include a variety of special events and contests, outreach campaigns,
presentations to school and community groups, and surveys of current practices and attitudes
related to the school commute. A major objective of educational and encouragement tools is to
increase the understanding by parents, school personnel, students, and the community of the health
and safety concerns that can be addressed by successful SRTS programs. The following
recommendations offer a number of programs and resources which can help to attain these goals.

3.2a – Create a Formal SRTS Committee

KES should form an official SRTS Committee that meets regularly to discuss progress towards the
school’’s goals for walkability and bikeability. The committee should include (as the October 29th
workshop already did) parents, school staff and administrators, school board members, Town and
County government representatives, and Bedford Department of Public Works and Police
Department representatives.

The SRTS Committee should develop its own identity at the school. Students could have a contest
to develop a logo for the program at their school that will then be used on all SRTS-related
materials. The committee can also help KES develop annual themes that tie into walking and
bicycling to school.

The SRTS Committee should also play a key role in International Walk to School Day and other
education and encouragement programs. These can be utilized to increase the percentage of children
walking and biking to school.

Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
                                        - 11 -
3.2b – Walking/Bicycling Challenges

Competition can be an excellent motivator for students to walk and bicycle to school. Setting up a
““Walk to School More than the Principal”” challenge can encourage students to talk to their parents
and find ways to walk or bicycle to school. On a monthly basis, any student that exceeds the
Principal’’s or Assistant Principal’’s mileage total should receive a small prize and some recognition,
such as a certificate sent home to parents. Those walking more than the Principal or Assistant
Principal at the end of the school year could be entered into a drawing to win a larger prize, such as
a bicycle. The SRTS Committee, school administration or the Town should work with local bike
shops or relevant businesses to support this program. Similarly, challenging all KES teachers and
staff to bicycle to school on the same day could be entertaining and also motivate students to ride
with their teachers.

3.2c – Incorporate SRTS Lessons for Students and Parents

The KES SRTS Committee should take the lead in continuing a Safe Routes to School Learning
Module for students at all grade levels. The Learning Module could consist of the following (some
of which can be found in the appendix of this report):

    •   A SRTS take-home packet oriented for both students and parents that includes age-
        appropriate pedestrian and bicycle safety information, a community walkability checklist and
        a KES campus and environs map that features recommended walking routes and streets and
        intersections to avoid (see 3.2f below)
    •   School assembly for an introductory SRTS presentation, perhaps coinciding with a
        biking/walking challenge kick-off.

It is also important to convey the benefits of Safe Routes to School Programs to parents who may
be reluctant to allow their children to walk or bicycle to school. Several approaches can be employed
to explain the health, air quality, reduced traffic and quality-of-life benefits. These include letters
home from school officials and the PTO, information on the school website and meetings with
parents. They can also include bumper stickers promoting slower driving in school zones or sharing
the roads with bicyclists, which can be handed out by the Principal or Assistant Principal as they
greet parents and students arriving by car each morning.

3.2d – Walk and Bicycle to School Day

This annual international event occurs typically on the first Wednesday of October. The event’’s web
site —— —— provides resources and ideas on how to implement a successful
Walk and Bike to School Day. Additional walk and bike to school days can be held yearly, monthly,
or even weekly, depending on the level of support and participation from children, parents, and
school and local officials. Some schools organize more frequent days –– such as weekly
Walking/Wheeling Wednesdays or Walk and Roll Fridays –– to give children an opportunity to enjoy
the event on a regular basis. Parents and other volunteers accompany the children, and often there
are designated staging areas along the route to school where different groups can gather and walk or
bike together. The events should be promoted through press releases, articles in school newsletters,
and posters and fliers for children to take home.

Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
                                        - 12 -
3.2e - Walking School Buses

Walking school buses are a good way for elementary school students to walk in a group with a
parent leader. Parents can be organized to rotate the responsibility of leading the ““school bus”” each
day. The SRTS Committee can work within the existing parent organization to designate leaders
and publicize meeting areas. Good meeting places for walking school buses in Katonah could
include the public library and a designated location along Cherry Street.

3.2f - Suggested Route to School Maps

Suggested Route to School maps are one of
the most cost-effective and tangible means
available for encouraging school children to
walk or bike to school. The purpose of the
maps is to provide school officials, parents,
and students with a tool to help plan the best
walking and bicycling routes to and from

Additionally, maps that show the locations of
current KES students each year can be a great
tool to help the SRTS Committee and others
                                                     Route to School map example from Bozeman, MT
coordinate bicycling and walking programs
and events.

3.2g - Bicycle Rodeos

A bicycle rodeo provides children with a basic understanding of the rules of the road, educates those
children and their parents about bike safety, gives trained personnel a chance to look over the
equipment the kids are riding, and involves parents, teachers, and/or local civic organizations in a
worthwhile activity. A bicycle rodeo involves "stations" that teach skills, such as:

    •    Looking over a shoulder without weaving
     •   Fast braking without skidding
     •   Dealing with traffic at intersections
A bicycle rodeo is a good opportunity to get local bicycle shops and/or bicycle advocates involved
at the school.

3.2h – Internal dismissal times

KES should consider allowing students who are walking or bicycling from school to leave 5-10
minutes earlier than other students. This will provide an incentive to children, as well as allow them
to get away from the school before dismissal traffic gets heavy. This could be a benefit particularly
for student bicyclists, some of whom ride in the roadway because of missing or inadequate

Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
                                        - 13 -
3.3 ENFORCEMENT Activities
Enforcement recommendations are operational measures that can be implemented by the local law
enforcement community. These recommendations support both the physical and programmatic
recommendations included in the prior sections and play a key role in creating a safe walking and
bicycling experience in the school zone. Since these programs will be carried out by the Bedford
Police Department, it will be essential to have the continued involvement of Lieutenant Robert
Mazurak or one of his staff on the Safe Routes to School Committee.

The first step in developing an enforcement program is to identify unsafe behavior near the schools.
Some common unsafe behaviors are identified in the following table - Common Unsafe Road User
Behaviors. Once these have been identified, an appropriate approach to deterring those behaviors
can be created. Deterrents may include education on the unsafe behavior, developing a community-
based enforcement program, increasing police presence or installing warning signage and striping.

                              Common Unsafe Road User Behaviors

    Road User                                                      Behavior
                      Failing to yield to students walking or biking, especially when in crosswalks
                      Runnning red lights or stop signs
                      Passing stopped school buses
                      Parking or stopping in crosswalks
                      Stopping in a bus zone (drop off and pick up)
                      Dropping off or picking up students in the street (rather than at the curb)
                      Drivers letting students walk between parked cars
                      Violating school drop-off and pick-ip procedures
                      Talking on a cell phone or texting while driving
                      Not following instructions from a crossing guard or traffic signal
                      Not looking left, right, then left before crossing a street
                      Crossing the street in an undesirable location
                      Darting out between parked motor vehicles
                      Wearing dark clothes when there Is poor lighting
                      Talking on a cell phone or texting while walking
                      Riding into traffic without looking left, right, then left again
                      Riding against traffic rather than with the flow of traffic
                      Turning left without looking or signaling
                      Not obeying traffic signs or signals
                      Riding out into the road from a driveway or between parked cars
                      Not wearing a bike helmet
                      Not using lights/not being visible at night
                      Talking on a cell phone or texting while biking

Source: Safe Routes to School Guide, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, December 27, 2007

Speeding is one of the most dangerous driver behaviors. Though a motorist may not think driving
over the speed limit is dangerous, even a 10 mph difference in speed can be the difference between a
fatal and non-fatal crash for a pedestrian. The effect of speed on pedestrian injury severity and
fatalities is especially pronounced for children and the elderly. At 20 mph a pedestrian has a 5%
chance of dying if hit by a motor vehicle. At 30 mph the chance increases to 45%. Another
Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
                                        - 14 -
extremely dangerous motorist behavior is talking on a cell phone or texting while driving. According
to the U.S. Department of Transportation, ““cell phone use while driving, whether it is hand-held or
hands-free, delays a driver’’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal
limit of 0.08 percent.”” (source: )

Often, the people who drive to school the most ——
the parents and the teachers —— are responsible for
speeding and other unsafe driver behavior. For this
reason, education and enforcement programs that
target teachers and parents can be effective.
Neighborhood speed-watch programs can also be
effective. An example program used in other cities in
the US involves community members borrowing a
radar device to record the license plate numbers of
speeding vehicles. With these programs, though no
official citations are issued, the law enforcement
agency sends letters to registered owners of vehicles
observed speeding, warning them to slow down.

Speeding is not the only dangerous motorist behavior that must be enforced. Targeted enforcement
programs can also encourage motorists to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, and help reduce illegal
parking on streets or unsafe school parking lot behavior. The Safe Routes to School Committee
should work to develop enforcement measures that are feasible for particular problem locations and
recommendations for enforcement at a broader community level.

Finally, enforcement efforts should not only be aimed at motorists, but should also ensure that
walking and bicycling children obey traffic laws. Students may not realize that behaviors such as
jaywalking, riding against traffic, or running stop signs puts them at higher risk for a vehicle
collision. As part of their regular enforcement, the Bedford Police Department should ensure that
children walking or bicycling to school are obeying traffic laws, and use enforcement as an
opportunity to educate them on proper traffic behavior. Additionally, as cell phone use has been
increasingly prevalent in young children, students should be informed of the dangers of talking on a
cell phone or texting while walking. Both of these behaviors can cause children to become
distracted, leading to conflicts with motor vehicles and, potentially, accidents.

More information is available from the following websites:
  •    School Zone Safety:
  •    Pedestrian Sting Operations:
  •    Speed Trailers:
  •    ““Keep Kids Alive –– Drive 25”” Campaign:

Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
                                        - 15 -
3.4 EVALUATION Programs
Evaluation of the Safe Routes to School projects and programs is important to understand their
effectiveness, identify improvements that are needed, and ensure that the program can continue in
the long-term. The evaluation process should include before and after studies (usually required by
grant programs). It may be appropriate to regularly collect information at the beginning and end of
the school year. Evaluation can measure shifts in transportation mode choice, attitudes toward
biking and walking, recognition of the program, grant money received and infrastructure projects
constructed. One of the most effective ways to measure changes in mode choice is to perform
bicycle and pedestrian counts at strategic intersections. Guidelines for such a count can be found at
the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project (

In addition to evaluating the effectiveness of the Safe Routes to School program, the Town of
Bedford and the recommended Katonah Elementary School SRTS Committee should evaluate how
the program is being run and should take steps to ensure the continuation of the program. These
steps may include identifying new ““champions,”” publicizing successes to increase community
support and encouraging school and town policy changes to help make walking and biking to school
safer and easier throughout the community.

Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
                                        - 16 -
Resources & References:
   •   National Center for Safe Routes to School:
   •   Safe Routes to School National Partnership:
   •   Active Living Resource Center:
   •   Bike New York:
   •   American Automobile Association, ““Adult School Crossing Guards””:
   •   CDC, Kids Walk to School (community presentation):
   •   ““Civilian Guards for School Crossings.”” Center for Public Safety of Northwestern
       University, 405 Church Street, Evanston, IL 60204.
   •   FHWA's Office of Safety –– SRTS:
   •   Westchester County Dept. of Transportation:
   •   Alta Planning + Design:
   •   Bozeman, Montana School District:
   •   Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices:
   •   National Center for Bicycling & Walking:
   •   NHTSA Safe Routes to School Tool Kit:

Safe Routes to Katonah Elementary School Powerpoint presentation from the October
29th Workshop (Alta Planning + Design)

Flyer, agenda and sign-in sheet from the October 29th Workshop at Katonah
Elementary School

Walkability Checklist (from the National Center for SRTS)

Tips for Parents and Other Adults for Teaching Pedestrian Safety to Children (from the
National Center for SRTS)

SRTS Mapping and Data Collection memo (Alta Planning + Design)

Safe Routes to School Recommendations: Katonah Elementary School Katonah, New York
                                        - 17 -

 Safe Routes to Katonah Elementary School
                                             Katonah, NY

                                           October 29, 2010

                Why are Safe Routes to Schools
Safe rout 101

                 HEALTH: National statistics on walking and
                 biking (from the Center for Disease Control, 2005)
                      In 1969, 42% of children walked to school
                      and many more biked
                      …while in 2001, only 16% walked and very
                      few ride bikes
                 SAFETY: Children being driven to school
                 create additional hazards for those walking
                                         20 25%
                 TRANSPORTATION: 20-25% of morning rush
                 hour traffic is parents taking their children
                 to school (from the National Highway Transportation Safety
                 Administration, 2003)

                 ENVIRONMENT: Air pollution from traffic
                 effects the environment both outside AND
                 inside the school


                Why are Safe Routes to Schools
Safe rout 101
                 HEALTH: National statistics on walking and
                 biking (from the Center for Disease Control, 2005)
                     In 1969, 42% of children walked to school
                     and many more biked
                     …while in 2001, only 16% walked and very
                     few ride bikes
                      480 Students
                            gg                y ,       g
                      During good-weather days, according to
                      Asst. Principal Costin:
                           Approx. 30% come by car
                           Approx. 30% walk/bike
                           Approx. 40% come by bus
                           140 walkers and 41 bicyclists during
                           Walk/Bike to School Day

                Why are Safe Routes to Schools
Safe rout 101

                     22% of American children are now
                     considered overweight, a 55%
                     increase from the 1970’s
                     78% of children fall short of
                     recommended minimum weekly
                     physical activity
                     Less outdoor time means less
                     exposure to Vitamin D from the sun     (National Center for Health Statistics)
                     Asthma rates for children doubled in
                     the ‘80s and ‘90s and continues to
                     70% of children watch at least one
                     hour of television per day…
                     …and 35% watch four hours or more


                Why are Safe Routes to
                Schools needed?
Safe rout 101
                    Studies show a 5% increase in neighborhood “walkability” index can lead to:
                        5.5% less Nitrogen Dioxide and VOCs (air pollutants) per capita
                        6.5% fewer vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita
                        32% more minutes devoted to walking and bicycling
                    Respiratory health and asthma rates in children are adversely affected by
                    local exposures to outdoor Nitrogen Dioxide
                    Substituting all car trips in the U.S. under 2 miles with bicycling or walking
                    would reduce domestic oil consumption by 35%
                                                         p      y

                The Five E’’s
Safe rout 101

                  E1 – Engineering
                  E2 – Ed   ti
                  E3 – Encouragement
                  E4 – Enforcement
                  E5 - Evaluation


               E1 –– Engineering

                Improve infrastructure for walking
                and biking to school AND to bus stops
The five e’’

                   Sidewalk and crosswalk enhancements
                   Intersection improvements
                   Closing connectivity gaps
                   Paths, bike lanes and bike routes
                   Bike parking
                Reduction of vehicle speeds through
                traffic calming measures
                   Speed humps and raised crosswalks
                   School zones and other signage
                   Lighting improvements
                Student drop-off/pick-up zones

               E1 –– Engineering:
               New/improved sidewalks
The five e’’

                                                         …and can be very
                                                         well used

               Asphalt sidewalks along Huntsville Road
               sidewalks are too narrow…


               E1 –– Engineering:
               New/enhanced crosswalks
The five e’’

                                                                 …especially in tandem
                                                                 with crossing bollards

                Ladder-style is easiest for motorists to see…

               E1 –– Engineering:
               New/enhanced crosswalks
The five e’’

               Most around Katonah Elementary
               are ladder style…

                                                      …except the one closest to the school


               E1 –– Engineering:
               New/enhanced crosswalks
The five e’’

  Natural desire line between the school and
  the parking lot does not include a crosswalk…   …but is used frequently at

               E1 –– Engineering:
               The need for lower speed

The five e’’






                                                                 No Injury
                           20 mph      30 mph     40 mph


               E1 –– Engineering:
               Roadway markings/signage

                Traffic calming strategies do not
                need to break the bank
The five e’’

                Mark the immediate School Zone
                   Speed limit and regulatory signs
                   Crosswalk warning signs & bollards
                   Pavement markings

               E1 –– Engineering:
               Roadway markings/signage
                   30 mph on a residential side street without sidewalks?
The five e’’

                            Glen Ridge Road from Huntville Road


               E1 –– Engineering:
               Traffic Calming: narrow lanes
The five e’’

               wide lanes = faster traffic

                                                                   10-11’ lanes = slower traffic

               E1 –– Engineering:
               Traffic Calming: narrow lanes
                    Shoulder lines and 10’ travel lanes on Cherry Street?
The five e’’

                      Cherry Street/Huntsville Road intersection


                 E1 –– Engineering:
                 Traffic Calming: reduce volume
The five e’’

                  No entering diverter

                                                                       Raised median diverter

                 E1 –– Engineering:
                 Traffic Calming: reduce volume

                                         NO THRU-


               Large neighborhood area where children must walk in the street to school


               E1 –– Engineering:
               Good Biking Infrastructure
The five e’’

                KES bike parking in numbers
                that are increasing every year

                                                                        Ideal bike parking

               E2 –– Education

                Market the positive benefits of walking and biking
                Educational brochures and other materials focused on:
                    Parents           Students    Motorists, neighbors & others


               E2 –– Education

                Gathering information through
                parent/student surveys
The five e’’

                Classroom-based lessons,
                including proper pedestrian/bike
                safety skills
                Traffic safety workshops and on-
                road bike training exercises
                Public education efforts
                Identify and publicize ideal
                walking and biking routes;
                distribute maps

               E2 –– Education
               Parent walking/biking map

     Existing sidewalks,
     paths, bike lanes,
The five e’’

     crosswalks and traffic
     signals mapped along
     low and medium-speed
     traffic routes
     Map locates both good
     routes as well as streets
     and intersections to
     Maps help to improve
     students cognitive map
     of the entire


               E3 –– Encouragement

                Methods to increase participation
                and awareness with:
The five e’’

                   Special events and contests
                   Outreach campaigns
                   Media coverage
                Intended to help community
                understand traffic, health and
                safety benefits of a SRTS program

                        The “Golden Sneaker” award

               E3 –– Encouragement

                Walk (& Bike) to School Day – Oct 2011
                      g                g p
                Walking school bus and group bike rides
The five e’’

                SRTS logo and poster contests
                Walk/Bike Fridays with prizes
                Beyond Earth Day, Celebrate Earth
                “Month” in April

                                                             “Walking” school bus

                                                          “Kidical Mass” bike rides


               E4 –– Enforcement

                 Compliance with traffic and parking
                 laws in and around school zones
The five e’’

                 Reduce threats to children’s safety
                 due to:
                     failing to yield to pedestrians
                     illegal parking

                 Increase police patrols along typical
                    lki      t during      i l d
                 walking routes d i arrival and
                 dismissal times on weekdays
                     Improves driver behavior
                     Helps children follow traffic rules
                     Decreases parents’ perception of

               E5 –– Evaluation

                Are the programs making a
The five e’’

                   Annual or bi-annual SRTS parent
                   surveys on travel mode, etc.
                   Change in motorist behavior due to
                   infrastructure changes, enforcement
                   and greater awareness
                   Change in students’ walking and
                   biking behavior due to education
                     d         h ff
                   and outreach efforts
                   Police Department statistics
                   regarding accidents and ticketing


               Potential Next Steps
               Stay involved!
                   Sidewalk and crosswalk improvements at multiple locations
The five e’’

                   Consider a “no thru-traffic zone” between Cherry, Huntville and Valley
                   Improve bike parking at the main entrance
                   Develop a walking/biking route map and distribute to parents
                   Distribute “letters home” to educate parents about the issues
                   Participate in Walk to School Day next October and offer prizes
                   Promote Earth Month next April, highlighting walking and bicycling
                   Improve enforcement of traffic laws and drop-off/pick-up procedures
                   Conduct a parent survey of prevailing attitudes about walking and biking
                   to KES before/after distribution of map

                                   THANK YOU!!

           The Katonah-Lewisboro School District
                   The Town of Bedford
                          and the
                   Westchester County
               Department of Transportation
              Cordially invite you to attend a

          Friday                                              Katonah Elementary School
      October 29, 2010                                           106 Huntsville Road
  8:45 AM to 12:00 Noon                                             Katonah, NY

This workshop is for local school officials, PTA representatives, interested parents,
elected municipal officials, public works and planning personnel, school nurses,
physical education teachers and local public safety and school security personnel.
8:45 –– 9:15        Observe student arrival (directed walking tour outside)

9:15 –– 9:45        Welcome and introductions
                    • Facilitator
                    • School District and Village representatives
                    • Participants’’ Roundtable (Visioning Exercise)

9:45 –– 10:30       Safe Routes to School background and context
                    •  Health and environmental issues
                    •  Traffic and safety issues
                    •  The ““Five E’’s”” approach

10:30 –– 10:45      Short break

10:45 –– 11:30      Discussion session
                    • Engineering-related problem areas and potential
                    • Program ideas
                              o Encouragement
                              o Education
                              o Enforcement
                              o Evaluation

11:30 –– Noon      Making it happen here
                    • Summary and next steps
                    • Funding and resources
Walkability Checklist
How walkable is your community?

Take a walk with a child
and decide for yourselves.
Everyone benefits from walking. These benefits
include: improved fitness, cleaner air, reduced risks
of certain health problems, and a greater sense of
community. But walking needs to be safe and easy.
Take a walk with your child and use this checklist
to decide if your neighborhood is a friendly place
to walk. Take heart if you find problems, there are
ways you can make things better.

Getting started:
First, you'll need to pick a place to walk, like the
route to school, a friend's house or just somewhere
fun to go.

The second step involves the checklist. Read over
the checklist before you go, and as you walk, note
the locations of things you would like to change.
At the end of your walk, give each question a
rating. Then add up the numbers to see how you
rated your walk overall.

After you've rated your walk and identified any
problem areas, the next step is to figure out what
you can do to improve your community's score.
You'll find both immediate answers and long-term
solutions under "Improving Your Community's
Score..." on the third page.

                                                                      U.S. Department
                                                                      of Transportation

                          Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
      Take a walk and use this checklist to rate your neighborhood's walkability.

How walkable is your community?
Location of walk _________________                               Rating Scale:       1             2           3         4         5           6

________________________________                                                    awful       many
                                                                                                                       good    very good    excellent

1. Did you have room to walk?                                        4. Was it easy to follow safety rules?
      Yes         Some problems:                                        Could you and your child...
                     Sidewalks or paths started and stopped                Yes           No        Cross at crosswalks or where you could
                     Sidewalks were broken or cracked                                              see and be seen by drivers?
                     Sidewalks were blocked with poles, signs,             Yes           No        Stop and look left, right and then left
                     shrubbery, dumpsters, etc.                                                    again before crossing streets?
                     No sidewalks, paths, or shoulders                     Yes           No        Walk on sidewalks or shoulders facing
                    Too much traffic                                                               traffic where there were no sidewalks?
                     Something else ___________________                    Yes           No        Cross with the light?
                     Locations of problems: _____________                                          Locations of problems: ________
Rating: (circle one)        __________________________               Rating: (circle one)           __________________________
 1 2 3 4 5 6                __________________________                1 2 3 4 5 6                   __________________________

2. Was it easy to cross streets?                                     5. Was your walk pleasant?
      Yes         Some problems:                                           Yes         Some unpleasant things:
                     Road was too wide                                                    Needed more grass, flowers, or trees
                     Traffic signals made us wait too long or did                         Scary dogs
                     not give us enough time to cross                                     Scary people
                     Needed striped crosswalks or traffic signals                         Not well lighted
                     Parked cars blocked our view of traffic                              Dirty, lots of litter or trash
                    Trees or plants blocked our view of traffic                           Dirty air due to automobile exhaust
                     Needed curb ramps or ramps needed repair                             Something else ___________________
                     Something else ___________________                                   Locations of problems: _____________
                     Locations of problems: _____________            Rating: (circle one)          __________________________
Rating: (circle one)          __________________________              1 2 3 4 5 6                  __________________________
 1 2 3 4 5 6                  __________________________

3. Did drivers behave well?                                          How does your neighborhood stack up?
      Yes         Some problems: Drivers...                          Add up your ratings and decide.
                     Backed out of driveways without looking
                     Did not yield to people crossing the street         1. _____        26-30 Celebrate! You have a great
                                                                         2. _____                      neighborhood for walking.
                     Turned into people crossing the street
                                                                         3. _____        21-25         Celebrate a little. Your
                     Drove too fast
                                                                         4. _____                      neighborhood is pretty good.
                     Sped up to make it through traffic lights or                        16-20         Okay, but it needs work.
                     drove through traffic lights?                       5. _____
                                                                                         11-15         It needs lots of work. You deserve
                     Something else ___________________                                                better than that.
                     Locations of problems: _____________            Total _____            5-10       It's a disaster for walking!
Rating: (circle one)         __________________________
 1 2 3 4 5 6                 __________________________

                                   Now that you've identified the problems,
                                go to the next page to find out how to fix them.
                        Now that you know the problems,
                                       you can find the answers.

            Improving your
                  community's score...
                                                             What you and your child                    What you and your community
                                                             can do immediately                         can do with more time
1. Did you have room to walk?
   Sidewalks or paths started and stopped                    • pick another route for now               • speak up at board meetings
   Sidewalks broken or cracked                               • tell local traffic engineering or        • write or petition city for walkways
   Sidewalks blocked                                           public works department about              and gather neighborhood signatures
   No sidewalks, paths or shoulders                            specific problems and provide a          • make media aware of problem
   Too much traffic                                            copy of the checklist                    • work with a local transportation
                                                                                                          engineer to develop a plan for a safe
                                                                                                          walking route
2. Was it easy to cross streets?
   Road too wide                                             • pick another route for now               • push for crosswalks/signals/ parking
   Traffic signals made us wait too long or did not          • share problems and checklist with          changes/curb ramps at city meetings
   give us enough time to cross                                local traffic engineering or public      • report to traffic engineer where
   Crosswalks/traffic signals needed                           works department                           parked cars are safety hazards
   View of traffic blocked by parked cars, trees,            • trim your trees or bushes that block     • report illegally parked cars to the
   or plants                                                   the street and ask your neighbors to       police
   Needed curb ramps or ramps needed repair                    do the same                              • request that the public works
                                                             • leave nice notes on problem cars           department trim trees or plants
                                                               asking owners not to park there          • make media aware of problem
3. Did drivers behave well?
   Backed without looking                                    • pick another route for now               • petition for more enforcement
   Did not yield                                             • set an example: slow down and be         • request protected turns
   Turned into walkers                                         considerate of others                    • ask city planners and traffic engineers
   Drove too fast                                            • encourage your neighbors to do             for traffic calming ideas
   Sped up to make traffic lights or drove                     the same                                 • ask schools about getting crossing
   through red lights                                        • report unsafe driving to the police        guards at key locations
                                                                                                        • organize a neighborhood speed
                                                                                                          watch program
4. Could you follow safety rules?
   Cross at crosswalks or where you could see and be seen    • educate yourself and your child          • encourage schools to teach walking
   Stop and look left, right, left before crossing             about safe walking                         safely
   Walk on sidewalks or shoulders facing traffic             • organize parents in your                 • help schools start safe walking
   Cross with the light                                        neighborhood to walk children to           programs
                                                               school                                   • encourage corporate support for flex
                                                                                                          schedules so parents can walk
                                                                                                          children to school
5. Was your walk pleasant?
   Needs grass, flowers, trees                               • point out areas to avoid to your         • request increased police enforcement
   Scary dogs                                                  child; agree on safe routes              • start a crime watch program in your
   Scary people                                              • ask neighbors to keep dogs leashed         neighborhood
   Not well lit                                                or fenced                                • organize a community clean-up day
   Dirty, litter                                             • report scary dogs to the animal          • sponsor a neighborhood beautification
   Lots of traffic                                             control department                         or tree-planting day
                                                             • report scary people to the police        • begin an adopt-a-street program
                                                             • report lighting needs to the police or   • initiate support to provide routes with
                                                               appropriate public works department        less traffic to schools in your
                                                             • take a walk wih a trash bag                community (reduced traffic during am
                                                             • plant trees, flowers in your yard          and pm school commute times)
                                                             • select alternative route with less
A Quick Health Check
   Could not go as far or as fast as we wanted               • start with short walks and work up       • get media to do a story about the
   Were tired, short of breath or had sore feet or muscles     to 30 minutes of walking most days         health benefits of walking
   Was the sun really hot?                                   • invite a friend or child along           • call parks and recreation department
   Was it hot and hazy?                                      • walk along shaded routes where             about community walks
                                                               possible                                 • encourage corporate support for
                                                             • use sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher,         employee walking programs
                                                               wear a hat and sunglasses                • plant shade trees along routes
                                                             • try not to walk during the hottest       • have a sun safety seminar for kids
                                                               time of day                              • have kids learn about unhealthy ozone
                                                                                                          days and the Air Quality Index (AQI)
                         Need some guidance?
                             These resources might help...

                  Great Resources
WALKING INFORMATION                                PEDESTRIAN SAFETY
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC)   National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
UNC Highway Safety Research Center                 Traffic Safety Programs
730 Airport Road , Suite 300                       400 Seventh Street, SW
Campus Box 3430                                    Washington, DC 20590
Chapel Hill, NC                                    Phone: (202) 662-0600
Phone: (919) 962-2202                                SAFE KIDS Worldwide                                1301 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
                                                   Suite 1000
National Center for                                Washington, DC 20004
Safe Routes to School                              Phone: (202) 662-0600
730 Martin Luther                                  Fax: (202) 393-2072
King, Jr. Blvd., Suite 300               
Campus Box 3430
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3430
Toll-free 1-866-610-SRTS                           WALKING AND HEALTH                             US Environmental Protection Agency
                                                   Office of Children's Health Protection (MC 1107A)
National Center for Bicycling and Walking          Washington, DC 20460
Campaign to Make America Walkable                  Phone: 202-564-2188
1506 21st Street, NW                               Fax: 202-564-2733
Suite 200                                
Washington, DC 20036                     
Phone: (800) 760-NBPC                                              

WALK TO SCHOOL DAY WEB SITES                       President's Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and
USA event:                Safety Risks to Children

                                                   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
STREET DESIGN AND TRAFFIC CALMING                  Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity
Federal Highway Administration                     Phone: (888) 232-4674
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Research Program
HSR - 20                                 
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean,VA 22101                                    Prevention Magazine     33 East Minor Street
                                                   Emmaus, PA 18098
Institute of Transportation Engineers    
                                                   Shape Up America!
Surface Transportation Policy Project              6707 Democracy Boulevard                                   Suite 306
                                                   Bethesda, MD 20817
Transportation for Livable Communities   

                                                   ACCESSIBLE SIDEWALKS
WALKING COALITIONS                                 US Access Board
America Walks                                      1331 F Street, NW
P.O. Box 29103                                     Suite 1000
Portland, Oregon 97210                             Washington, DC 20004-1111
Phone: (503) 222-1077                              Phone: (800) 872-2253;                               (800) 993-2822 (TTY)
                                                                                                                                                   TIP SHEET
    Tips for Parents and Other Adults
    For Teaching Pedestrian Safety to Children

Walking is a fun and healthy way to spend time
with your children while teaching them skills that
can serve them well throughout life. The walk to
school is a great time to use these safety tips.

    Be a walking role model
    Children learn through experience. Walking with
    parents or another caregiver is an important way for
    children to practice crossing real streets and picking
    safe places to walk. There is no magic age when
    children are old enough to walk without an adult.
    But, as a parent, you should decide when your child
    has the skills and experience to deal with traffic safely
    without you.
    As you walk with your child, remember these safety tips:
      • Wear bright-colored clothes, and carry flashlights
        or wear reflective gear if it is dark or hard to see.
      • Look for traffic at every driveway and intersection.
        Be aware of drivers in parked cars that may be
        getting ready to move.
                                                                                   Choose the safest route to school
      • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
      • Cross the street safely:                                                   Select a walking route with less traffic and
         1. Stop at the curb or edge of the street.
                                                                                     • Pick places where there are sidewalks or paths
         2. Look left, right, left and behind you and in
                                                                                       separated from traffic. If there are no sidewalks
            front of you for traffic.
                                                                                       or paths, walk as far from the motor vehicles as
         3. Wait until no traffic is coming and begin                                   possible and, if possible, on the side of the street
            crossing.                                                                  facing traffic.
         4. Keep looking for traffic until you have fi nished                          • Limit the number of street crossings. When
            crossing.                                                                  available, cross at a location with an adult school
         5. Walk, don’t run across the street.                                         crossing guard.
                                                                                     • Avoid crossing busy or high-speed streets.

    Understand your childs’ limitations
    Children are not small adults. It will take time and practice for a child to develop the ability to deal with lots of traffic.
    Over time, children develop the ability to accurately judge the speed and distance of oncoming traffic. Young children
    may think that a car is able to stop, when in fact, it is not. Also, children may think that if they can see a driver, the
    driver can see them. But, children are smaller and harder for drivers to see. Get down to a child’s height to experience
    their perspective and see what they see.

For more resources and information on Safe Routes to School, please visit the National Center for Safe Routes to School Web site at
                                                                                  Technical Memorandum

              To:              Naomi Klein, Westchester County Dept. of Transportation
              F ro m :         Jeff Olson/Phil Goff/Joshua Poppel, Alta Planning + Design
             D a t e:          September 17, 2010
             R e:              Safe Routes to School Mapping and Data Collection

            This memorandum provides guidance for developing Safe Route to School Maps. These maps are
            intended to assist parents and students to select the best routes for walking and bicycling to school, as well
            as identifying significant obstacles to walking and bicycling on students’’ routes to school. Figure 1 shows
            an example walking map that was created for a school in Bozeman, Montana.1

                                       Figure 1.          Example Parent Walking Map

    Information about the SR2S Assessment is available at:

          Defining the Catchment Area
          Safe Routes to School maps provide route finding guidance for students, and should therefore depict
          both good routes and potential hazards. Middle school students can be expected to walk or bicycle up to
          two miles, or a 25-minute walk. Assuming that students walk at an average pace of 3.5 ft/sec,2 it can be
          estimated that the walking catchment area for a middle school is 5,250 feet.

          This catchment area can be further reduced by considering barriers that prevent students living on the
          other side from walking or bicycling to school. Major barriers include highways and/or major streets,
          rivers and railroads. If a highway crosses the catchment area and no acceptable crossing is provided, the
          area on the other side should not be considered walkable from the school. Figure 2 shows an example of
          this walkable area calculation. At Capitol Hill Elementary in Portland, OR, one mile is the distance used as
          the basic walking catchment area. This school has a major highway, causing the area north and west of the
          school to be removed from the walkable area. In addition, the surrounding area has steep slopes with
          many high-speed and high-volume streets without adequate crossing provisions, so the walkable area has
          been narrowed by what has been termed a ‘‘hazard’’ area.

                                          Figure 2.             Example Walkable Area Map

          As a general rule, good routes to school have high-quality walking facilities (e.g. wide sidewalks with curb
          ramps) located on low to medium traffic speed streets with the fewest crossings of major streets, and
          where these crossing exist, they are marked with a crosswalk and signalized. A consideration that is more
          difficult to quantify is the idea of ‘‘eyes on the street,’’ or directing students to walk on streets with
          commercial shops or active neighborhoods.

 The TCRP Report 112/NCHRP Report 562 Improving Pedestrian Safety at Unsignalized Intersections recommends that pedestrian walking speeds should
be 4.0 ft/s for the general population and 3.0 ft/s for younger or older pedestrians, based on a number of new and previous studies.

Data Collection
Data can be collected through a ‘‘walking/biking
audit’’ or walkabout, wherein students, teachers, city
engineers, County staff and/or parents walk the
street network around a school and record safety
concerns, issues and ideas for the map.


Walk/bike audit participants should bring:

 •     A map slightly greater than the catchment area

 •     Camera                                             Figure 3. Students participate in a walkabout to
                                                                   evaluate pedestrian conditions
 •     Data collection spreadsheet

Participants should make notes on the maps that can be converted into Geographic Information System
(GIS) data to create the SR2S route map. Participants can also photograph hazards along the way.


To facilitate transferring the information gathered in the walk/bike audit to a walking and biking map, it is
helpful to use the same notation. The following abbreviations should be noted on the map where

     CR            Curb Ramp
     NCR           No Curb Ramp
     PP            Power Pole
     SH            Shrubbery, tree, or foliage
     BS            Bad Surface; more than ½ inch difference in height (up or down)
     DR            Drain
     OB            Obstructions
     LS            Lack of Sidewalk

Conditions that are potentially hazardous or create an unpleasant walking environment that should be
noted on the Safe Routes to School Map include:

• Sidewalk gaps                                                • Streets with high traffic speeds or
• Arterial or collector streets with few
     signalized crossings                                      • Railroad crossings

Positive features which represent good routes to school include the following factors:

• Sidewalks (particularly over 5’’)                           • Pedestrian-scale street lighting
• Curb ramps                                                  • Street trees
• Curb extensions                                             • Streets with shops and active
• Signalized crossings
                                                              • Bike routes
• Marked crosswalks
                                                              • Parks and natural features
• Crossing guard locations

The following pages provide a data collection form that should be brought into the field, to record more
detailed information about the curb ramps and crossings at intersections along the route, as well as a
sample audit map.

In addition to the audit, teachers can identify obstacles that students are aware of by asking students how
they walk to/from school. An example exercise that is presented at the end of this document is used by
Portland, OR Safe Routes to School. This information can be transferred onto the aduit maps and
incorporated into the walking and biking route maps.

   School Walking and Bicycling Audit – Data Collection Form
        School: ____________________                                      Date: _________                Data collected by: ___________________
                                                      Curb Ramp Types                                                  Crosswalk Types
For each intersection                                                   Tactile
that presents                                                            Strip
opportunities or                                  Landing                           Landing
constraints for walking                            Area                              Area
to school, fill out the
Sidewalk width:                Tactile
   • 5’ in areas with
        many peds.
   • 4’ on residential
                                                    Landing              Landing
Fill out yes or no if the                            Area                 Area
corner has a curb
ramp, a tactile strip,                                        Tactile
or a landing area.                                             Strip

        Description/                                                                             Wide        Landing     Crossing
                            Picture #    Corner      Ramp?              Style       Tactile?                                                Notes
        Intersection                                                                           Enough?        Area?        Type

EXAMPLE                       009         SW            Y     Perpendicular            Y         Y             Y          Zebra     Needs to be repainted

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