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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Effects of the California Safe Routes to School Program


In the last decade, there has been an increased focus in California on encouraging children to walk and bicycle to school safely. In 1999, the California Legislature created the Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program, authorizing issuance of a competitive grant process for roadway construction projects. There has been an overall decline in the numbers of child pedestrian/bicyclist collisions in California as a whole. When compared with the control areas, the SR2S project areas did not show a greater decline in numbers of collisions. However, it is likely that the number of children walking/bicycling in the SR2S project areas increased over the relevant time frame. When changes in mobility in the program areas are taken into account, the SR2S program appears to be associated with a net safety benefit for affected school age students.

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