Ten Years Later: Examining the Long-Term Impact of the California Safe Routes to School Program
California was the first state to legislate a Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program under Assembly Bill AB 1475 (1999). SR2S funds construction projects that make it safer for children to walk/bicycle to school and encourage a greater number of children to choose these modes of travel for the school commute. The main goal of this project was to assess the long-term impact of program-funded engineering modifications on walking/bicycling levels and on safety. Evaluation of improvements was determined using a targeted method of determining the countermeasures to result in safety and mode shift. Major results indicate that safety of pedestrians increased within 250 feet of an infrastructure improvement, such as a sidewalk. There was also evidence of mode shift near improvements, as well. Positive results for safety and mobility, as well as improved data collection for funded programs, should make Safe Routes to School programs competitive among other transportation needs.