Safe Routes to School San Mateo County is modeled after the National Safe Routes to School Program and includes the 5E approach of Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, Engineering and Evaluation. The program includes many features to allow it to be implemented into any school setting.
In addition to program features listed under the 5 E's, program implementation can also include:
Walking School Buses and Bike Trains
Walking School Buses and Bicycle Trains consist of groups of students accompanied by adults that walk or bicycle a pre-planned route to school. Routes can originate from the point that makes the most sense and may operate daily, weekly or monthly. Often, they begin as ways to address parents' concerns about traffic and personal safety while providing a chance for parents and children to socialize. Schools have found the Buses and Trains to be effective ways of making walking and biking to school safe, convenient and fun.
Walking School Buses and Bicycle Trains can be loosely structured or highly organized. The Buses or Trains can be as simple as neighborhood families deciding to walk or bicycle together or they can be part of a more organized program. Formal programs may include a coordinator who recruits volunteers to lead buses and trains, schedules, route maps, and vests for volunteers. While requiring more effort, these organized efforts involve more children and adults and thus provide greater benefits.
Interested in getting a Walking School Bus Program going? Included below are a few resources to get you started:
Park and Walk Programs
Park and Walk programs are designed to have parents drive their children to a designated meeting place in the vicinity of the school, at which they leave the car and walk the remaining distance. These programs help families that live too far to walk or bike to school, or that do not have a safe route from home to school, to reduce traffic congestion at the school and to provide their children with the opportunity to walk with friends on a regular basis. Some schools require parents to walk with their children to school while others have designated adult volunteers to walk groups of children from the parking area to school, thus helping to develop a sense of community among the adults and giving children a feeling of safety.
Schools may develop one or more maps that identify safe and convenient parking places from which there are safe walking routes to the camp.
Kiddie Valet/Student Traffic Controllers
Students, with the support of parent volunteers and school staff, greet parent drivers at their school site’s drop off location. The upper elementary grade students help younger students out of vehicles and encourage drivers to exercise more caution around school sites.
Volunteer Crossing Guard Programs
Parent or local volunteers, aid families with crossing intersections near the school campus.
SchoolPooling is taking children from two different households to the same school. San Mateo County SchoolPool program is part of the 511 SchoolPool RideMatch service. This free program is an interactive, on-demand system that helps families coordinate with each other to carpool, walk or bike to and from school.
Students who live too far from school to bike and walk may utilize public transit as a means of getting to a from school. SamTrans, the local bus service, includes stops at many San Mateo County Schools.