At a Glance

The evaluation component is an important element of any SRTS program and is used to help determine if the most important needs are being addressed, the appropriate strategies are being used and the desired results are being achieved. Evaluation data also informs decisions about adjusting activities when necessary.

Benefits of Evaluation

The benefits of evaluation extend beyond an individual program.  Evaluation of the success of pilot SRTS programs in increasing walking and bicycling to school and reducing the numbers of children driven to school, helped convince Congress to establish the National Safe Routes to School Program. Local evaluations conducted play a similarly important role when policymakers at the national, state, and local levels decide whether and how to continue SRTS programs.

Evaluation Tools

There are two main evaluation activities in Safe Routes programs. 

The Safe Routes to School Student Travel Tally helps measure how students get to school and whether the SRTS program affects trips to and from school.  Schools can use this form to record specific information about how children arrive and depart from school.  The information collected will be used to help track the success of SRTS programs across the country. San Mateo County encourages program implementers to use the National Safe Routes Student Travel Tally Form, but there are also two paper forms (form 1 and form 2), and an interactive white board form available to assist with student travel data collection. All student travel tallies are mailed to the National Safe Routes Data Center or may also be entered online. For more information about mailing or to enter data online, visit the National Safe Routes Data Center.

The Safe Routes to School Parent Survey asks for information about what factors affect whether parents allow their children to walk or bike to school, the presence of key safety-related conditions along routes to school, and related background information.  The survey results help determine how to improve opportunities for children to walk or bike to school and measure parental attitude changes as local SRTS programs occur. The Parent Survey is available in printable form in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Tagalog. An online Parent Survey form is also available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Tagalog.

It is common for parent groups such as Site Councils and PTA organizations to play a major role in collecting the evaluation data.  County Office staff can provide training and technical assistance to parent leaders involved in the evaluation component of a school's program.