About Safe Routes to School
Since 2005, the Colorado Safe Routes to School program has enabled and encouraged students to walk and bike to school. The program aims to empower our community by addressing barriers that prevent students from walking and biking to school, as well as the health problems related to a sedentary lifestyle. It also aims to help address fuel consumption, traffic and air pollution near schools.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) manages the distribution of federal funds through the Colorado Safe Routes to School program. Grants are awarded through a statewide competitive process, in proportion to the geographic distribution of the student population for kindergarten through eighth grade.
With federal funding from the Safe Routes to School program, cities may carry out planning, design and construction projects that improve the ability of students to walk and bike to school. Engineering projects may include:
- Sidewalk improvements;
- Pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements;
- Off-street and on-street pedestrian and bicycle facilities;
- Secure bicycle and parking facilities;
- Traffic calming and speed reduction improvements; and
- Traffic diversion improvements near schools.
Lehigh Corridor Improvements
We've heard from parents with students at Mesa Elementary and Bear Creek Elementary that Lehigh Street is difficult to cross and that a paved connection is needed through Bear Creek Park. In response, we've secured a Safe Routes to School grant to make these improvements as well as others that will improve safety for everyone walking and biking the corridor.
The improvements include:
- Pedestrian crossing and intersection safety improvements near Mesa Elementary (fall 2021)
- Installation of a paved multi-use path through Bear Creek Park connecting Lehigh and Bear Creek Elementary (fall 2021)
- Resurfacing of Lehigh/Greenbriar between Table Mesa and east of Galena/Redstone (2022)
- Installation of a bike lane with a painted buffer between Table Mesa Driv and Cragmoor Road (2022)
Boulder Valley School District projects
Since 2001, the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) has received almost $200,000 for education and outreach projects, including the Safe Schools Boulder project and a $60,000 grant to install improved bicycle parking at 20 schools. A total of 31 schools, including 14 BVSD and four private schools in Boulder, are encouraging more students to walk and bike to school safely as a result of the Safe Routes money.
For more information about the BVSD projects, contact BVSD Student Transportation Coordinator Landon Hilliard at 720-561-5931 or visit the Boulder Valley School District's Safe Routes to School website.
Hanover Avenue Multi-Use Path Project
This Safe Route to School funded project will design and construct a multi-use path along Hanover Avenue from Broadway to 46th Street. This is expected to improve bicycling and walking for students traveling to four different schools in the area.
South Boulder Road and Manhattan Drive Intersection Improvements
This project is funded by the federal Safe Routes to School program and the 2011 City of Boulder Capital Improvement Bond. Final completion of the project is anticipated to occur in Winter/Spring 2015.
Linden Avenue Sidewalk Project
Construction of the Linden Avenue sidewalk improved safety and accessibility for pedestrians on Linden Avenue by constructing a sidewalk on the north side of Linden Avenue between Broadway and Wonderland Hill Avenue.
Sidewalks along Linden Avenue were identified in the North Boulder Subcommunity Plan and by members of the community during the public outreach effort for the Missing Sidewalk Links Program. In 2009, the City of Boulder was awarded funding through the Colorado Safe Routes to School Program to complete a sidewalk along the north side of Linden Avenue.
The project was a partnership among the city, Boulder Valley School District, Foothills Elementary, Centennial and Casey middle schools, and Shining Mountain Waldorf School. The new sidewalk eliminated a barrier for students and their families by providing a safe walking and cycling route between homes and schools.
Safe Schools Boulder
The City of Boulder has partnered with the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) to address safety issues associated with bicycling and walking to school. The project, which supports the city's Vision Zero goals, is currently being implemented as a pilot program at three Boulder schools during the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 school years: University Hill Elementary, Mesa Elementary and Whittier Elementary. However, staff will make the program available to all schools within BVSD.
This project involves outreach activities as well as the identification of areas for potential infrastructure improvements in a 1-mile radius of each of the three pilot program schools. Some of the project activities planned for the 2018-2019 school year include:
- Back to school events (August/September 2018)
- Tallies to understand students' preferred mode of travel to/from school (September 2018, April/May 2019)
- Parent surveys about transportation choices (September 2018, April/May 2019)
- Walk to School Day (October 2018) and Bike to School Day (April 2019)
- Walk and Wheel Wednesdays
- "Hug n' Go" program at Mesa ES (started August 2018)
- Maps of recommended routes (August/September 2018)
- Bike safety education classes for 4th and 5th graders (throughout school year)
- Bike and pedestrian safety videos (Aug./September 2018)
- Parent Transportation Advisory Committees (throughout school year)
Project staff will also evaluate data gathered through walking and bike audits conducted in the areas around the schools during the 2017-2018 school year to identify potential future SRTS grant application opportunities and safety infrastructure works.