What is Safe Routes to School?
The Palo Alto Safe Routes To School program is a partnership between the City of Palo Alto, the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD), and the Parents Teacher Association (PTA).
The mission of the Safe Routes Partnership is to advance safe walking and rolling to and from schools and in everyday life, improving the health and well-being of people of all races, income levels, and abilities, and building healthy, thriving communities for everyone.
We know that our bodies were designed to move, yet many of our communities were created with intentional inequities that limit mobility. We believe change is necessary to achieve a vision of safe, active, equitable, and healthy communities – for everyone.
The 6 Es
Our program incorporates the six Es of Safe Routes To School:
- Engagement: All Safe Routes To School initiatives should begin by listening to students, families, teachers, and school leaders and working with existing community organizations, and build intentional, ongoing engagement opportunities into the program structure.
- Equity: Ensuring that Safe Routes To School initiatives are benefiting all demographic groups, with particular attention to ensuring safe, healthy, and fair outcomes for low-income students, students of color, students of all genders, students with disabilities, and others.
- Engineering: Creating physical improvements to streets and neighborhoods that make walking and bicycling safer, more comfortable, and more convenient.
- Encouragement: Generating enthusiasm and increased walking and bicycling for students through events, activities, and programs.
- Education: Providing students and the community with the skills to walk and bicycle safely, educating them about benefits of walking and bicycling, and teaching them about the broad range of transportation choices.
- Evaluation: Assessing which approaches are more or less successful, ensuring that programs and initiatives are supporting equitable outcomes, and identifying unintended consequences or opportunities to improve the effectiveness of each approach.