The Safe Routes to School program in Moscow started out as part of the federal Safe Routes to School program. From the beginning in 2007, under the direction of Helen Brown and Grace Goc Karp in the Movement Sciences Department at the University of Idaho, a SRTS Coordinator was hired to coordinate the program and expand it to all K-8th grade schools that wanted to participate. We have seen gradual enthusiasm build as schools and families have benefited from the SRTS program in this community.
SRTS has three main objectives: improve walking and biking conditions, increase physical activity, and decrease air pollution.
SRTS organizes four events each year: the International Walk to School day (iWalk), the Polar Walk, Fill the Racks!, and Officer Newbill Kid’s Safety fair. These events
help encourage students to walk, bike, or roll to school.
The 5 “E’s” of SRTS
Across America, Safe Routes has 5 E’s : Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, Engineering, and Evaluation. The Coordinator for Safe Routes to School in Moscow focuses mostly on Encouragement (events listed above) and Education (in the classroom and through other safety based events in Moscow). The City of Moscow and UI’s NIATT Engineering department has helped us cover the other E’s of SRTS; Enforcement and Engineering. Likewise, we all try our best to Evaluate our work along the way!
Background and Statistics
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a national and international movement to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from schools. The program has been designed to reverse the decline in children walking and bicycling to schools. Safe Routes to School can also play a critical role in reversing the alarming nationwide trend toward childhood obesity and inactivity.
These Quick Facts, put together by SRTS National Partnership, can be used to engage diverse partnerships with Safe Routes to School.
What we do
Besides coordinating the annual encouragement events (listed above) each year, Moscow’s SRTS also works with the City of Moscow to gain funding for new sidewalks around schools in need. We provide maps for all Moscow students, K-8th grade, to find and map safe routes to school. Likewise, we work with Principals to make individual school priorities happen, like providing Crossing Guards with needed supplies or funding helmets for students in need. We help coordinate Walking School Buses at participating schools and work to implement “it’s the law to stop for pedestrians” signs. Along with improving route safety, we also work to increase incentive. Joined with PTA leaders, we organize additional programs like “punch cards” and the “one less car” campaign to encourage daily walking and biking. Finally, we work with schools to improve drop off and pick up procedures to ensure a safe and efficient program.
Starting in 2006, the unique partnership of the City of Moscow and the University of Idaho has been successful in gaining grant funding to provide a variety of opportunities, events and services for K-8th grade students in Moscow, Idaho.
We currently serve 8 schools, reaching out to over 2,300 students district wide! Moscow’s SRTS Coordinator, Erin Bacon works with parents, principles, and city personnel.
A.B McDonald Elementary
West Park Elementary
Moscow Charter School
St. Mary’s Catholic School
Palouse Prairie School of Experiential Learning
Moscow Middle School
Other Community Partners
Here in Moscow, Idaho, we are fortunate to be partnered with University of Idaho. We are looking for other businesses and organizations to work with in the future!