Conway Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board

Safe Routes to School

The Who, What,

Where, and Why of SRTS

Today, more than ever, there is a need to provide options for our children to walk and bicycle to school safely. The City of Conway, as with countless communities nationwide, struggles with traffic congestion around our schools and motor vehicle emissions polluting the environment. At the same time, our children generally engage in far fewer physical activites than did previous generations, which directly contributes to the growing epidemic of childhood obesity and type-2 diabetes. Unfortunately, less than 15% of children walk or bicycle to school in today’s society, compared to more than 50% in the 1970’s. At first glance, these problems seem to be seperate, but SRTS programs can address them holistically through a coordinated and well-managed action plan. The Conway Safe Routes to School program enables community leaders, schools, and parents across the Conway Public Schools district to improve the pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in and around K-8 schools, while educating and encouraging more children to safely walk and bicycle to school. In the process, the program will assist in reducing traffic congestion, improve the overall health of the students, and foster a cleaner environment, thereby making the City of Conway more livable for everyone.

The How’s of SRTS

Flourishing Safe Routes to School projects see remarkable changes in the way students and parents choose to travel to and from school. These projects succeed by including each of the “Five E’s” of Safe Routes to School to ensure that their project is a well-rounded, multi-prong and time-tested approach to getting more students walking and bicycling. The Five E’s of Safe Routes to School include: Evaluation Monitoring and documenting outcomes, attitudes and trends through the collection of data before and after the SRTS interventions. Engineering Creating operational and physical improvements to the infrastructure surrounding schools that reduce speeds and potential conflicts with motor vehicle traffic, and establish safer and fully accessible crossings, walkways, trails and bikeways.Education Teaching children about the broad range of transportation choices, instructing them in important lifelong bicycling and walking safety skills and launching driver safety campaigns in the vicinity of schools. Encouragement Using events and activities to promote walking and bicycling and to generate enthusiasm for the program with students, parents, staff and surrounding community. Enforcement Partnering with local law enforcement to ensure that traffic laws are obeyed in the vicinity of schools (this includes enforcement of speeds, yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks and proper walking and bicycling behaviors) and initiating community enforcement such as crossing guard programs and student safety patrols.