Safe Routes to School is a national program that promotes walking and bicycling to school through encouragement, education, infrastructure improvements, and enforcement. By providing fun and safe opportunities for kids to walk and bike to school, community members benefit from increased levels of physical activity, decreased vehicle emissions, and less traffic congestion.
Earlier this year, Safe Routes program staff held the Walk to School celebration with over 150 students participating at Davis Elementary in NE Portland, which included a demonstration project with a closed street, crosswalk “bump out,” and special visits from the Gresham Fire Department and the Portland Trailblazers mascot, Blaze. Also this year, lessons on Pedestrian Safety were held at SUN afterschool and summer programs, and other events have been held at Fairview Elementary in Fairview, Meadows Elementary in SE Portland, Troutdale Elementary in Troutdale, Butler Creek Elementary in Gresham, and Dexter Middle School in Gresham.
Multnomah County's Safe Routes to School program has been serving students in East County schools, including Fairview, Gresham, Troutdale, and Wood Village. To help get children moving to school, program staff engage with school principals, teachers, and parents during meetings, and provide schools with maps, flyers, and safety vests. Educational opportunities such as Pedestrian Safety lessons, assembly presentations, and small group discussions have been and are offered at area elementary and middle schools.
Through a Metro Regional Transportation Grant, the program has been funded for the past two years, and will be continued for another three years after receiving additional grant funding.