Over the last several decades, the share of children walking or bicycling to school has dropped significantly, from 42 percent in 1969 to about 13 percent today. This change has been accompanied by a corresponding increase parents driving their children and increased congestion and conflicts around schools, including their impacts on local and regional air quality. In response, communities around the country are increasingly looking at ways to encourage children to walk, bicycle, carpool or use transit to get to and from school. These efforts are often grouped under the term Safe Routes to School, or SR2S.
Contra Costa already benefits from a number of ongoing SR2S programs such as Streets Smarts in San Ramon Valley and 511 Contra Costa. As a Congestion Management Agency (CMA), the Authority is already involved in SR2S funding decisions. The question is, to what extent should its role be expanded or diminished, and why?
To answer that question and to provide technical assistance to agencies in Contra Costa, the Authority and its consultants worked with stakeholders throughout Contra Costa to assess SR2S needs in Contra Costa, to develop best practices for implementing SR2S projects and programs, and to help local agencies address specific SR2S needs through focused technical assistance.
The following resources summarize these efforts. They include:
- a final summary report,
- an existing conditions data summary,
- the Contra Costa SR2S needs assessment,
- the SR2S resource guide, and
- the technical assistance reports.