The national organization Safe Routes to School is working to create safer and healthier travel modes for children going to and from school. Some of the problems they are addressing in SRTS are the epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes, the lack of safety in traveling alone in an urban environment, and the traffic fatalities around school sites in the morning rush hour. Children are hit by vehicles in and around school drop-off zones with alarming frequency, and SRTS wants to alleviate some of the danger created by rushing parents by getting kids out of cars. Middle school students are a perfect target for this effort, as they can walk together unsupervised by an adult if neighborhood “walking buses” are mapped out and scheduled (also called “walk-pooling”). This map is a base for the John Adams SRTS initiative; student addresses would be added in to create a total database of potential walkers who live within 1/4 mile of the school. Students would then be assigned to “routes” depending on where they lived, and a schedule created. The SRTS initiative has been successful in many communities across the U.S., and Santa Monica is an ideal place to begin a schoolwide walking bus/walk-pool effort.
Markers indicate the homes of various 7th graders at the school who would like to walk or are already walking to school.
Addie and Anya: already walk together and can pick up other students on their way.
Emma: can join Addie and Anya’s route to school along 17th Street
Daily: would like to walk but is at the bottom of a big hill
Drew: would also like to walk but has to be at school by 7:15 every morning, earlier than other students
Cora: would like to walk but is on the other side of Pico Blvd., a perceived impediment to walking and safety due to the heavy traffic load in the morning and the absence of crossing guards
Eli: would like to walk but lives almost at the edge of the quarter mile, and is across Lincoln Blvd., which is seen as an insurmountably dangerous street to cross in morning rush hour with no crossing guards.
Sophia: would like to walk but is at the edge of the 1/4 mile boundary. Like Lincoln and Pico, 23rd Street is a busy street with aggressive morning drivers and no crossing guards.
Suggested routes: 17th Street NORTHWARD from Marine Street to Pearl Street
Ocean Park Blvd. EASTWARD from 4th Street to 16th Street
Ocean Park Blvd. WESTWARD from 23rd Street
20th Street SOUTHWARD from freeway to Pearl Street, then west along Pearl to 17th
In order for this initiative to be successful, the crossing guard program would need to be expanded to cover key intersections like Lincoln and Ocean Park, Pico and 20th, 23rd and Ocean Park.
Problems/Improvements: I would like to get the underlying demographic map to display. I want to change the red marker to a blue marker at the school. I would like to use different colored markers to indicate where additional crossing guards are needed. I’d also like to know how to map suggested routes to the school.