For those of you working with or at a school or school district, wondering how to asses your school’s Safe Routes to School potential:
WalkBoston and their regional planning organization (MAPC) developed a tool for schools in Massachusetts to assess walking (and now biking) potential. A discussion of the tool can be found at http://walkboston.org/what-we-do/initiatives/research and the tool itself can be seen at http://masaferoutessurvey.org/en/ – with responses to this very short survey, schools can automatically generate reports and maps that show how students get to/from school. This immediately reveals whether there are a lot of children living nearby who are currently arriving in cars (and therefore possible candidates to shift to walking or biking), or whether most nearby students are already arriving on foot. The tool for Massachusetts also includes walksheds and bikesheds for all schools that accurately represent walking and biking distances and accessibility (sidewalks etc).
The tool was designed so that it can be adapted by other states or school districts, please contact Tim Reardon at MAPC, 617-933-0718 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions about the research, get in touch with Wendy Landman, Executive Director WalkBoston — wlandman@WalkBoston.org or 617-367-9255.