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Louisiana Safe Routes To School Program

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Presentation on theme: "Louisiana Safe Routes To School Program"— Presentation transcript:

1 Louisiana Safe Routes To School Program
Infrastructure Projects

2 Purpose (Section 1404(b) of the legislation)
To Enable And Encourage Children, Including Those With Disabilities, To Walk And Bicycle To School. To Make Bicycling And Walking To School A Safer And More Appealing Transportation Alternative, Thereby Encouraging A Healthy And Active Lifestyle From An Early Age; And Continued on next slide The purpose of the program as stated in the legislation is: To enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school. To make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age; and

3 Purpose (Continued) To Facilitate The Planning, Development And Implementation Of Projects And Activities That Will Improve Safety And Reduce Traffic, Fuel Consumption, And Air Pollution In The Vicinity Of Schools. To facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools

4 Funding Categories INFRASTRUCTURE – Generally those activities that involve the planning, design and construction of physical improvements NON-INFRASTRUCTURE – Generally those activities related to education and the encouragement of walking and bicycling to school as well as enforcement and evaluation

5 Guiding Principles Infrastructure is a prerequisite
Relationships between all components are everything Easy to implement, low cost solutions should be implemented first In order for kids to bike or walk to school safely at least a minimum amount of infrastructure is required. Each component has to be evaluated in relation to all other components. Low cost solutions should not be overlooked and should be implemented first.

6 Guiding Principles (cont.)
Improvements requiring substantial time and financial commitment are identified and an implementation plan developed Engineering treatments are matched to the type of problem Identify all improvements that will be required to fully implement the program. Develop an implentation plan for each. Engineering treatments (Infrastructure) are generally the most costly solutions. Care should be taken to ensure that any recommended infrastructure improvements will solve an identified problem.

7 SRTS Summary Goals Where it’s safe, get kids bicycling and walking to school. Where it’s not safe, make the changes necessary to make it safe.

8 Infrastructure Examples
Sidewalk improvements (new, repairs,etc.) Traffic calming/speed reduction improvements Pedestrian/bicycle crossing improvements On-street bicycle facilities Off-street bicycle/pedestrian facilities Bicycle parking facilities Traffic diversion improvements Sidewalk Improvements can include new sidewalks, sidewalk widening, sidewalk gap closures, sidewalk repairs, curbs, gutters, and curb ramps Traffic calming and speed reduction improvements can include roundabouts, bulb-outs, speed bumps, raised crossings, raised intersections, median refuges, narrowed traffic lanes, lane reductions, full-or half-street closures, automated speed enforcement, and variable speed limits. Pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements can include crossings, median refuges, raised crossing, raised intersections, traffic control devices (including new or upgraded traffic signals, pavement markings, traffic stripes, in-roadway crossing lights, flashing beacons, bicycle-sensitive signal actuation devices, pedestrian countdown signals, vehicle speed feedback signs, pedestrian activated signal upgrades), and sight distance improvements On-street bicycle facilities can include new or upgraded bicycle lanes, widened outside lanes or roadway shoulders, geometric improvements, turning lanes, channelization and roadway realignment, traffic signs, and pavement markings. Off street bicycle and pedestrian facilities can include exclusive multi-use bicycle and pedestrian trails and pathways that are separated from a roadway. Secure bicycle parking facilities can include bicycle parking racks, bicycle lockers, designated area with safety lighting, and covered bicycle shelters Traffic diversion improvements can include separation of pedestrians and bicycles from vehicular traffic adjacent to school facilities, and traffic diversion away from school zones or designated routes to a school.

9 La Infrastructure Examples
Sidewalks, Bike/Ped. paths Pedestrian bridge renovation Flashing school zone lights Bike racks Crosswalks and signs These are the types of work that were approved in the first round of applications.

10 Location State highway or local roads
Must be within 2 miles of a primary or middle school Must be public right of way Property acquisition must conform to Federal requirements

11 Engineering Creates safer conditions for walking and bicycling
Can influence the way people behave ENGINEERING - Create 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 crossing, walkways, trails and bikeways West Valley City, UT

12 What’s wrong with this picture?

13 Proper maintenance is required to ensure that infrastructure remains safe for pedestrians and wheelchairs.

14 Walking in the street can be dangerous particularly when there are sight distance restrictions and/or relatively heavy traffic volumes and higher speed limits

15 The effective width of the sidewalk because of landscaping
The effective width of the sidewalk because of landscaping. Care must be taken to ensure that all obstructions are cleared that may reduce the utility of the sidewalk.

16 This is another example of bushes restricting the effective width of a sidewalk.

17 Parked cars are restricting the use of the sidewalk at this location.

18 There is no sidewalk at the end of the crosswalk to connect to the sidewalk network.

19 Here is another case where the connection to the sidewalk at the end of the crosswalk does not exist.

20 The sidewalk ends and there are sight distance problems thereby making this area unsafe for pedestrians.



23 Engineering Tools Outline
Develop a school route map The school zone Along the school route Crossing the street Slowing down traffic

24 Identify Safe School Routes
Develop a school route map Neighborhood Walk-abouts and Bike-abouts Walking and Bicycling Audits Parent and student surveys Develop a school traffic control plan A school route map informs each student of the safest and most convenient walking and bicycling route to school and can identify areas that require engineering treatments. There are standard walk-about and bike-about checklist forms that can be obtained on the internet

25 School Route Maps

26 School Traffic Control Plan
Based on the routes that have been identified a traffic control plan should be developed. The plan should be developed by a traffic engineer and approved by the local government.

27 The School Zone Signs and Pavement Markings School Speed Limits
MUTCD ( Yellow-Green school signs School Speed Limits In-street signing Other

28 Along the School Route Safe and well designed facilities Sidewalks
ADA requirements Sidewalks Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian facilities (AASHTO) Recommend 5’ width Bicycle facilities Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities (AASHTO)

29 Crossing the Street Identify good crossing locations
Reduce crossing distances Use appropriate traffic controls Are Traffic volumes and/or speed a safety problem

30 Slowing Down Traffic Traffic calming Radar speed displays Speed humps
Other design elements

31 Engineering Considerations
AASHTO Design Guides ADA Requirements DOTD Requirements Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) All bicycle facility projects must be designed and constructed to meet the criteria outlined in The Guide for Development of Bicycle Facilities, published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Pedestrian facility projects must comply with AASHTO’s guide, A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets. Pedestrian facility projects must be designed to reasonably meet the needs of persons with disabilities and be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. Sidewalks should be a minimum width to allow at least two people to walk comfortably side by side (standards outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, recommend at least five feet). Where large numbers of children gather, sidewalks should be even wider with clear landscaped edges to separate them from the street. Sidewalks need to be flat, with curb cuts at corners, but without sloping driveways. All services and documents will meet the standard requirements as to format and content of DOTD and will be prepared in accordance with the latest standards; DOTD Location and Survey Manual Roadway Design Procedures and Details DOTD Hydraulics Manual Standard Specifications for Roads and Bridges, etc. Latest edition of MUTCD Utility relocations will not be funded but utility adjustments will be Right of way will not be funded, however, right of way purchase must be in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970

32 Summary of Solutions Sidewalks Signs and Markings
Traffic calming/diversion

33 New Sidewalk Problems Drainage Right-of-Way Utilities
Piping ditches is expensive Right-of-Way Acquisition must conform to FHWA requirements Utilities Relocation Adjustments

34 Developing a Program

35 Comprehensive SRTS Program
The 5 E’s Engineering Education Encouragement Enforcement Evaluation

36 Developing An SRTS Program
Identify The Problem(s) Develop Solutions Infrastructure Improvements Non-Infrastructure Activities Estimate Cost Develop An Action Plan Develop An Evaluation Plan This program is not just about getting a sidewalk project or a bicycle training project or bike racks, etc. It is about developing a program that will get the most benefit for the money available. To do this we need to go through several steps. Each of these will be expanded on to some extent. We will not get into a lot of detail, however, since there is ample information available on the internet or other sources. Most of you were at the training session yesterday so we will not duplicate that information.

37 Problem Identification “No spin – just the facts”
Organize Assess Current Environment Assess Existing Infrastructure Identify Safety Problems Collect Data Don’t jump straight to solutions. You need to identify and document problems first.

38 Organize (Form A Team) SCHOOL (Principal, staff, student)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Enforcement, DPW, School Board, etc.) PARENTS (PTO, etc.) OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES ENGINEER (Traffic or other) CHAMPION (Someone who can keep things moving) The Team - A SRTS team consists of parents, children, teachers, principals, and neighbors of a single school. The team gathers information about their school through surveys and traffic counts, organizes incentive-based events and contests to encourage students to try new modes of transportation, and promotes the program through school newsletters and other means to reach parents and students. The Champions - Champions are individuals whose passion and enthusiasm will give life to the program. Every SRTS program needs at least one champion. The champion can be a teacher, a principal, even a child, but usually the champions are parents who want to ensure a safer environment for their own children. Often they are avid walkers or bicyclists and set a positive example with their own travel behavior. Champions are the key organizers of the program, overseeing activities at their school and working with champions from other schools to share ideas.

39 Assess Current Environment
Identify students who: Currently walk or bike to school Take bus or driven to school Live within one or two miles of school Could potentially walk or bike to school SRTS student and parent surveys See SRTS website Use surveys to determine how many children currently walk or bike to school or how many currently take a bus or are driven to school Use a map to locate where children live within one or two miles of a school. Determine the routes that they use to get to school. Estimate the number who could potentially walk or bike to school

40 Meadowview Elem.

41 Assess Infrastructure
Sidewalks, Paths, Etc Barriers Operational Other Problems

42 Engineering Solutions
First, consider low cost, easy to implement solutions Identify and program longer-term improvement needs Match the treatment to the problem Low cost, easy to implement solutions can include such items as signing, crosswalks, other marking, etc Can also include education and or encouragement activities Longer-term improvements can include major infrastructure improvements to provide and maintain facilities along a school route such as: Sidewalks On-street bicycle facilities Paths Connections Pedestrian and bicycle bridges

43 Engineering Solutions (Cont.)
Provide Safe Street Crossings Keep it simple Shorten crossing distances Carefully select crossing locations and marked crosswalks Control Traffic Speed

44 Identify Safety Problems
Actual Safety Problems Perceived Safety Problems Safety is one of the biggest issues for students walking or biking to school. There can be actual safety problems and some safety problems are perceived but they are just as real in affecting whether kids are allowed to walk or bike to school.

45 Actual Safety Problems
Observations Around The School, Along The School Route, Crossing The Street, Traffic Behavior Etc. Collect Data Crash Data From Local Police Crime Data Traffic volume and speed data We can observe if kids are being safe around the school and on routes to school. We can also observe if there are any apparent problems with traffic. We may want to do additional studies such as speed studies, driver behavior at cross walks, etc. The use of crash data can also help to pinpoint problem areas Any actual crime data affecting kids walking or biking to school should be documented.

46 Perceived Safety Problems
Surveys Parents Children Types Traffic Crime Other Perceived safety problems should be determined through surveys of parents and children.

47 Other Problems Weather Backpacks Too Far Etc.
Other reasons why kids are not walking or biking to school should also be documented. Some common ones would be the weather, kids have to carry too much back and forth to school, or some think it is too far to walk or bike, etc.

48 Identify Potential Solutions
Improve Facilities Engineering Change Driver Behavior Enforcement Encourage Students/Parents Educate Students/Parents/Teachers First, based on the problems identified, brainstorm solutions in consultation with public works staff members and other engineering consultants or experts. Use the expertise to work with you in developing the right solution for the specific problems identified. The solutions will generally fit in one or more of these categories.

49 Link The Solution/Problem
Identify The Impact Of The Proposed Solution In Regards To The Identified Problem Increased Safety? More children walking/bicycling to school? Reduced speeds? Change in behavior? It is important to link the proposed solutions to the identified problems.

50 Develop Infrastructure Cost Estimates
Engineering Construction Operations Generally cost estimates for engineering related solutions require an engineer familiar with cost estimates and procedures for projects that will be bid through DOTD. This would normally require basic engineering information such as basic design criteria, estimate of quantities by item, cost estimate for each item and then extension of costs to arrive at a total.

51 Develop Non-infrastr. Cost Estimates
Encouragement Education Enforcement Evaluation The cost estimates for non-infrastructure activities should also be itemized. This can include education materials, equipment, training programs, etc.

52 Develop An Action Plan List All Identified Problems And Solutions With The Cost Of Each Prioritize Develop A Time Frame For Accomplishing Identify Potential Source Of Funds For Each Identify Steps To Put Plan Into Motion After developing a plan and how much it will cost we need to take that next step and determine how we are going to implement the plan. We may find out that the cost will be more than we can reasonably expect to fund using SRTS funds over a reasonable time period. We then need to look at other sources of funds or other means to accomplish the goal. It’s not enough to develop a comprehensive plan. You must develop a plan of action for accomplishing the plan.

53 Summary A comprehensive strategy must be used to achieve the goals of the program. The 5 E’s should be applied to solve identified problems.

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