YOLO COUNTY NEWS

Next Generation

Meetings will focus on safe routes to school

By From page A8 | January 14, 2014

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Volunteer Sara Johnson cheers as sixth-grader Matthew Chavez arrives at North Davis Elementary School on Bike to School Day last spring. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise file photo

Parents and community members are encouraged to review draft recommendations for the city of Davis Safe Routes to School Walk and Bike Audit Project at a series of upcoming public meetings.

The draft is the result of audits done at 11 Davis elementary and junior high schools last year aimed at finding ways to improve walking and biking access to schools.

Audits were conducted by Alta Planning+Design and involved parents, school officials and interested community members who staked out positions around each of the schools to observe how students were arriving at school and what could be done to make walking and biking to school safer for everybody.

Alta analyzed the results of the audits with the support of transportation engineer David Parisi, who specializes in safe routes to school, and site improvements and recommendations were made based on the information gathered at each school site.

A draft improvement report has been prepared, including one chapter for each school identifying challenges, recommended improvements, associated costs, responsible agencies and possible sources of funding. Additionally, new Suggested Routes to School maps with travel and safety tips have been created for each school in both English and Spanish.

This project is fully funded by a Caltrans Cycle 3 Safe Routes to School grant awarded to the city in October 2011.

In December, a community forum reviewed and discussed proposed improvement strategies identified in the report and this month the project team will meet with each of the 11 school communities to review the draft reports and maps and solicit comments and community feedback.

The draft itself is available online at http://saferoutesdavis.org and the public forums will be held on the following dates:

Tuesday, Jan. 14

Patwin Elementary School, 2222 Shasta Drive, at 8:30 a.m.

Korematsu Elementary School, 3100 Loyola Drive, at 2 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 16

Holmes Junior High School, 1220 Drexel Drive, at 8:30 a.m.

Pioneer Elementary School, 5215 Hamel St., at 1 p.m.

Birch Lane Elementary School, 1600 Birch Lane, at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 21

Willett Elementary School, 1207 Sycamore Lane, at 6 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 23

César Chávez Elementary School, 1221 Anderson Road, at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 28

North Davis Elementary School, 555 E 14th St., at 7 p.m.

Forums at Montgomery Elementary and Emerson and Da Vinci junior high schools took place on Monday, Jan. 13.

The audits represent the first step in a longer-term plan to implement safety improvements around Davis schools.

City staff will use strategies developed through the audits to apply for funding to implement the improvements near school sites as money becomes available in the future. This spring, approximately $130 million will be made available through California’s newly formed Active Transportation Program, and the city hopes to receive some of this grant money to begin implementing school and city improvements.

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