Exploring the Safe Routes to School Program: Feasibility of Using an Active Mode of Transportation to and from School in Prince George’s County, Maryland
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Safe Routes to School (SR2S) is a program that promotes student health by encouraging an active mode of transportation. “The Safe Routes to School National Partnership's mission is to advance safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, and in daily life, to improve the health and well-being of America's children and to foster the creation of livable, sustainable communities.”1 Many elementary and academy school students in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) meet the 1.5 miles from school bus eligibility criteria but still take the bus. PGCPS has also experienced budget cuts and is looking at ways to save money on student bussing. Based on preliminary findings, PGCPS wants to know the feasibility of implementing an SR2S program at Arrowhead Elementary, Beltsville Academy, Hyattsville Elementary, and William W. Hall Academy. To figure out the feasibility of implementing an SR2S program, current conditions of active student transportation had to be addressed. This study asks the question “To what extent do current conditions at these four schools support or hinder active student transportation?” This feasibility was examined through prior research, site observations, and spatial analysis. Table 1 shows the feasibility criteria for each level of feasibility using qualitative and quantitative data.