Safe Routes to School
Santa Monica’s Safe Routes to School Program is focused on two key goals: helping families feel confident biking and walking to school, and improving overall walking and bicycling conditions near schools. The City of Santa Monica created the Safe Routes to School program in response to growing community interest in biking and walking at schools, particularly in light of the impressive growth of the annual Bike It! Walk It! Days in October and May (begun in 2007 by the Samohi Solar Alliance). In partnership with local schools and organizations, Safe Routes to School is always hosting activities, educational programs, and events to educate and empower families.
About our program
The goal of the Santa Monica Safe Routes to School Program is to help families bicycle and walk to school by offering education and encouragement programs, and by improving walking and bicycling conditions near schools. This type of program has many benefits for the community, including:
- Helping children arrive at school alert and ready to learn
- Helping families establish healthy habits of daily physical activity
- Encouraging families to make walking and biking to school part of everyday life
- Teaching children the skills and knowledge they need to be safe and independent when walking or bicycling, including rules of the road, physical skills, and safety behaviors
- Helping reduce auto congestion and improve traffic safety outside our schools
- Improving air quality by reducing vehicle emissions associated with school travel
The City of Santa Monica created the Safe Routes to School program in response to growing community interest in bicycling and walking at schools, particularly in light of the impressive growth of the annual Bike It! Walk It! Days in October and May. Community priorities expressed in the Land Use and Circulation Element and the Bike Action Plan also call for investments in active transportation for youth and families.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a comprehensive program designed to making walking and biking to school a customary part of everyday life. In Year 1 of the program (2012-2013), the City of Santa Monica implemented two grants to pilot SRTS activities. This included the creation of a walking and biking curriculum, bike safety training, outreach and events, and infrastructure recommendations at four schools: Roosevelt Elementary, Will Rogers Learning Community, John Adams Middle School, and Lincoln Middle School. Numerous organizations supported the program, including the Santa Monica Malibu PTA Council, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) administrators, Santa Monica SPOKE, staff from numerous City departments, and volunteers.
In Year 2 of the program (2013-2014), the City hosted family-oriented events (Kidical Mass rides and the second annual Family Bike Fest), offered bike safety trainings, and worked with stakeholders on a Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan. In 2015, the program and its reach are being expanded to all Santa Monica schools.
Samohi Safe Routes Improvements – Construction improvements that will eliminate barriers of biking and walking to/ from Santa Monica High School. Specifically at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and 7th Street, on 7th Street between Michigan Avenue and Pico Boulevard, and on Pico Boulevard between 6th and 7th Streets.
Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway – intended to create an inviting streetscape along Michigan Avenue and adjoining streets. This can be achieved through elements including roadway calming, increased landscaping, sidewalk widening, bike facilities, and enhanced crosswalks.
Edison Language Academy Safe Routes Improvements – Pedestrian enhancements and pavement striping to aid students walking to and from Edison Language Academy.
Santa Monica SPOKE - Local chapter of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), SM Spoke aims to make Santa Monica a better place to live, bike, walk, work and play.
SMMUSD Transportation – Learn more about SMMUSD transportation policies and busing.
Riding Big Blue Bus to School – Big Blue Bus offers a safe, affordable, and convenient ride to school for K-12 students.
Starting a Walking School Bus: The Basics - Helpful, easy to follow online training module that highlights important planning tips and strategies for starting a walking school bus.
Metro School Pool – Metro can help parents at your school carpool by creating a parent carpool directory and matching parents with similar schedules.
Santa Monica Bike Campus - A safe place where people of all ages can learn how to safely ride a bike on several types of facilities and roadway types. Located south of Ocean Park Boulevard at Santa Monica Beach.
Math In My World - The City of Santa Monica has created a series of Kindergarten through 5th grade math problem sets that meet California Common Core State Standards and teach critical math skills while incorporating stories about life Santa Monica. The problem sets are available to all teachers, free download. Learn more here.
To find out more about the City's Safe Routes to School initiative please contact Cory Keen at Cory.Keen@smgov.net