Once the team completes the mapping exercise, the team should walk and/or bike the routes to identify physical barriers. The School Team may want to follow their own format in assessing the “walkability” and the “bikeability” of the immediate school neighborhoods, or they may wish to use the linked checklists on the National SRTS Program website resources, under “Education."

Concentrate on streets you believe are critical to walking or bicycling to school, including parks, bike lanes, walkways or trails, and other public right-of-way facilities if they are or could be used by students to travel to and from school.

Walkability questions to consider:

  • Are the sidewalks, paths and/or trails on school property connected to logical residential neighborhood access points?
  • Is there room to walk?
  • Are there sidewalks, or shoulders where there were no sidewalks?
  • Are you able to walk where you an see and be seen by drivers?
  • Are you able to cross safely where you can see and be seen by drivers?
  • Does it feel safe to walk?
  • Can students safely and conveniently reach unlocked school entry doors from these locations?

 Pedestrian safety questions to consider:

  1. Does the school provide safety information or classes?
  2. Does the school participate in events that promote safe walking and physical activity such as International Walk and Bike to School Day or walk-a-thons?
  3. Is there pedestrian safety guidance given to students who cross with the School Patrol or Adult Crossing Guard?

 Bikeability questions to consider:

  • Do you have safe bicycle routes?   
  • Are there paths, trails, wide sidewalks, low-traffic streets, bike lanes or good shoulders to ride safely with traffic?
  • Does it feel safe riding with traffic?  How was the surface that you rode on?
  • How safe do you feel at the intersections you rode through?

 Bike safety and security questions to consider:

  1. Are high-visibility, accessible and secure bicycle racks available to students at the school?
  2. Are there enough to accommodate an increase in bicycles?
  3. Are they sheltered from the weather?   
  4. Are there opportunities for students to learn about bicycle safety?
  5. Are students involved in after-school bike clubs or teams?
  6. Is helmet use encouraged?

Here are some popular check-lists to use as you analyze your school area:

Walkablity Checklist

Bikeability Checklist

As you consider infrastructure options that may improve the walkability and bikability of your routes, look to resources, like PedSafe and BikeSafe from FHWA for proven safety countermeasures. 

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