California's safe routes to school program: Impacts on walking, bicycling, and pedestrian safety

Marlon G. Boarnet, Kristen Day, Craig Anderson, Tracy McMillan, Mariela Alfonzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article evaluates California's pioneering Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program, which funds traffic improvement projects designed to improve safety for children's walking and bicycling to school and to increase the number of children who do so. Through surveys of parents and observations of vehicle and pedestrian traffic before and after project construction, we examined the impacts of 10 traffic improvement projects funded through the SR2S program. We measured changes in perceived safety and in safety-related behaviors associated with children's trips to school, and examined changes in the number of children walking and bicycling following these improvements. Five of the 10 traffic improvement projects we evaluated showed evidence of a successful impact. The findings have implications for California's SR2S program and for similar initiatives throughout the country.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-317
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the American Planning Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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