Update from the Delaware Safe Routes to School Program
As of March 31, 2012, 37 elementary and middle schools in Delaware have ongoing school-level Safe Routes to School programs. This represents about 20 percent of Safe Routes to School-eligible Delaware public schools, including charter schools. Private schools serving students in grades K-8 are also eligible. Six schools in Delaware were awarded consultant planning assistance in January 2012 using federal Safe Routes to School program funding. Planning of infrastructure projects is currently underway at these schools, three of which are in New Castle County, two in Kent County and one in Sussex County. The most commonly requested infrastructure improvements requested in Delaware are bike racks, school zone signage, sidewalks, ADA curb ramps and crosswalk striping.
An additional 24 Delaware schools have participated in statewide Safe Routes to School-sponsored activities, such as International Walk to School Month and bicycle safety poster contests.Non-infrastructure activities are already taking place at these schools and others and include activities such as bike rodeos, bicycle and pedestrian safety assemblies and in-class instruction, walking incentive programs and school-level bicycle safety art contests.
The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) Safe Routes to School program will be hosting walking school bus workshops, provided through a partnership between the National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Missouri-based PedNet Coalition in May. DelDOT has also been busy gearing up for the inaugural National Bike to School Day. DelDOT Secretary of Transportation, Shailen Bhatt and state and local dignitaries will be participating in events on Wednesday, May 9. Bicyclists in Delaware’s annual Legislators’ Ride traveling from New Castle County will be stopping for a press event with students at Townsend Elementary School, on their way to Legislative Mall in Dover. At Legislative Mall, these riders and bicyclists riding from Kent and Sussex counties will be greeted by students from nearby South Dover Elementary School, and brief speeches will be conducted in honor of bicycling in Delaware.
For more information on the Delaware Safe Routes to School program, please contact Sarah Coakley, SRTS coordinator at (302) 760-2236 or visit the program website.