Building Your Task Force
While a local Safe Routes to School program usually starts with one or two “champions” who initiate and manage the process, it’s important to involve a wide array of representatives from your community. Safe Routes to School programs are unique in that they represent the interests of many different stakeholders everywhere from school districts to environmental groups to safety advocates. Build collaborative partnerships among many unique stakeholders to increase the scope and reach of your program.
Your Safe Routes to School program will involve the local school and making changes to city and/or county routes, any successful program will directly engage the city, the county and the school. The types of people to invite to serve on your Safe Routes to School Team include:
- School Personnel (the principal and teachers)
- The PTA
- Elected Officials
- Police Officers
- City and/or County Planners
- Health Officials
- Non-profit Organizations
- Business and Community Leaders
Since each Safe Routes to School program is distinct to the particular community in which they operate, this list of stakeholders can always be expanded upon. In your community, who else might be an important partner in getting more students walking and bicycling? The most successful programs use the expertise of the task force to create a program that is specific to your community. The task force should consider and decide how to implement and integrate the Five E’s (Evaluation, Engineering, Education, Encouragement and Enforcement) of Safe Routes to School through the action plan.