Why walk to school?
The number of children who walk or bike to school in the U.S. has steadily decreased over the last 50 years. At the same time communities, including Solano County, are seeing increases in traffic around schools, air pollution, and childhood obesity. To help address these problems, the Solano Transportation Authority (STA) launched the Solano County Safe Routes to School program in 2008. In partnership with Solano County Public Health, the program brings together city planners, traffic engineers, law enforcement, educators and parents to encourage walking and biking to school by creating safer, less congested routes.
Benicia High School
Benicia Middle School
Joe Henderson Elementary
Liberty High School
Mary Farmar Elementary
Matthew Turner Elementary
Robert Semple Elementary
St. Dominic School
City of Benicia fast tracks Safe Routes to School program
The Benicia Safe Routes to School Project (SR2S) followed the same environmental and design process as other federally funded projects, but with a more aggressive timeline to ensure the use of the funding within the time frame allotted. The city staff was proactive in working with Caltrans on both the environmental and right-of-way clearance, resulting in expediting the process.
The City’s SR2S Community Task Force, made up of elected officials, City staff, and School District staff, met to update the SR2S plan. The Task Force conducted walking audits at the three Benicia schools, observing drop off and pick up activities at identified locations of interest, and documented concerns. As a result of the walking audits, several recommendations for improvements were made to improve the traffic circulation, congestion and walkability for children.
The project was completed in a time-efficient manner of 30 working days. The SR2S project substantially improved travel safety for students by adding sidewalks, flashing beacons, sidewalk bulb-outs, landings and high visibility crosswalks.