Juneau Safe Routes to School Plan Available for Public Comment

A group of students are helped by a crossing guard to safely walk home from Riverbend Elementary in November, 2011.

The Juneau Safe Routes to School Plan - Public Review Draft has just been released by the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) and is available for public comment at www.juneau.org under “Hot Topics.”

The CBJ, in partnership with Juneau’s schools, parents and students, and Sheinberg Associates — a local community and strategic planning firm — developed this Juneau Safe Routes to School plan for each elementary and middle school in Juneau.

The purpose of the Juneau Safe Routes to Schools Plan is to create safe, convenient and fun opportunities for Juneau children to walk and bike to and from school. Juneau’s seven elementary schools and two middle schools are included in this plan. In order to understand why Juneau kids are not walking and biking to school more often, the Juneau Safe Routes to School team conducted school audits assessing the pedestrian and bicycle facilities at and around schools, how students are currently traveling to school and concerns and issues that parents and the community have with students walking or biking to school. Based on audit findings, the plan recommends specific improvements for each school.

Implementation of the recommendations in this plan will directly benefit Juneau students, parents and teachers by increasing safety near schools and reducing vehicle congestion at school drop-off zones. Safe Routes to School programs offer additional benefits to neighborhoods by helping to slow traffic and provide infrastructure improvements that facilitate walking and biking for everyone. Students that choose to walk or bike to school are rewarded with the health benefits of a more active lifestyle, responsibility and independence that come from being in charge of the way they travel, and learn at an early age that walking and biking can be safe and enjoyable.

Please send any comments on the draft plan to SafeRoutes@SheinbergAssociates.com by April 9.

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