Safe Routes to School:
Collaboration and Participation
in Albany, Oregon

bike swap and a rain gear swap, hoping to
encourage more children to walk or bike to school,
even during rainy Oregon winters. The swaps would
allow parents to bring in bicycles and raincoats, rain
boots, and ponchos that their children have outgrown
and swap them out for the proper sizes. Program volunteers
would tune up the used bicycles before trading
them out. Such a program would have the added benefit
of ensuring that the bikes children are riding are
safe, properly sized, and well maintained.
Finally, the committee expects greater parental
involvement as the program moves into the future.
Some think that having a coordinator will help get
information about the program out to parents and
make the program more visible, which will serve to
recruit and involve more parents. “My hope for the
future is to actually see more kids walking and biking
to school on a regular basis, and that would be driven,
in large part, by parents getting involved and modeling
the kinds of practices that work,” City Manager Hare
said. “So that someday we won’t have to have SRTS
committees, we will just have parents realizing that it
makes sense in terms of economic considerations and
health to have kids walk and bike.”

Many of these improvements cost relatively little in
light of the benefits they provide. Bicycle lane striping,
which costs 50 cents per square foot per year, dedicates
a portion of the road to bicycles alone, thereby
making bicyclists more visible and enhancing their
safety. Pedestrian crossings, like the aforementioned
solar-powered one, cost about $15,000, while pedestrian
islands, depending on their size, cost between
$15,000 and $25,000;

On average, 115 children are
abducted each year, while 250,000 are injured or killed
in traffic accidents6—the leading cause of death for
children ages 3 to 14.7 As Hare noted, “One thing that
a lot of people don’t understand is that children are
most at risk when they are in cars. There is some data
that shows that kids are safest in New York City, and
the reason is that they are not in cars.”

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