Safe Routes to School in Duluth, Superior and Proctor
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) plans identify key routes to walkable elementary and middle schools and propose measures to make them more pedestrian and bicycle friendly. With input from a wide range stakeholders, MIC staff have developed SRTS Plans for schools in area communities includfing Duluth and Proctor (MN) and Superior (WI).
|Proctor SRTS Assessment 2008
|During the 2007-2008 school year, MIC staff began a safe routes to school assessment for Bay View Elementary School (8708 Vinland St Duluth, MN 55810) and Jedlicka Middle School|
(131 Ninth Ave Proctor, MN 55810). This assessment was led by a diverse group of Proctor stakeholders who included:
Ann Bergman, Bay View Elementary School Patrol
Dan Mosher, Student Resource Officer
Diane Rauschenfels, Superintendent Proctor School District ISD 704
George Saarela, Transportation Director
Jack Johnson Facilities/Grounds Supervisor
Jim Rohweder, City Administrator
Jon Larson, Bay View Elementary Principal
Kim Belcast, Jedlicka Middle School Principal
Liz Asanovich, Proctor School Board
Matt Decur, City of Duluth Project Engineer
Mike Leiste, Proctor School Board
Steve Anderson, City of Proctor Mayor
Troy Foucalt, Proctor City Councilor
Vic Lund, St. Louis County Traffic Engineer
Walt Wobig, Proctor Chief of Police
In May 2008, third - eigth grade students and their parents were surveyed to gain an understanding of current safety concerns and perceptions. View Parent Survey Results. View Student Survey Results.
During the fall of the 2008-2009 school year, MIC staff along with the School District Transportation Director and Facilities Manager, as well as city and county engineers, conducted an analysis at each school site, and along routes leading to both schools, for feasible engineering modifications to enhance safety.
|March 2008: The Duluth School District was awarded an infrastructure grant for safety improvements around Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School in the neighborhood of Gary-New Duluth. This project will address safety issues along primary routes to access Stowe Elementary School (K-5th). These key safety problems were highlighted in parent and student surveys, identified during input sessions with the Stowe PTA, school administration and Duluth city staff.|
August 2007: Superior Daily Telegram article on Safe Routes to School projects in Superior. View article.
July 2007: The Superior School District was notified that their non-infrastructure grant was successful in the first round of WisDOT SRTS grant applications. The Superior School District was awarded $50,000 to develop bicycle and pedestrian curriculum for elementary and middle schoolers and to integrate hands-on bicycle education as part of P.E. classes. Walking and biking to school promotions as well as a bike to school community event will hallmark this effort.
SUPERIOR NON-INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT:
The Superior School District will use the non-infrastructure grant to develop a bicycle and pedestrian educational program in conjunction with a broader promotional effort. The educational program will bring bicycle and pedestrian safety into the K-8 classroom and physical education curriculum by utilizing existing resources. With the help of these resources, “Bicycle” and “Pedestrian” educational units will be developed and administered in conjunction with the wellness lifestyle units already in place via the School District Wellness Policy. Existing educational materials may need to be redesigned to make them age-appropriate for the different grade levels, and the help of the teachers would be enlisted to aid in this effort.
Being that elementary and middle school kids differ substantially in skill sets, different “hands-on” P.E. units will be provided for 3-5th graders and 6-8th graders. For 3-5th graders, a “bicycle rodeo” will be conducted by the school district’s P.E. staff to help empower the students with the knowledge and skills to make them safe urban cyclists. For 6-8th graders, the Superior Middle School will conduct a “bicycle clinic” over several weeks. The P.E. staff will team up with certified bicycle-safety instructors from the community, as well as with members from the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Walks to run the clinic. The clinic will include: safety training, helmet-fittings, maintenance-checks on students’ bikes, training on how to read a bike map, and riding practice. The key distinction between the elementary and middle school P.E. units will be the actual in-city riding practice for the 6-8th graders, which will allow the certified bicycle-safety instructors the opportunity to teach safety skills in a situational setting. Both elementary and middle school P.E. teachers will attend the Teaching Safe Bicycling course put on by the Wisconsin Bureau of Transportation. The bicycle and pedestrian safety units will be provided to the students before the school district puts on a biking-and-walking-to-school campaign. This will ensure that students are prepared to utilize their safety skills during this event.
The biking-and-walking-to-school campaign, as well as an organized bicycle ride, will be the focus of the school district’s promotional effort. It will be accompanied by a raffle for prizes such as bike helmets and possibly a bike. Community partners will be added to the promotional event to further raise awareness community wide and help secure raffle prizes as incentives for student participation in biking to school.
The City of Superior has numerous rail lines throughout the city. Schools are impacted by rail lines, particularly Bryant and Great Lakes Elementary Schools. Incorporating Operation Lifesaver (http://www.oli.org/) educational materials into the K-8 classroom would raise additional awareness about students’ safe routes to school. Operation Lifesaver’s trained and certified volunteer speakers provide free safety presentations for all age groups in order to increase public safety around railroad tracks. Educational brochures and videos, coloring books for children and training information can be found on their website.
April 2007: MIC Staff will be attending the 2007 Western Plains MPO Conference in Rapid City, SD the week of April 23rd to present an overview of MPO planning for Safe Routes to School. View presentation.
In early April, we were notified that Duluth was awarded the full funding amount for safety improvements (view map of improvements) at Congdon Park Elementary School ($137,600) and for a district-wide non-infrastructure education grant for Duluth Public Schools to provide and Integrate Age-Appropriate Bicycle and Pedestrian Curriculum Across the School District ($50,000).
DULUTH NON-INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT:
As a one time strategic investment of funds, the Duluth Public Schools would address the current gap in bicycle and pedestrian education by hiring a consultant to form an ongoing program to provide student bicycle and pedestrian safety education and encouragement for students. The program would involve utilizing in-house skills (teachers) to write age-appropriate curriculum for K-8 students across the school district. Funding would also be used for three primary enforcement purposes: (1) purchasing student sized crossing guard vests upgraded to MnDOT’s safety standards for color and reflectivity; (2) sending student school patrol leaders to Legionville School Patrol Camp in Brainerd, Minnesota, and (3) conducting a Duluth Police Department training session for school staff on how to properly issue parking tickets for illegally parked vehicles that are present in bus zones.
March 2007: On January 30th, MIC staff met with Superior School District, Police Department, and City staff to discuss elements to be included in a City of Superior non-infrastructure grant application for safe routes to school. The MIC submitted a non-infrastructure grant to WisDOT on behalf of Superior Schools on March 16, 2007.
January 2007: On behalf of Duluth Public Schools, MIC staff prepared infrastructure applications for Stowe, MacArthur, Congdon, Grant, and Lester Park elementary schools. They were submitted by the 1/31 deadline to MnDOT Central Office’s Safe Routes to School coordinator for consideration for 2006 SRTS funding.
MIC staff presented both Duluth and Superior Safe Routes to School plans at the National Transportation Research Board (TRB) Conference in Washington, DC. View presentation.
December 2006: The Duluth Safe Routes to School Steering Committee convened on December 20th and decided to also prepare grant applications for 2006 funding with the goal of improving bicycle and pedestrian education across all Duluth Public Schools.
September 2006: Funding in the amount of $30,030 ($25,030 infrastructure and $5,000 non-infrastructure) was awarded to Lincoln Park School in Duluth for their infrastructure and education project. View map of infrastructure issues around Lincoln Park School.
MIC staff was selected to present the MIC's SRTS plans at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Conference for Small and Medium Sized Communities in Nashville, TN.
August 2006: MIC staff presented the Duluth Safe Routes to School project at the Minnesota MPO Conference in LaCrosse, WI.
July 2006: Approval of the Duluth Safe Routes to School Plan (view presentation). MIC staff completed and submitted six grant applications to MnDOT Central Office’s Safe Routes to School coordinator for consideration for 2006 SRTS funding.
August 2005: On August 10, 2005 $480,000 in federal High Priority Demonstration Funds was included in the federal transportation bill SAFETEA-LU to implement infrastructure projects identified in the Safe Routes to School in Superior Plan. These funds will require the City of Superior to provide $120,000 in matching local funds.
January 2005: Approval of Safe Routes to School in Superior Plan. View presentation.
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