Safe Routes organizer Scott Bohemier at Heritage Park on June 17 for a Bike Rodeo.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.
The Safe Routes to School Action Plan could see increase in students walking and biking to school in Douglas County.
Coordinator of the Western Nevada Safe route to school program, Scott Bohemier and Parametrics Consulting transportation planner Amy Cummings presented recommendations to help improve the safety of children walking and biking to school during the Sept. 12 school board meeting.
“We have had quite a bit of community involvement,” said Cummings. “We really appreciate the community supporting this effort.”
The purpose of the plan is to identify transportation projects to help improve the safety of children walking and biking to school. The development of this plan involved extensive research and interaction with the community to better understand the needs and concerns around each school campus.
“This work included in-person and virtual public meetings, visiting each school to document current conditions and meeting with school principals and staff,” said Cummings. “We really appreciate the school principals making time to talk with heir project team.”
Cummings said a survey was conducted to received feedback from parents about whether they would allow their children to walk to school and what safety measures should be taken.
“There was an overwhelming number of folks who did rank the safety of walking and biking facilities for school students as very important and some barriers and reasons they might be hesitant to let their children walk or bike to school are the lack of sidewalks or multi-use paths and concerns about going fast on area roadways,” said Cummings.
Cummings and her team visited schools throughout Douglas County to observe pick up and drop off times, look at crash data and other information about facilities and infrastructures around each school.
“Each one (school) is unique, we have about 100 recommendations total in the plan.”
She identified a few of the improvement recommendations in her presentation.
Meneley has no paved sidewalks along the frontage of the school, so a recommendation is to have a sidewalk there to improve pickup and drop off locations.
Cummings said Jacks Valley is another school with no sidewalks.
“At Jacks Valley we have a range of solutions,” she said. “The sidewalks are little bit more complex projects, but some are improving signage and pavement markings and some low cost shorter time frame improvements that can still enhance operations.”
Scarselli Elementary school is on a roadway where it’s often easy for vehicles to speed, so Cummings said striping of the pavement, narrowing the travel lanes, striping street parking, and creating buffered bike lanes will help improve that area.
As part of the planning process, the Safe Routes Project is seeking feedback from parents, teachers, student, and other interested residents on the proposed recommendations.
For more information and the detailed plans throughout the district visit https://www.dcsd.net/news-calendars/news-events under the Safe Routes to School Action Plan. Feedback is being accepted through September.