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Safe Routes to School

Creating Safer Walking and Bicycling Routes for K-12 Students

The City of Tacoma is implementing a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program to help create safer walking and bicycling routes for K-12 students.  With this program we hope to empower students and parents to feel comfortable walking or bicycling to school, which in turn should encourage children to lead more active and healthier lifestyles.


The City plans to work with the community to build a comprehensive Safe Routes to School program using these six key elements: 

  • Equity - Equity is a consideration for all SRTS activities, ensuring that all residents have access to and can take advantage of the resources provided through the program. This includes low-income and multi-cultural communities. 
  • Education - A key piece to the SRTS program is education within the community.  Efforts are made to reach out to families informing them of various transportation choices, walking and biking safety skills and driver safety campaigns.
  • Engineering - As a result of the evaluation process, some of the concerns that come to light are related to the design of streets and intersections as well as the lack of sidewalks or crosswalks in certain areas. Engineering addresses the physical environment around schools to create safe and accessible places for walking and biking.
  • Encouragement - Ongoing special events and programs help to encourage parents and children to walk, bike or skate to school.  Some of the current programs include Walk to School Day and Bike to School Day.
  • Enforcement - Safer traffic conditions help parents to feel comfortable about their children walking and biking to school. Enforcement can work to ensure that traffic laws are obeyed in school vicinities using various methods, including enforcing traffic violations, enforcement of speeds and yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Evaluation - In order to implement and build upon a SRTS program data  collection using various methods such as surveys of parents, student in-class tallies and other effective strategies is important.

Updates - September 2017

We have the following finalized documents available for reference and viewing.

  • 2017 SRTS Action Plan - this plan is the result of a collaboration between the Project Management Team and the Stakeholder Committee to come up with visions, goals and actions for the Tacoma SRTS program.
  • 2017 SRTS Program Toolkit - the Toolkit details specific SRTS activities that have been successful in schools around the country and can be adopted for local use.
  • 2017 SRTS Walking School Bus - implemented successfully in many schools throughout the country this is a step-by-step guide to starting a Walking School Bus or Bike Train program.  

Funding News

We are happy to announce that the following schools have received federal funding through the Safe Routes to School program.


Amount Awarded
Project Description
Estimated Award date
Estimated Completion
First Creek Elementary School SRTS  $318,885 Improvements will include high-intensity activated crosswalk beacons signal, flashing beacons, sidewalk, crosswalk, and signs.  February 2019 September 2019
Lister Elementary School SRTS  $450,115 Improvements will include sidewalk, curb, gutter, crosswalk, ADA complaint curb ramps, flashing beacons, curb extensions, safety education & encouragement for HAWK signal use. February 2019 September 2019


Community Meetings

The first open house was held on November 16, 2016, from 5 PM to 7 PM at the Lincoln High School cafeteria (701 S. 37th St., Tacoma, WA  98418).  We had a great turnout.  Thanks to all who were able to make it to the event!  Please select the links below to get details and photos from the Open House.

Public Survey Responses

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the online public survey. We had more than 625 total responses which has given us additional insight into community concerns when it comes to the safety of our children.  This feedback in turn will assist in shaping the City's SRTS program.


The three biggest obstacles people mentioned when it comes to walking, biking or skateboarding to school were:

  1. Poor driving behavior on streets near schools
  2. High traffic speeds
  3. Lack of Facilities

Additional information related to the public survey will be posted on this web page in the near future.


Safe Routes to School Resources and Information

  • Safe Routes to School brochure
  • School Zone Safety Kit (Washington Traffic Safety Commission)
  • Mini Grants and Free Bikes for Kids
  • Be Informed, Get Involved

    You can contact City of Tacoma Project Engineer, Jennifer Kammerzell, at (253) 591-5511, or by email with questions, concerns or comments.