Safe Routes to School – Conducting a Walk Audit

Message received on October 8, 2015 from Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.  

It is with great pleasure that we join with SDOT today in celebrating the launch of our city’s Safe Routes to School 5 Year Action Plan!  school

You got a sneak preview of the Action Plan last week PLUS a chance to hear about Safe Routes directly from Brian Dougherty, SDOT’s amazing Safe Routes Coordinator.  We’re hoping to repeat the workshop in the south end when Brian has some time this winter.

Here is a video of Brian’s talk — well worth watching and sharing.

Use your mini-grants for audits ($1,000 mini-grant deadline Oct 30)

Here is advice from Brian about doing audits

  1. Build a group
    • Gather committee, map out areas that you’d like to study (places that have had collisions)
    • Pre identify routes before you go out with a larger group.
    • Travel along routes with no more than five to eight people.
  2. The Walk Audit
    • Make sure your walk isn’t too long — focus on areas of greatest concern.
    • Choose your walk time so you can watch as kids are entering or leaving school – when you can see how children use the road.
    • Take photos and video.
  3. Writing A Report to Brian/SDOT
    • Focus on problems, not on solutions.
    • Discuss and agree on no more than five priorities that will take some time and money
    • Observe and report little stuff – malfunctioning traffic light, overgrown vegetation — report on Find-it Fix-it or jot down in your report
    • Make your report short & sweet, a page or two
    • Check in with Brian before you apply for Small and Simple or Neighborhood Park and Street funding
    • Learn who is responsible for what — who owns the property causing the problems.

These are the handouts Brian gave us at his talk:

  1. Safe Streets Healthy Schools and Communities: 5 Year Action Plan
  2. SDOT Schools ranked for crosswalk & walkway projects
  3. A Guide to Starting a SRTS Campaign at Your School
  4. SRTS Engineering Toolkit
  5. School Drop off and Pick up Handbook
  6. Walkability checklist 
  7. Bikeability checklist
  8. Tips on Leading a Walk and Bike Audit

I appreciate your involvement in making your local school routes safe. I hope you got a lot of value out of our workshop. We did!

I look forward to working again with you in the future.

Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
(206) 713-5869
Impact HUB Seattle
220 2nd Ave S #100 98104

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