Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

An International Walk to School Day irony

Image from the Seattle blog Walk.Bike.Schools! via the Feet First website.  Feet First is a walking-sustainable transportation advocacy group in Seattle that along with Starkville in Motion and WalkBoston, is one of the nation's best walking advocacy groups operating locally.

I wrote last week about walk and bike to school issues ("Next week is International Walk to School Day: Wednesday October 3rd").

Today's Post has an article  "Parents still upset about changes to bus service in Arlington," about Arlington County residents who are against the school district's policy to not provide bus transportation services to students living in the one mile "walk" zone around the schools.

It is interesting that Arlington County transportation demand management programming is considered to be among the nation's best, yet these resources aren't being directed towards to the Arlington Public Schools.

In other words, why doesn't the Arlington school district have national best practice programming for walking and biking to school? 

The school district's "enforcement" of walk zones is part of the Arlington Public Schools Transportation Modernization Plan, this Implementation Status Report gives you a taste of the plan.  Here is the pupil transportation policy for the school district, which makes the one mile walk zone standard very clear.

A more complete framework for K-12 sustainable transportation planning
- school system plan for sustainable transportation (e.g., Minneapolis Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan)
- planning and programming staff in the transportation division devoted to supporting walk and bike to school efforts (other than a page with Safety Tips for Walking to School, the Transportation webpage of the school district is devoted to school buses)
- school district level transportation and safety committee, including representatives from other agencies and constituencies
- walk and bike to school plans/maps for every school
- appropriate training materials for elementary, middle, and high school students
- walk and bike to school committees/resources/TDM plans for each school

Bear Creek Elementary School, Boulder, CO, walk to school map
Bear Creek Elementary School, Boulder, CO, walk to school map.

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At 11:27 AM, Anonymous charlie said...

I think the confusion is that Arlington has always had one mile limts; the difference is now they are issuing bus passes (enforcing the limits).

It is amazing to see kids being dropped of -- they are almost always greeted by someone. That maybe happeend to twice when I was growing up -- granted I had the luxury of a bus stop at the end of the driveway.


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