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Safe Routes to School Plan

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Project Location

City-wide

Project Background/Overview

Children are at a disadvantage and have limited transportation options. Too young to drive, they must rely on an adult to drive them or on other forms of transportation to get around such as transit, carpooling, bicycling and walking. The majority of children are driven to school which is one of the leading causes of traffic congestion on local roads in the morning and afternoon. Chaotic drop-off zones in front of schools caused by increased driving creates an unsafe environment for students walking and bicycling.

A three-year planning process is underway which aims to identify transportation barriers to safe access to all K-12 public schools in Salinas and recommend infrastructure and non-infrastructure improvements. The core partners that make up the Salinas Safe Route to School Plan are City of Salinas, Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC), Salinas City Elementary School District, Santa Rita Union School District, Salinas Union High School District, Alisal Union School District, Monterey County Health Department, Caltrans and Ecology Action. In addition to the partners mentioned within the Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant agreement, other partners including Salinas Valley Memorial Systems’ Blue Zones Project are actively participate in the planning effort.

Phase 1:

Outreach was focused on the schools within the Salinas Elementary School District and the Santa Rita School District through the Fall 2020. All in all, City Staff and partners participated in 27 virtual meetings at 20 schools within these districts. The team received 1,223 parent survey responses and distributed 1,500 fliers to neighbors around each school site to provide opportunities for community input. In addition, audits of the surrounding street network were conducted by the planning team with school officials, participating parents and community members at all school locations with small groups of people walking or bicycling and discussing safe travel to school concerns while observing public health distancing and masking requirements. In February 2021, the planning team including City staff completed internal reviews of proposed infrastructure improvements and program recommendation resulting from the comments received at each school location. 

Phase 2:

The second phase is currently in progress. Outreach is focused on the schools within the Alisal Elementary School District and Salinas Union High School District. There are 25 schools within these districts and the planning team held its first set of meetings with schools in February 2021.

Project Funding:  

Provided by Measure X, a sales tax measure approved by Monterey County voters. 

 

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