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Safe Routes to School Plan

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The Safe Routes to School Plan is a city-wide program led by Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) and Ecology Action in partnership with the City of Salinas.

Ecology Action Contact Info:

Amelia Conlen, Planner (831)515-1351, [email protected]

Gino Garcia, Assistant Planner (831)915-9750, [email protected]

TAMC Contact Info:

Ariana Green, Sr. Transportation Planner (831)775-4403, [email protected]

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.

Public Participation:

Public input was the foundation of the process to create the Safe Routes to Schools Plan. The planning team developed an outreach plan and sought input from community members to understand school transportation needs and barriers and refine the draft recommendations. Parent and student surveys, presentations at parent meetings, and walking audits with school staff all contributed input on the barriers to walking and biking to schools in Salinas and the types of improvements that community members would like to see.

  • Parent Outreach
    • 140 presentations at virtual parent meetings
    • 2,425 responses to online parent survey
    • 1,341 responses to draft recommendations survey
    • 35,000+ parents reached through Parentsquare or social media
  • Student Outreach
    • 474 responses to student survey
    • 17 elementary schools distributed traffic safety scavenger hunt activity to students
  • Temporary Installations
    • 2 demonstration projects on East Alisal Street and McKinnon Street

Based on parent survey data collected for this plan, 36% of students in Salinas walked or biked to school in 2019. The City of Salinas has set two goals for the future of Safe Routes to Schools, to be accomplished through implementation of the projects and programs in this plan:

  • The majority of Salinas students walk, or bike to school
  • Elimination of all severe injury and fatality collisions for Salinas youth under 18 who are walking and bicycling

Final Plan:

The Salinas City Council adopted the Salinas Safe Routes to Schools Plan as a strategic planning document on December 6, 2022.The final report can be downloaded using the clicking the following link: Salinas Safe Routes to School Plan_Final.pdf

Project Funding:  

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


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