How Differences in Roadways Affect School Travel Safety

Three children 14 and younger are killed daily in the United States and almost 500 more are injured in traffic crashes, often while traveling to or from school. Previous studies examine the effect of built environmental characteristics on school travel safety, but are limited. The author simultaneously evaluates the impact of street segment–level and neighborhood-level design characteristics on crashes involving elementary school–aged child pedestrians during school travel time around 78 elementary schools in Austin (TX). It is found that more school travel–related collisions happen on highways and interstates and arterial roads and where there are traffic-generating land uses and transit stops. Fewer crashes occur on local roads and when there are connected sidewalks. Unfortunately, the author does not consider microlevel features of the built environment; more-over, the crash data may include children's crashes not related to school travel. Planners should collaborate with a wide variety of agencies and organizations at different levels of government as well as with parents and neighborhood residents to create pedestrian-friendly schools that reduce or overcome current barriers to safe, human-powered school travel. Planners should address both current school safety problems at existing schools and help ensure better school siting and complementary planning and transportation decisions in the future.


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  • Accession Number: 01578603
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 4 2015 3:00PM