Lexington, Massachusetts
Lexington, Massachusetts
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Sidewalk Committee

Safe Routes to School

Sidewalk Policy

Walkway Inventory

Highlights of Committee Work



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Safe Routes to School   

September 2011 News

Survey Results - Last spring, together the Lexington Sidewalk Committee’s Safe Routes To School (SRTS) program, Lexington Public Schools (LPS), and Lexpress conducted a survey to better understand how well our present public school transportation system serves the needs of our students. You can read the results here.

Bowman School Follen Neighborhood Sidewalk Project
is almost completed!

This project will substantially improve walkability in the Follen Hill neighborhood by the installation of sidewalks, ADA-compliant ramps, crosswalks and pedestrian signage on Philip Road, Lantern Lane, Dawes Road, Buckman Drive (between Dawes and Locust) and a small part of Locust Avenue (just past the Follen Road intersection.)

photo of sidewalk paving near Bowman School
Secondly, safety on the existing crosswalk at the intersection of Worthen Road East and Pleasant Street will be significantly improved and an additional crosswalk with ADA-compliant ramps and signage will be installed at the intersection of Worthen Road East and Philip Road.

The school year 2011-12 will be the year of the School Bus and Public Safety.  We will continue with Walking Wednesdays on:

  • October 5, 2011
  • February 1
  • November 2
  • March 7
  • December 7
  • April 4
  • January 4, 2012
  • May 2

  • Some schools may hold their walk day on a different Wednesday of the month, so please check your school's calendar and newsletter for up to date information.  Bookmarks were distributed throughout each school advertising the walk days.

    2008-9 Reports of International Walk Day and subsequent days

    Golden Sneaker award International Walk Day proved to be a big success at Hastings and Bowman. Jane Kalinski, Hastings coordinator, reported:"Hastings had a great day on International Walk Day! We had many students walking with flags from different countries, and everyone enjoyed marking maps as to where they had traveled from in Lexington and beyond. We look forward to our next Walking Wednesday!"

    At Bowman, students marked on an international map and a map of the USA which country or US State they were from. The beautiful weather encouraged an excellent turn out - nearly 75% students walked (39%), biked, rode the bus or carpooled. A 2nd grade class won the Golden Sneaker award proving that younger children enjoy this event as much as older ones.

    Bowman has enjoyed a series of walks with different themes and continued to produce excellent results in subsequent walks with the percentage of overall participation in the high 60's even in the winter months of January and February. Understandably numbers of walkers decrease during these months but carpooling increases.

    If you would like to walk to school please follow these Safety Tips. It is still possible to walk in the winter, but please check this advice for keeping warm.

    Safe Routes to School Activity Highlights in 2007-8
    • The introduction of a town wide 'Walking Wednesdays' program. Schools shared resources and ideas for the walks, held on the first Wednesday of each month, coordinated by Judy Crocker.
    • Bowman, Bridge and Hastings won the MassRides award for most innovation in Safe Routes to School programs at the State Safe Routes forum in October.
    • At Bowman more students than ever participated in International Walk day, October 3rd, when 80% of students and families walked, biked, scootered, rode the bus or carpooled in the color of their country or US State. Bracelets were handed out and students indicated their country or State of affiliation on maps which were later displayed in the school hallway.
    • Bowman classrooms competed for the coveted "Golden Sneaker Award for highest participation" each season.
    • Estabrook Elementary came on board in time for the November Walking Wednesday - the Turkey Walk. Their particular turkey was a hit, see below! Estabrook also joined MassRides.

    Children putting stickers on a map 


    Decorated pumpkin at Estabrook's Turkey Walk 

    Walk for the Planet sign

    Bowman winter walk snorman

    Safe Routes to School Activities in 2006-7

    The Safe Routes to School program continued with more walks at the Bridge, Bowman and Hastings Elementary schools. Highlights this year include:

    October 2006 Bowman, Bridge and Hastings participated in International Walk Month:
    held a 'mini walk week' of 3 days in early October. Children wore the color suited to the theme for each day and received ribbons for walking, biking, scootering, car pooling or riding the bus to school. The themes chosen were Safety Day, Environment Day (when students were encouraged to pick up trash as they walked to school) and Bowman Neighborhood Day where participants could meet at designated pit-stops (family residences) for refreshments and a chat on their way to school. A school landscape clean-up was also organized on Environment Day. During the 3 days, the number of cars arriving at the school was reduced by one third. The average percentage of walkers, bikers and scooterers during the event nearly doubled from a pre event rate of 19% to 34%. This figure is also higher than the average during the spring walk week.

    Hastings had a very successful mini walk week during October too. The themes they chose included an Autumn Treasures collection day. The children were encouraged to collect acorns, leaves, pine cones and other autumnal items to make a collage which was displayed at the school. Hastings increased the number of students walking, biking, bussing or car pooling to over 50% in total, up from 40% during the spring walk.

    • November 2006 Bowman held their 'Turkey Walk' a week before Thanksgiving: The children were encouraged to wear Turkey feathers and all those who participated collected a special Thanksgiving stamp and sticker. Bowman is also very pleased to see an increase in the number of regular walker, bikers and scooters and carpoolers since the program began with a survey in the spring of 2005 through to the Fall of 2006.
    • Bowman, Bridge and Hastings joined 'MassRides', the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program
    • Bowman's first winter walk on January 31st. In the absence of real snow, the children cut out and stuck a snowflake onto a snowman.
    • Bowman's Spring event April 25th to April 27th: the wonderful weather the first two days brought out bikers and walkers alike. Cars at the school were reduced by over half on those 2 days.
    • Hastings' Spring walk event May 1st to 3rd included Massachusetts Walk to School Day on May 2nd.
    • Bridge's 3 day spring event at the end of May.

    Safe Routes to School highlights 2005-6

    • September 2005: Bridge School kicked off their pilot SR2S program with a very successful walk week
    • April 2006 The Bridge Pilot program won an EPA Award - an Environmental Merit Award by the New England office of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their hard work and commitment towards protecting our natural resources. Tracey Herbert and her enthusiastic committee worked along with the Sidewalk Committee to promote walking, biking and riding the bus to school, in attempts to reduce car traffic and pollution at Bridge School. The numbers speak for themselves – the number of cars driving to Bridge School is dramatically lower than last year.
    • May 2006 Bowman and Hastings Elementary Schools successfully implemented their programs. Outstanding participation by the Bowman Community reduced car traffic at the school in the mornings by over 60%. On average, 25% of the students walked, scootered or biked, almost doubling the percentage shown by a walking survey taken the previous spring. At the end of the week, 31% of Bowman students were walking or biking to school. This is a tremendous achievement. Typically at Hastings, 165 students are signed up for the bus and 330 students are either driven or walk. During Walk week up to 200 students walked in good weather, and traffic was reduced by 40 cars. Many people even chose to walk in the drizzle and rain on days when the weather did not cooperate.
    • May 2006 Bridge boosted their program with a "Spring Out" event.
      Everyone participating in this event collected a colored string in the playground, or as they got off the bus. They also created a wall of photos of those participating in “Spring Out” . Bridge School further reduced the numbers of cars coming to the school and hopes to maintain these numbers during the Fall.


     The Spring walk weeks were publicized in the Colonial Times May-June 06.



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