Bike to School Day is May 6th, and Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia Safe Routes Philly Coordinator Waffiyyah Murray is getting schools around the city ready. Earlier this week, Murray headed up to Richard R. Wright School in Strawberry Mansion to assess the amount of organizing that’s gone into the event thus far, and prepare for a safety walkability audit of the school and its surrounding area at 2700 Dauphin Street. Murray has been working with Lea High School in West Philadelphia, too, for their own Bike to School Day events.
Walkability audits asses the walking and biking conditions of a school and create a plan for improving them.
The first step in the walkability audit process is a community meeting inviting parents, school officials, crossing guards, municipal staff, law enforcement officials, and other community members to explain the audit process and hear their concerns and opinions about school safety.
Next, a traffic engineer leads an assessment during school arrival and dismissal surveying popular routes around the school noting concerns such as traffic, infrastructure and neighborhood safety to help determine the safest routes to school for parents and children.
Walkability audits also help identify non-infrastructure changes such as changing the location or procedure for vehicles picking up and dropping off students. These are quick fixes that can lead to safety improvements for pedestrians.
After the two-day assessment, the school is presented with a final report that includes short and long term recommendations for improving safety and increasing student participation along the walking routes such as a Walking School Buses and Walk and Bike to School Days.
In addition to her work around Bike to School Day, a national event, Murray trains teachers at schools all over the city, so they can, in turn, teach their students to ride their bicycles in their neighborhoods, and to school. Check out the photos below to see some of the work Murray did with Wright earlier this week.
Interested in more information on Bike to School Day, or Safe Routes Philly? Email Waffiyyah at firstname.lastname@example.org.