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Steps for Developing a School Traffic Safety Plan

1. Identify traffic safety problems

  • Use School Traffic Safety Evaluation Form:
  • Observe parent drop off/pick up behavior:
  • Obtain speed study data (if speeding is an issue) or other traffic crash data that might be relevant to traffic concerns from local municipal police or sheriff's office.
  • Take photos of issues or concerns:
    • Ideally, have students assist with taking pictures.

2. BRING StakeholderS TOGETHER to discuss issues and brainstorm solutions

  • Arrange a meeting with the following:
    • School district level decision makers (business, safety, facilities, transportation)
    • School staff (principal and others interested)
    • Local law enforcement (including those in charge of traffic, parking and adult crossing guards)
    • Municipal Engineering, Traffic Engineering, and/or Public Works
    • Public Health- Madison & Dane County
    • PTO/PTA representative (if appropriate)
    • Neighborhood Association representative
    • Alder or local politician (at least keep informed)
    • Community partners such as Safe Kids Coalition and Rideshare, etc.
    • If a Madison Metropolitan School District school, contact the Madison School Traffic Safety Committee. For more information, contact Sonia Dubielzig.
  • Compile and present photos and data of identified issues to group.
  • Discuss potential solutions.
  • Identify which individual/agency will resolve issues and set timeline for action to be taken.

3. Develop school traffic safety brochure for parents

  • Identify individuals who are willing to draft brochure.
  • Review examples of school traffic safety brochures.
  • Obtain base map of school vicinity (from school district or municipal planning).
  • Mark up map to show new school traffic safety plan and locations for drop off, crossing guards, etc.
  • Decide on text for brochure and include the following:
    • If you drive . . . (suggested drop-off locations)
    • If you walk . . . (suggested places to cross)
    • If you bike . . .
    • If you take the bus . . .
    • What the signs mean
    • Ways to reduce congestion
  • Circulate draft brochure to school traffic safety team to finalize.

4. Determine educational strategy FOR NEW SCHOOL TRAFFIC SAFETY PLAN

A. Parents

  • Determine timeline and educational method, e.g., presentation, brochure, display, etc.
  • Send STS brochure home to parents or distribute at an already existing event, e.g., registration, PTO meeting, etc.
  • Reinforce STS plan throughout the school year.

B. Students:

  • If a Madison school, contact Safety Educator, Steve Meiers at Madison Traffic Engineering for conducting classes on bicycle or pedestrian safety.
  • If other Dane County communities, contact your local law enforcement agency. There are many officers/deputies that go into the schools to educate the students.


  • Set deadline for work completion at least one week before launch.

6. launch and reinforcment of new school traffic safety plan

  • The best time to lauch a new STS plan is at the beginning of the new school year.
  • Have partners, including police, hand out the new STS plan brochures during the launch week.
  • Stage activities at the school throughout the year to reinforce the new STS plans.

7. Evaluate effectiveness of School Traffic Safety Plan

  • Relook at issues (at least annually) to see how things are working. It might require repeating observations of parent drop-off / pick-up behavior.
  • If problems are beginning to arise again, plan to reinforce educational and enforcement efforts to parents or consider engineering or facility changes.