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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. Stakeholder meeting 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 Public Health, Safe Kids Coalition and Rideshare, etc.
    • If a Madison Metropolitan School District school, contact the Madison School Traffic Safety Committee that includes representatives of MMSD (including the MMSD Safe Routes to School Coordinator), Madison Police, and Traffic Engineering. For more information, contact Sonia Dubielzig.
  • Compile and present photos and data of identified issues to group.
  • Pinpoint identified problems on map.
  • 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) for use to convey school plan.
  • 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 for comment.
  • For feedback and further input, contact Lisa Bullard-Cawthorne at Public Health.

4. Determine educational strategy

A. Parents

  • Determine timeline and education 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 by original stakeholders, including police officers in morning and afternoon on a particular day/week, i.e., first week of school.
  • Provide school traffic safety brochure at registration or send home to parents via backpacks.

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.

5. 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.
Key Contacts
Lisa Bullard-Cawthorne:
(608) 243-0322