5 Safe Routes to School Success Stories

Go back to school with BikeWalkKC! We have highlighted a few of our favorite #SafeRoutesToSchool Success Stories: all true, all inspirational, and all absolutely doable. If these parents, school staff, and city leaders can work together to make change, you can too.

Roesland Elementary won a new crosswalk and signage for students and staff.

Roesland Elementary

The Roesland Elementary School PTA and the City of Roeland Park, KS collaborated to deliver safer streets in just one year. By using resources and data already available, aligning their efforts with city-wide priorities, and investing in the future, the PTA won new and improved infrastructure that makes it safer and more convenient for their kids to walk or bike to school! BikeWalkKC worked with coalition partners Johnson County and the Shawnee Mission School District to create the Roesland Elementary Safe Routes to School Analysis, a guide and checklist for communities to use to develop and implement Safe Routes to School strategies.

Councilman Jermaine Reed (left) rides with the East High School Bike Club.

East High School Bike Club

"When I was out riding with the young folks from East High School, it was another reminder about how important it is to get out of your car and [consider] how you interact with the road." Just a few months after BikeWalkKC's EHS Bike Club launched in 2016, then-Councilman Jermaine Reed took a ride with our students and experienced Kansas City, Missouri streets from their point of view: speeding drivers, broken glass, and no space for bicyclists. Days later, he amplified the students' concerns at City Hall, advocating for safer streets and more bike lanes. Inviting decision-makers to walk (or pedal) a mile in your shoes can open their eyes to a brighter future.

Two adults and two children pose with their bikes and helmets outside Academie Lafayette.

More families and school staff are walking or biking to Academie Lafayette's Cherry campus.

Académie Lafayette

It started with a single bike rack in 2017... and now look at them go! School families, staff, and neighbors worked together for safer streets near two Académie Lafayette campuses on Armour Boulevard in KCMO, and now over 30 students and staff walk or bike to school regularly. This kind of change is possible because families, school staff, and neighbors are building relationships, lifting each other up, and doing the work.

Frank Rushton Walking School Bus, 2011

Frank Rushton Walking School Bus

"There are other ways to organize besides sitting in a room. If you want community input, you could take a walk." With help from Rosedale Development Association and BikeWalkKC, former Walking Wednesdays students won a new sidewalk for their neighborhood and the new generations of families that walk and bike to Frank Rushton Elementary in Kansas City, Kansas. You can do it, too!

The new bridge vaults over a railway and features a wide sidewalk and pedestrian-focused lighting.

Blue Springs High School

Not even a freight train could stop Matt Roberds from creating Safe Routes to School for Blue Springs School District students! Armed with some advice from BikeWalkKC, a copy of City of Blue Springs's Comprehensive Plan, and a passion for safer streets, Matt and his neighbors built a literal bridge over a railway that had long divided two Blue Springs High School campuses, connecting students, staff, and local families.

Feeling inspired, but not sure how to take the next step? Try one of these 8 ideas for walking and biking to school, or dig deeper into BikeWalkKC's Safe Routes to School programs and services, or go directly to the source and email us at info@bikewalkkc.org.

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