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Safe Routes to School

The Arcata Elementary School (AES) will be hosted a Walk &Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 9, in celebration of a Safe Routes to School grant received in November of 2017. Students and their families were encouraged to experience the joy of walking and biking together while increasing visibility for traffic safety. The
school community as well as local transportation, public health, and planning professionals, law enforcement officers, community groups, and families all have roles to play in making it safer for students to walk and bike to school.

The school received funding from the National Center for Safe Routes to School through the City of Arcata to develop a program for students that fosters the involvement of their families and community in their efforts to get to and from school using active modes of transportation that improve health, reduce traffic and pollution, and encourage socialization. Highlighting AES students’ efforts to walk and bike to school draws attention to the need for safer routes to all schools for children, and encourages community efforts to improve public safety for all residents.
The AES program includes an educational component to teach pedestrian and bicycle safety skills as well as construction modifications to improve conditions for walking and biking. The school collaborated with students of Humboldt State University’s Kinesiology Department in early April, with the college students demonstrating ways to be safe while walking and biking, and practicing biking hand signals with the elementary students. Additionally, walking maps with suggested routes to AES will be developed. Construction will begin in the summer, and will include the installation of sidewalk infill with accessible ramps, crosswalks, and speed humps,
and a roundabout for traffic calming.
Update (September 5th): Our paperwork is in order and now the project can go out to bid.  We anticipate the bidding and awarding of the contract to finish at the end of October.  The actual construction will begin in April 2019.  The construction will start on Alliance Road and then move closer to the school after the school year ends.  We anticipate the project to be completed in mid-July.  The Safe Routes to School education will continue for this school year, with classes for our 2nd and 4th grades.  We will be participating in three Walk & Bike to School events: October 10, March 20, and May 8.