Engineering is one of the complementary strategies that Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs use to enable more children to walk and bicycle to school safely. Communities tailor a combination of engineering, education, encouragement and enforcement strategies to address the specific needs of their schools.

Engineering approaches can improve children’s safety to enable more bicycling and walking. Engineering is a broad concept used to describe the design, implementation, operation and maintenance of traffic control devices or physical measures, including low-cost as well as high-cost capital measures.

Image of Kentfield, CA..

This chapter serves as a toolbox of various engineering techniques aimed at creating safe routes to school. It focuses on tools that work to create safe routes by improving paths, creating safer crossings and slowing down traffic. At the same time, it recognizes the importance of a balanced roadway environment that can accommodate the needs of all modes of transportation, be it foot, bicycle or motor vehicle. In this chapter, there are examples of urban, suburban and rural school locations, which will provide various perspectives on engineering challenges and solutions.

Engineering strategies are best used in conjunction with education, encouragement and enforcement activities. The Education section describes the pedestrian and bicycle safety messages and how to deliver the messages to children, parents and others. Driver, bicyclist and pedestrian behavior changes, such as those discussed in the Enforcement and Encouragement sections, complement the engineering strategies described in this chapter including: