Step 2. Write Objectives

Six Step Process for SRTS Program Evaluation 1. Plan the program/Collect information 3. Decide what, how and when to measure 4. Conduct the program and monitor progress 5. Collect information and interpret findings 6. Use results

At this point, the program’s goal(s) are set, information relating to current walking and bicycling has been examined and activities have been selected. The next step is to write objectives for the activities. Objectives describe what is expected for both while the program is underway and after the program or an activity is completed. This information will ultimately help program implementers know if they have achieved what was intended.

There are two different kinds of objectives:

  1. Those that describe what will be done, such as Walk to School events, called process objectives.
  2. Those that describe what change is expected or desired as a result of what has been done called outcome objectives.

Selected program activities need to have both process and outcome objectives. In general, objectives should include specific information about what is to happen, to whom, by when, and in what amount. These are sometimes called SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) objectives. The table below provides examples of the two types of objectives that can be tailored to fit a local program.

Activity Objectives
What will be done What change is expected
Initiate Walking Wednesday Distribute 100 fliers announcing the Walking Wednesday program during first two months of the activity. Increase the number of children walking on Wednesdays from 20 to 50 by the end of the school year.
Promote Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Present information on the SRTS program at PTA meeting and place article in school newsletter during first two months of the activity. Increase parental support of SRTS by 50% by the end of the school year as measured by changes to the parental support question in the parent survey.
Conduct Pedestrian Safety Education Deliver safety presentations to all 4th grade classes within one year. 85% of 4th Graders pass a walking safety knowledge test within one year.
Promote Bicycle Helmet Use Custom-fit 50 helmets for bicyclists during the fall semester. Increase students wearing bicycle helmets from 20% to 60% by end of school year.
Install Sidewalks Get sidewalk improvements listed on city plan during the school year. Complete all sidewalk gaps along the 4 major designated safe routes to school within a three year period.
Install Bicycle Rack Install two bike racks at the school by end of the fall semester. Increase the percent of children bicycling to school from 1% to 5% within 3 years.
Conduct Bicycle Security Education Teach 80% of bicycle riders how and why to properly lock their bicycles by the end of fall semester. Decrease the percent of parents from 18% to 10 % who identify “security concerns” as a barrier to allowing their child to ride a bicycle to school by the end of the spring semester.
Encourage Speed Reduction Hold one news conference and deliver informational fliers to all school parents within two months of start of the activity. Reduce speeds in school zone from 35 mph to 25 mph during the first year of the SRTS program.
Enforce Parking Regulations Place 50 information cards on illegally parked cars during the first three months of activities. Reduce illegal parking during arrival and dismissal by 60% by the end of the school year.

Example School

The example shows how the school is developing the evaluation plan for their encouragement strategies. Objectives are divided into “What will be Done” and “What Change is Expected.” The time frame for when this will happen is also filled in. The completed worksheet shows the evaluation plan for all the strategies. In the next step, “What will be Measured” and “How and When It will be Measured” will be completed.

Safe Routes to School Program Evaluation Plan

School: High Hopes Elementary School

Encouragement Strategy:

Start a Walk and Wheel Wednesday program that includes organized walking school buses and an incentive program.

Time Frame:

Kick-off in October (International Walk to School Month) and promote weekly through school year

Data Collectors:
What will be Done What will be Measured How and When it will be Measured
Five walking school buses established    
An average of 50 students participate in Walk and Wheel Wednesdays program    
A six-week long incentive program with 50 children participating    
Change Expected What will be Measured How and When it will be Measured
20 percent increase in children walking or bicycling to school on Wednesdays    

Notes: