Improving school access

Commitment to school access

Washington County recognizes the benefits of active transportation and is taking steps to encourage walking and bicycling. Active transportation promotes community health, reduces traffic congestion and improves community livability. Providing students, families, staff and communities the transportation infrastructure and traffic safety measures necessary to safely walk, ride and roll to and around schools is important to promoting active transportation.

School Access Improvement Study (SAIS)

Completed in February 2016, the School Access Improvement Study (SAIS) evaluated access to 53 public schools significantly impacted by County roads in urban unincorporated Washington County or within cities. The SAIS will help the County prioritize projects to improve safety and increase the potential for active transportation. The goals of the study are to:

  • Understand the  needs
  • Identify projects that will provide the most benefit
  • Prioritize projects
  • Identify opportunities to leverage funding

In FY 2015-16 the Board of Commissioners committed Gain Share dollars totaling $2 million per year for 10 years to fund projects identified in school safety road improvements. The funding will be used to leverage other funding sources throughout the 10-year program. Other funding sources include:

For more information, contact Shelley Oylear, Bicycle and Pedestrian coordinator.

Safe Routes to School

In 2013, Washington County received a $150,000 non-infrastructure grant from the Oregon Safe Routes to School Program to introduce the Safe Routes to School (SRTS)  to Washington County. The program brings transportation and education leaders together to encourage children to walk and bicycle safely to school as part of a healthy daily routine.

From 2013-2016, the County staff worked to increase the number of SRTS programs and to build partnerships among city and county agencies, schools, community organizations and neighborhoods. SRTS relies on these partners to work collaboratively to improve safety and encourage walking and biking to school.  To learn more, watch our videos:


Additional resources: