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:
- The County's Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP) 3e is funding 23 capital improvement projects including several identified in the SAIS.
- The MSTIP Opportunity Fund provides additional opportunities to leverage other funding sources which could include SAIS projects.
- Regional Flexible Funds are federal transportation dollars allocated by Metro through a competitive grant program. Washington County is applying for a grant that allow for construction of a $6 million sidewalk connection identified in the SAIS.
- Community Development Block Grants can be leveraged to deliver pedestrian improvements like those included in the SAIS.
- The Urban Road Maintenance District Safety Improvement program funds small-scale safety improvements in urban unincorporated Washington County. This program could fund qualifying SAIS projects.
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:
- Washington County Safe Routes to School Program video
- School Zone Safety and Road Safety video
- School is in - Stay Sharp! video
- Encouragement video
- Beaverton School District Walk & Bike Maps
- History of Safe Routes to School
- National Center for Safe Routes to School
- Oregon Safe Routes to School
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
- Safe Routes to School National Partnership
- Safe Routes to School Pacific Northwest
- Washington County Sheriff’s Office