United Way of Erie County has received a $25,000 grant from the National Road Safety Foundation and the Governors Highway Safety Association to pilot a walking routes to school initiative at Iroquois Elementary, a United Way community school
The National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF) has partnered with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) to make $25,000 grants available to Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut State Highway Safety Offices.
The grant funds will be used at Iroquois Elementary School to support the following:
- GIS mapping of the elementary school catchment area to detail the hazards along the routes which will be used to determine the Safer Walking Routes
- The purchase, fabrication, and installation of the Safer Walking Routes to School signs along the prioritized routes
- Supplies to ensure safety and participation of students and families – incentives, snow shovels, two-way radios for school staff
- Educate the Iroquois community on the Drive2Life youth PSA by sharing information across social media platforms
- Conduct pre- and post- surveys with the families in the district
Today’s youth and teens are more likely to engage in active transportation – walking, biking, electric-scootering (e-scootering). As these modes mix with motor vehicles, the potential for collisions increases. In fact, the number of fatalities involving people on foot and bicycles has been increasing over the past decade, while deaths involving people in motor vehicles have been on the decline. Additionally, while the steady increase in micro mobility programs (shared e-scooters, mopeds and pedal and electric-bicycles) in urban/suburban areas and on college campuses, along with increasing personal ownership, has meant more transportation options, research confirms these devices are not without risk – especially for new riders.
Iroquois Elementary School is in Erie, Pennsylvania and is situated in two municipalities – Lawrence Park Township and the Borough of Wesleyville. Students attending school within the Iroquois School District live either in Lawrence Park or Wesleyville. The school serves students in Pre-K through Grade 6. Their total enrollment is 603 students. Of those 603 students, 68.7% are economically disadvantaged. Iroquois Elementary School is a Title 1 school as well as a United Way Community School.
Iroquois elementary school buses 495 students to school each day. That means 82% of their student population is walking to bus stops along busy streets and intersections, with some needing to cross streets to arrive at their assigned stop. Twelve percent of the student population walks directly to school or is driven by a family member. Those students who do walk still navigate busy streets and intersections that do not always have a crossing guard to ensure students are safe while crossing. The Safer Walking Routes to School initiative will help ensure the safety of all students in the Iroquois School District but most notably those students in the elementary school, who often walk unsupervised as they navigate hazards along their walk.