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United Way Safe Routes to School Walkability Studies Being Conducted with Gannon University, Erie's Public Schools

Friday Mar 1st, 2019

United Way of Erie County continues to facilitate the implementation of a $250,000 Erie Community Foundation Shaping Tomorrow grant focused on increasing school attendance at Community Schools in the City of Erie. Strategies include the following: conducting a comprehensive education and awareness campaign; identifying, improving, and promoting the safest walking routes to each school; and piloting “walking school buses” along the safe routes.

United Way’s work is currently focused on collecting relevant data via walkability assessments to identify the safest routes for students to use when they walk to school. We are doing this in partnership with Gannon University, the City of Erie, and Erie’s Public Schools.

As part of the project, Gannon University faculty and student interns will be observing how Erie’s Public Schools students are getting to and from school, the physical conditions of those school routes, and any potential safety concerns.

This information will be analyzed and mapped to identify the safest routes. The partners will then work to determine any potential physical improvements to those safe routes. The City of Erie also plans to leverage a portion of its Pennsylvania Department of Transportation grant to provide added or improved signage, pavement markings, traffic control devices and sidewalk improvements to enhance the safety of students walking the routes. Erie Community Foundation funds will be used to promote the routes to students and their families.

United Way and its partners in these efforts are issuing this press release to alert the communities surrounding community schools about this important, and exciting, project, so they are aware of the intent of the Gannon University personnel and students conducting the walkability assessments. Their goal is to collect data that will improve the safety of Erie’s Public Schools students, so they can get to school regularly and on-time.

Here is the schedule:

East Middle School

1001 Atkins St.

Sunday, March 3

Edison Elementary School

1921 East Lake Rd.

Monday, March 4

McKinley Elementary School

933 East 22nd St.

Tuesday, March 5

Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School

235 East 11th St.

Wednesday, March 6

Strong Vincent Middle School

1330 West 8th St.

Thursday, March 7