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Safe Routes to School in Tacoma

Why We Need Safe Routes to School in Tacoma

Between 2010 and 2014, 153 youth were hit while walking and 69 youth were hit while riding a bicycle. Every eight days a child is hit by a car while walking or bicycling in Tacoma.  These crashes are happening in every corner of Tacoma, but some neighborhoods are more affected than others- namely the Hilltop, Eastside and Southend neighborhoods.   Safe routes map

Read our full Safe Routes to School Report here. 

December 2018 Safe Routes to School Update

Over the past two years, the community has come together with the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Public Schools, the AT COI, and countless partners, to develop the Safe Routes to School Action Plan outlining what’s needed to address this safety crisis.

On December 5th 2018, Tacoma City Council took the first of many important steps towards implementing the SRTS Action Plan by allocating funding to hire a full-time SRTS Coordinator as part of the mid-biennium budget adjustment for 2018. The SRTS Coordinator will lead efforts to work with the community to identify where safety improvements are needed, seek out additional grant funding for infrastructure improvements, develop and distribute maps highlighting safe walking and bicycling routes to schools, and support parents and school staff to organize SRTS programs and events.

We are excited to continue to partner with the City of Tacoma and work together as a community to make Tacoma's streets safer for young people to walk, bicycle, and skate to and from school! 

To receive updates about the Safe Routes to School Action Plan and other Active Transportation COI projects, sign up for our monthly newsletter. 

Young boy fixing his bike

Six Key Elements
of Safe Routes to School Programs

number 1


Equity refers to how decisions impact communities, ensuring that benefits and burdens are shared appropriately. SRTS programs should reduce disparities by prioritizing schools with the highest need. All programming should be culturally competent and accessible to students of all income levels.

number 2


Classes and activities that teach children bicycle, pedestrian and traffic safety skills, the benefits of bicycling and walking, and the positive impacts these activities have on personal health and the environment.  

number 3


Events and activities that spark interest in both parents and students in walking, bicycling, and skating to school, with programs to reward participation. 

number 4


Infrastructure improvements (signage, crosswalks, signals, etc. on streets, sidewalks, and intersections) near schools designed to improve the safety of people walking, bicycling, skating, and driving along school routes. 

number 5


Strategies to deter unsafe behavior of people driving, bicycling, skating and walking and encourage all road users to obey traffic laws and share the road safely around schools.

number 6


Evaluating the projects and programs of each of the other "E's" helps to track progress and determine which programs and projects are most effective. 

Safe routes to tacoma