Pittsburgh Public Schools Named Safe Route to Schools Champions

Pittsburgh School District  |  Posted on

The City of Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) is pleased to kick-off the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program with the resumption of the 2020-21 school year. While most students are engaged in remote learning, DOMI remains focused on the safe travel of our most vulnerable residents.

Safe Routes to School is a national program focused on improving communities by increasing the number of students biking and walking to school and developing their skills as safe users of our public streets. The goal of the Safe Routes to School program is to educate school age children in safe walking and biking practices, encourage children to use an active mode of transportation, provide engineering improvements around schools and engage with community organizations how Safe Routes to School should begin.

The City of Pittsburgh Safe Routes to School program (SRTS) focuses on elementary and middle, public and charter schools. Participating schools will benefit from education, encouragement, and infrastructure improvement programs. After a competitive search process, four schools were selected to participate as inaugural SRTS “Champion Schools”. We are pleased and eager to announce partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools Faison K-5, Pittsburgh Arlington PreK-8, Pittsburgh King K-8 and Propel Schools – Hazelwood as the selected schools for the 2020-2021 academic school year.

This school year will look and feel different than any other we have witnessed before. The Safe Routes to School program will support students and families through remote learning safety activities and social distancing events that can be found on the City of Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure website on the Safe Routes to School program page.

All City of Pittsburgh public and charter elementary and middle schools will benefit from the city-wide SRTS initiatives. These include a calendar of events that schools may participate in like Walk Safety Week, Bike to School Day and Crossing Guard Appreciation Day found on the SRTS webpage.

“The Safe Routes to School Program is another step forward in our pursuit of safe, sustainable and equitable mobility for the City of Pittsburgh,” said Karina Ricks, Director of the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, “Through this program, the youngest travelers of our street will lead the way toward improvements for all.” DOMI SRTS Program Coordinator Harriet C. Jackson added, “We’re happy to collaborate with Pittsburgh Public Schools, Propel Schools, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, City of Pittsburgh Crossing Guards, BikePGH and looking to build other partnerships as the program unfolds.”

Principal Nathan Berkowitz of Pittsburgh King said, “I look forward to working with the Safe Routes to School program to encourage our students to walk and bike safely to and from Pittsburgh King through positive encouragement and education with our Northside families” while Tina Mayer, Head Principal at Propel Schools Hazelwood adds, “The Safe Routes to School program will benefit the Hazelwood community by providing safer commuting conditions for our scholars, while promoting physical activity and fitness.”

The Safe Routes to School is a program initially established in 2005 by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA-LU), a national funding bill. More than just building infrastructure improvements, the Safe Routes to School funding category offers programming to develop safer places and safer habits for students.