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How to determine what types of project to work on

The 4 "E" elements

Successful Safe Routes to School (SRS) projects will consider four complimentary actions that can make community travel patterns safe. These actions are characterized as "Engineering", "Education", "Enforcement" and "Encouragement". There is a simple sequence of questions that can lead the members of a community to the proper actions to address each of these action areas.

1: Engineering:
Is the built environment safe?

This is the starting point. We can not encourage our children to walk or ride if the roads, sidewalks and paths are not safe. This is the element that is addressed by the upcoming TxDOT call for proposals.

Roads, sidewalks, bikelanes, crosswalks, paths, traffic calming and traffic signals are all a part of the built environment and when unsafe need to be addressed by Engineering.In this case, Engineering refers to the actions that we can take to make the built environment safer. For additional discussion of Engineering.

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2: Education:
Do the users have the skill and knowledge to use the built environment safely?

Most of the crashes that occur on our transportation system involve someone making a mistake. If this occurs because the participant didn't know the proper way to operate a vehicle or cross the street then Education may be the area that needs attention. For additional discussion of Education.

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3: Enforcement:
Are the users making safe choices?

Sometimes people get in a hurry and make poor choices. In this case the uses of our community transportation system may need to be reminded of the consequences of those poor choices. Enforcement includes the actions of Law Enforcement officials as well as community and family members.For additional discussion of Enforcement.

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4: Encouragement:
Are community members taking advantage of the built environment to walk and ride to school?

Incentives to walk and ride have proven to make a significant difference in the number of people choosing to use means other than a single passenger motor-vehicle to get to school. Just the awareness that people are concerned and working on the issue will have some impact. For additional discussion of Encouragement.

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