This Friday, LA City Council will consider funding a Citywide Safe Routes to School Plan. Safe Routes to School is a state and federal funding program to improve the bicycle infrastructure in a two mile radius around a school as well as to fund education and encouragement programs.
Historically the City of Los Angeles has not faired well due to the competitive nature of these grants and the lack of strategy and comprehensive community engagement with schools, parents, and students. Thus far the process has been piecemeal and we need a strategy that is equitable, rooted in data, good planning, allows for community engagement, and increases quality of project proposals and competitiveness.
The proposed plan before Council on Friday is called for in the new City of LA Bicycle Plan and we’re encouraged to see LADOT staff moving forward on implementing one of the programs in the plan. Funding for the plan will come from the Measure R local return pedestrian set-aside that LACBC, the bicycle community, and our allies fought for last year.
LADOT staff is recommending using collision data to prioritize the city’s efforts and develop a meaningful approach to making communities in the city more walkable and bikable for kids and parents on their way to school (see staff proposal here).