Safe Routes to School

Hawaii's Opportunity for Active Living Advancement (HO'ALA): Addressing Childhood Obesity through Safe Routes to School

title-long: 
Hawaii's Opportunity for Active Living Advancement (HO'ALA): Addressing Childhood Obesity through Safe Routes to School
Date: 
07/01/2011
Description: 

Heinrich, K.M., Dierenfield, L., Alexander, D.A., Prose, M., & Peterson A.C. (2011). Hawaii's Opportunity for Active Living Advancement (HO'ALA): Addressing Childhood Obesity through Safe Routes to School. Hawaii Medical Journal, 70(7, Suppl 1), 21-26.

Funding Source: 
Funding by the Active Living Research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Abstract: 

Increasing active transportation to and from school may reduce childhood obesity rates in Hawai‘i. A community partnership was formed to address this issue in Hawai‘i’s Opportunity for Active Living Advancement (HO‘ÄLA), a quasi-experimental study of active transportation in Hawai‘i County. The purpose of this study was to determine baseline rates for active transportation rates to and from school and to track changes related to macro-level (statewide) policy, locally-based Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs and bicycle and pedestrian planning initiatives expected to improve the safety, comfort and ease of walking and bicycling to and from school. Measures included parent surveys, student travel tallies, traffic counts and safety observations. Assessments of the walking and biking environment around each school were made using the Pedestrian Environment Data Scan. Complete Streets and SRTS policy implementation was tracked through the activities of a state transportation-led Task Force and an advocacy-led coalition, respectively. Planning initiatives were tracked through citizen-based advisory committees. Thirteen volunteer schools participated as the intervention (n=8) or comparison (n=5) schools. The majority of students were Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander in schools located in under-resourced communities. Overall, few children walked or biked to school. The majority of children were driven to and from school by their parents. With the influence of HO‘ÄLA staff members, two intervention schools were obligated SRTS project funding from the state, schools were identified as key areas in the pedestrian master plan, and one intervention school was slated for a bike plan priority project. As the SRTS programs are implemented in the next phase of the project, post-test data will be collected to ascertain if changes in active transportation rates occur.

Resource URL: 
http://www.hawaiimedicaljournal.org/70.07.suppl1.htm
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The Relationship between School Crossing Guard Presence and Children's Physical Activity

title-long: 
The Relationship between School Crossing Guard Presence and Children's Physical Activity
Description: 

Preliminary data suggests that the addition of crossing guards to school environments may lead to increased rates of children's active transportation.  During the 2011-2012 school year, CDC Communities Putting Prevention to Work funds hired new crossing guards for the City of Miami schools. The purpose of this project was to determine if an increase in crossing guard presence is associated with an increase in the number of children walking and biking to school in 10 elementary schools in Miami, FL.  Type and amount of physical activity was measured through counts conducted at intervention and control intersections at pre- and post-data collection.  Parental attitudes towards allowing their children to utilize active travel and their perceptions of safety was assessed through the Safe Routes to School Parent Survey.

Principle Investigator Last Name: 
Hotz
Principle Investigator First Name: 
Gillian
Principle Investigator Suffix: 
PhD
Principle Investigator Email: 
ghotz@med.miami.edu
Principle Investigator Full Name (Last, First): 
Hotz, Gillian
Award Date: 
08/15/2011
End Date: 
07/14/2012
Sponsoring Organization: 
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Award Amount: 
150,000
Document Type: 
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Reliability and Validity of the Safe Routes to School Parent and Student Surveys

title-long: 
Reliability and Validity of the Safe Routes to School Parent and Student Surveys
Description: 

McDonald, N.C., Dwelley, A.E., Combs, T.S., Evenson, K.R., & Winters, II, R.H. (2011). Reliability and Validity of the Safe Routes to School Parent and Student Surveys. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8(56).

Date: 
06/08/2011
Funding Source: 
Funded by the Active Living Research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Abstract: 

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to assess the reliability and validity of the U.S. National Center for Safe Routes to School's in-class student travel tallies and written parent surveys. Over 65,000 tallies and 374,000 parent surveys have been completed, but no published studies have examined their measurement properties. METHODS: Students and parents from two Charlotte, NC (USA) elementary schools participated. Tallies were conducted on two consecutive days using a hand-raising protocol; on day two students were also asked to recall the previous days' travel. The recall from day two was compared with day one to assess 24-hour test-retest reliability. Convergent validity was assessed by comparing parent-reports of students' travel mode with student-reports of travel mode. Two-week test-retest reliability of the parent survey was assessed by comparing within-parent responses. Reliability and validity were assessed using kappa statistics. RESULTS: A total of 542 students participated in the in-class student travel tally reliability assessment and 262 parent-student dyads participated in the validity assessment. Reliability was high for travel to and from school (kappa>0.8); convergent validity was lower but still high (kappa>0.75). There were no differences by student grade level. Two-week test-retest reliability of the parent survey (n=112) ranged from moderate to very high for objective questions on travel mode and travel times (kappa range: 0.62 - 0.97) but was substantially lower for subjective assessments of barriers to walking to school (kappa range: 0.31 - 0.76). CONCLUSIONS: The student in-class student travel tally exhibited high reliability and validity at all elementary grades. The parent survey had high reliability on questions related to student travel mode, but lower reliability for attitudinal questions identifying barriers to walking to school. Parent survey design should be improved so that responses clearly indicate issues that influence parental decision making in regards to their children's mode of travel to school.

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Encouraging Research-Driven Environmental and Policy Changes to Promote Physical Activity Among Urban-Dwelling Children

title-long: 
Encouraging Research-Driven Environmental and Policy Changes to Promote Physical Activity Among Urban-Dwelling Children
Description: 

This purpose of this project was to supplement another ALR grant that studied how the social and physical urban environment is associated with child activity and obesity, and specifically with active transport to school, in Baltimore, MD. This Research Translation project focused on increased dissemination of the grant results by convening policy makers and key stakeholders (educators, community members, etc.) to share research results and promote dissemination. Deliverables included a results summary brochure/folder and presentations at local meetings to promote the translation of research to policy.

Principle Investigator Last Name: 
Pollack
Principle Investigator First Name: 
Keshia
Principle Investigator Suffix: 
PhD, MPH
Principle Investigator Email: 
kpollack@jhsph.edu
Principle Investigator Full Name (Last, First): 
Pollack, Keshia
Award Date: 
02/01/2011
End Date: 
07/31/2012
Other Investigators: 
Alicia Samuels, MPH & Terry Brown, Sr., MBA
Sponsoring Organization: 
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Award Amount: 
29,889
Document Type: 
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Economic Evaluation of Built Environment Amenities for Youth Physical Activity

title-long: 
Economic Evaluation of Built Environment Amenities for Youth Physical Activity
Description: 

Considerable public funds are used to improve neighborhood built environments targeting physical activity in children (e.g. improved playgrounds, ball fields/courts, school crosswalks, and sidewalk maintenance); however, little is known about the economic efficiency of these expenditures. The goal of this study is to determine the hedonic (market) price of physical activity enhancing features of parks and recreational facilities and school pedestrian accessibility. Understanding the market valuations of these physical activity-enhancing improvements to the built environment is important for informing public policy about the returns to the investment. More specifically, quantifying the full return of built environment investments is of key importance to informing appropriate policy intervention - especially those aimed at improving physical activity among low-income, minority children who are most often dependent upon public funding for built environment improvements. The study will be focused on public school children in Dallas County, TX, which includes a diversity of housing options, school districts and municipalities.

Principle Investigator Suffix: 
PhD
Principle Investigator First Name: 
Tammy
Principle Investigator Last Name: 
Leonard
Principle Investigator Full Name (Last, First): 
Leonard, Tammy
Principle Investigator Email: 
tcl051000@utdallas.edu
Award Date: 
01/15/2011
Other Investigators: 
James Murdoch, PhD
End Date: 
01/14/2013
Sponsoring Organization: 
University of Texas, Dallas
Award Amount: 
95,010
Document Type: 
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Federal Safe Routes to School Program: Multi-State Evaluation and National Evaluation Framework

title-long: 
Federal Safe Routes to School Program: Multi-State Evaluation and National Evaluation Framework
Description: 

This study will measure the effects of infrastructure and non-infrastructure Safe Routes to School (SRTS) interventions on the proportion of elementary and middle school students walking and biking to school and on safety indicators in the District of Columbia, Florida, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.  Investigators will identify key institutional factors associated with effective and ineffective SRTS interventions in low-income and minority communities.  The project will also pilot test a proposed national evaluation framework for the SRTS program developed by the National Center for Safe Routes to School for the US Department of Transportation.  The results of this study will be useful to practitioners and researchers as they look for effective SRTS interventions.  Furthermore, this research will aid development of a comprehensive SRTS evaluation framework which will be implemented across the country.

Principle Investigator Suffix: 
PhD
Principle Investigator First Name: 
Noreen
Principle Investigator Last Name: 
McDonald
Principle Investigator Full Name (Last, First): 
McDonald, Noreen
Principle Investigator Email: 
noreen@unc.edu
Award Date: 
01/15/2011
Other Investigators: 
Ruth Steiner, PhD, Chanam Lee, PhD, Xuemei Zhu, PhD, Yizhao Yang, PhD, & Mark Hallenbeck
End Date: 
07/14/2013
Sponsoring Organization: 
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Award Amount: 
299,960
Document Type: 
Grant Cycle: 

Improving Participation in Safe Routes to Schools Programs for Montana Native American Communities

title-long: 
Improving Participation in Safe Routes to Schools Programs for Montana Native American Communities
Description: 

While Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs have been implemented in many non-Indian communities in the US, very few SRTS programs exist in Indian country.  This project seeks to build the capacity of both the Montana SRTS program and of American Indian communities to: (1) successfully increase SRTS funding on reservations and (2) implement community-based SRTS programs in order to increase the transferability of successful project development processes to other tribal communities and other agencies.  Based on information gathered through key informant interviews, researchers will develop a conceptual model to understand capacity for obtaining funding for, and implementing, SRTS programs on Montana Indian reservations.  The lessons learned from this project could lead to significant changes in funds reaching tribal communities who are disproportionately affected by health disparities.

Principle Investigator Suffix: 
PhD
Principle Investigator First Name: 
Suzanne
Principle Investigator Last Name: 
Christopher
Principle Investigator Full Name (Last, First): 
Christopher, Suzanne
Principle Investigator Email: 
suzanne@montana.edu
Award Date: 
02/01/2011
Other Investigators: 
Blakely Brown, PhD
End Date: 
07/31/2012
Sponsoring Organization: 
Montana State University
Award Amount: 
49,986
Document Type: 
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Ten Years Later: Examining the Long-Term Impact of the California Safe Routes to School Program

title-long: 
Ten Years Later: Examining the Long-Term Impact of the California Safe Routes to School Program
Description: 

The intent of this project is to conduct a follow-up of two previous Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) studies [University of California, Irvine (UCI), 2001-2003 and University of California, Berkeley (UCB), 2005] to determine if observed changes were sustained or changed over time.  Investigators will assess the long-term impact of SRTS-funded engineering modifications on walking and bicycling rates and traffic safety characteristics at the UCI study schools.  They will also assess the long-term impact of safety by extending the post-intervention injury surveillance from the UCB study and will enhance the UCB study by adding SRTS projects awarded from 2005 to 2011.  The study will consist of a parent survey, environmental audit and observation data, and data on traffic collisions.  The results of this study will directly affect policy and lay a foundation for establishing and enhancing activities that support the dual and interrelated goals of increasing physical activity through walking and bicycling and increasing child pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Principle Investigator Suffix: 
PhD
Principle Investigator First Name: 
David
Principle Investigator Last Name: 
Ragland
Principle Investigator Full Name (Last, First): 
Ragland, David
Principle Investigator Email: 
davidr@berkeley.edu
Award Date: 
01/15/2011
Other Investigators: 
Jill Cooper
End Date: 
07/14/2012
Sponsoring Organization: 
University of California, Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center
Award Amount: 
238,248
Document Type: 
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Impact of a Pilot Walking School Bus Intervention on Children's Pedestrian Safety Behaviors

title-long: 
Impact of a Pilot Walking School Bus Intervention on Children's Pedestrian Safety Behaviors
Date: 
02/24/2011
Description: 

Presentation at the 2011 Active Living Research Annual Conference

Funding Source: 
Funded by NCI (1R21CA133418 and 1K07CA131178), USDA Cooperative Agreement (6250-51000-047), and the Active Living Research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Abstract: 

Background:
Walking School Buses (WSB) are groups of children, led to and from school by parents or other adults, in which children are picked up at designated “bus stops.” Pedestrian safety should be taught and modeled by the adults on the walk to school. WSB programs have been reported to increase children’s active commuting to school and physical activity; however, the impact on children’s pedestrian safety behaviors has not been well studied.

Objectives:
To conduct a pilot evaluation of a WSB program’s impact on children’s pedestrian safety behaviors.

Methods:
We conducted a group randomized controlled trial among 4th grade students in eight low socioeconomic status, elementary schools in Houston, TX. The 149 enrolled 4th graders were ethnically diverse. The intervention was a WSB program led by study staff available 5-days/week. Schools were matched by race/ethnicity and % qualifying for free/reduced lunch, then randomized to intervention or control conditions. Outcomes were measured prior to the intervention (Time 1) and during week 5 of the intervention (Time 2). We measured children’s pedestrian safety behaviors with a previously validated instrument. Children were observed for the following five behaviors considered important to pedestrian safety: crossed at a corner or crosswalk, crossed with an adult or safety patrol, stopped at the curb, looked left-right-left, and walked (not ran) across the street. Children were classified as walking with a WSB program based on wearing the distinctive WSB reflective safety vests provided each day to the WSB students. We conducted observations before school without interacting or deliberately influencing the children’s or adults’ behaviors. No individual sociodemographic information was collected and the data reflect the behaviors of child pedestrians of any grade level approaching a major intersection at the study schools (n=1252 at Time 1 and n=1296 at Time 2). To determine differences for the global pedestrian safety behavior score (scale of 0-5), we used a linear mixed-model regression analysis with school as a random and time as independent effects. To determine differences for each of the individual pedestrian safety behaviors, we used generalized mixed model analyses with school as a random and time as independent effects. A planned sub-analysis at Time 2 compared WSB students versus non-WSB students at the intervention school.

Results:
The linear mixed-model regression yielded no significant main effects for the WSB intervention on the school-wide global pedestrian safety behavior score. The generalized mixed model analyses yielded significant group by time effects for the WSB intervention on three of the individual pedestrian safety behaviors: (1) crossing at a corner or crosswalk, children at the intervention school increased by 16.4% while children at the control school increased by 4.1% (p<0.001); (2) crossing with an adult or safety patrol, children at the intervention school decreased by 0.5% while children at the control school decreased by 9.9% (p<0.001); and (3) stopping at the curb, children at the intervention school decreased by 4.6% while children at the control school increased by 19.5% (p<0.001), although the proportion exhibiting the behavior at Time 2 was similar between groups. Among students at the intervention school at Time 2, students who were part of a WSB had higher global pedestrian safety behavior scores than non-WSB students (4.6 +/-0.6 vs. 3.2 +/- 0.9, p<0.0001).

Conclusions:
A pilot WSB program intervention targeted at 4th grade students had no effect school-wide to improve a composite indicator of children’s pedestrian safety behaviors, although a sub-analysis suggested that the WSB was associated with higher scores among WSB-participating students at the intervention school at Time 2. Tertiary analyses revealed preliminary evidence of influence on certain individual indicators school-wide, although caution needs to be exerted on the possibility of enhanced Type I errors. Further work is necessary to improve specific pedestrian safety behaviors through the WSB program and provide a more targeted, well-powered evaluation.

Support:
RWJF Active Living Research (63773), NCI (1R21CA133418 and 1K07CA131178), and USDA Cooperative Agreement (6250-51000-047)

Upload: 
2011_IntervEval_Mendoza.pdf
Authors: 
Jason Mendoza, MD, MPH, Kathy Watson, PhD, Tom Baranowski, PhD, Theresa Nicklas, DrPH, Doris Uscanga, BFA, & Marcus Hanfling, MD
Organization: 
Baylor College of Medicine
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Economic Investment and Program Implementation in Low-Resource Communities: Safe Routes to School

title-long: 
Economic Investment and Program Implementation in Low-Resource Communities: Safe Routes to School
Date: 
02/23/2011
Description: 

Presentation at the 2011 Active Living Research Annual Conference

Abstract: 

Background:
Considerable public investment in infrastructure and programming to promote active transportation to school has recently been undertaken through federal legislation. In 2005, the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program was added in the reauthorization of the transportation bill Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). Further research is needed to help inform local, regional and national policy discussions about how state and federal funding programs can be successfully implemented and to identify the potential state-level policy and programmatic factors that help to foster strong SRTS programs within states and partnerships among state program administration and other stakeholders.

Objectives:
1) Develop measures of state-level SRTS program implementation; 2) Examine associations between state policy/program factors and demographic/geographic features and measures of SRTS program implementation; 3) Develop a case study series in four states to explore and further detail the mechanisms through which state policy/program and demographic/geographic factors promote or inhibit SRTS implementation.

Methods:
Design: This study uses a repeated measures, cross-sectional observational design with SRTS program funding and implementation data collected by year for each state to examine associations between SRTS program implementation and state policy/program and demographic/geographic factors. The results of national-level analyses were used to identify four case-study states. Case study methods include structured interviews, document review and secondary data analyses.

Measures:
Data documenting county and state-level federal economic investments in all 50 states through the SRTS program were obtained from the Federal Highway Administration’s funding database, the Fiscal Management Information System (FMIS). State level SRTS program implementation was characterized by: 1) the proportion of available SRTS funding that was obligated by the state for SRTS projects, and 2) per student funding obligations. State-level policy and program factors reviewed included a) state-level infrastructure/non-infrastructure project funding mix and b) prior history of state bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure investment. Key state level demographic/geographic factors included: a) state-level student enrollment in grades K-8 (public school estimates from Common Core of Data and private school estimates from Private School Survey, National Center for Education Statistics), b) geographic region (West, Midwest, Northeast and South, US Census Bureau), c) rural/urban county mix (US Census Bureau) and d) state-level population-weighted average distance to school (US Census and National Center for Education Statistics).

Results:
Overall, $220,429,000 was obligated to implement 2,296 SRTS projects in the 50 U.S. states during FY2006-2009. Implementation increased across the years of the federal funding program: $21,292,000 was obligated to implement 139 projects in 2006, $45,749,000 for 344 projects in 2007, $71,819,000 for 948 projects in 2008, and $76,430,000 for 858 projects in 2009. Preliminary descriptive analysis of SRTS economic investments at the state level revealed differences in SRTS program implementation across states (N=50). On average, states obligated 44% of available funding (range 6-100%). Average per student obligation was $11.06 (range $0.83-$68.05). Factors associated with these measures of successful SRTS program implementation include prior success implementing federally-funded bicycle and pedestrian projects, implementation of infrastructure vs. non-infrastructure activities, region, and student enrollment. In a multivariable linear regression model, higher percentage of available SRTS funding obligated in states was associated with lower percentage of funding obligated for non-infrastructure activities (β=−0.4%; SE=0.22; p=0.06), K-8 student enrollment of less than 300,000 compared to 705,000 or greater (β=18.5%; SE=8.84; p=0.04), and location in the West region compared to the Northeast region (β=26.4%; SE=10.71; p=0.02). Higher per student funding obligated in states was associated with lower percentage of funding obligated for non-infrastructure activities (β=−$0.27; SE=0.08; p=0.003), K-8 student enrollment of less than 300,000 compared to 300,000 to 704,000 (β=$10.37; SE=3.67; p=0.007) and 705,000 or greater (β=$11.48; SE=3.62; p=0.003), and prior per capita federal funding obligated for bicycle and pedestrian projects (β=0.23; SE=0.06; p=0.0004).

Conclusions:
Nationally, successful SRTS program implementation is related to state-level policy/program and demographic/geographic factors including mix of infrastructure and non-infrastructure activities, prior history of bicycle and pedestrian project implementation, state-level student enrollment and geographic region. Preliminary case study series analysis indicates that, within states, policy and programmatic factors and demographic and geographic factors are interrelated and may have complex interactions in influencing SRTS program implementation. More detailed analysis will be used to illustrate these relationships within case study states.

Support:
This work is supported by Active Living Research, a National Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Upload: 
2011_TransportSch_Cradock.pdf
Authors: 
Angie Cradock, ScD, Billy Fields, PhD, Jessica Barrett, MPH, & Steve Melly, MS
Organization: 
Harvard School of Public Health
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