The Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) administers the Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program which works to relieve traffic congestion around schools by promoting alternatives to commuting to school such as walking, biking, taking the bus, and carpooling. Parametrix (previously as Parisi Transportation Consulting) has achieved proven successes since 2008 when we began managing TAM’s SR2S program. We have expanded the program from just 5 schools in 2000 to 55 in 2022, serving over 29,000 students throughout the County.
The team employs a holistic approach to SR2S through the implementation of the 6-E SR2S framework i.e., Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, Evaluation, Engineering, and Equity. The program’s recent successes include reducing vehicle miles traveled from elementary and middle school family trips by 14% compared to 2015/2016 levels; teaching traffic and bicycle safety to almost 12,500 students during the 2021/2022 school year alone; developing over 20 suggested route to school maps to guide students walking and rolling to school; and planning and/or building over 180 infrastructure projects in the vicinity of schools, at a cost of about $55 million.
The team has successfully employed strategies to increase participation in underserved schools in Marin County. Nine schools located in San Rafael, Novato, Marin City, and Sausalito participate in the bilingual program, which tailors its approach to meet the schools’ cultural differences, language barriers, and differing levels of student need. Additionally, written communications are made available in both English and Spanish and are adapted for parents with high rates of illiteracy. A Bilingual Coordinator works in schools to build relationships and recruit parent volunteers, and program staff meet parents where they are to ensure that everyone’s voices are heard.
Marin’s SR2S program has received numerous local, regional, and national awards for spearheading successful policies and programs, significantly increasing the number of students walking and bicycling to and from school. The program also includes the countywide Street Smarts program, a driver, cyclist, and pedestrian safety education campaign that Parametrix successfully refreshed in 2022. Parametrix uses data and a robust evaluation process to ensure the program remains effective and continues to evolve and succeed.