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Safe Routes To School - Evaluation

Using various evaluation tools, we gather data to better understand existing environmental conditions and current behaviors regarding walking and biking. These strategies help to track trends over time and can aid in the allocation of resources to improve walking and biking conditions near schools. Both qualitative and quantitative data gathering tools can be found below.

Table of Contents

Parent/Guardian Travel Survey

Image of parent/guardian travel survey.

A parent/guardian travel survey helps gauge how and where students travel to/from school through a three-minute online or paper questionnaire. Results show the average distance students travel to/from school, as well as the number of students living within walking/biking distance of the school. The results also estimate the annual greenhouse gas emissions released by single-occupancy vehicles used to drive students to/from school. The survey is offered in nine languages. Schools are offered an incentive to achieve a 50 percent or higher response rate. Contact your Outreach Coordinator to schedule a survey at your school.

All results are presented via a formal SRTS survey report. The link to the online survey can be found here:

Links to the paper surveys: 





Khmer (Cambodian)


Haitian Creole

Chinese (simplified)



Walkshed Maps

SRTS can create two versions of walkshed maps for partner schools. A walkshed map shows student addresses (cross street locations or exact address) as points on a map with a half mile and full mile radius drawn to show distance from the school. A comfortable walkshed is usually defined up to one mile, depending on the age of the student. The first version is featured on the last page of the parent/guardian travel survey report. The second version can be requested without a survey if a spreadsheet containing only student addresses (no names) is submitted to SRTS. This is a quick, useful first step in selecting potential walking or biking routes prior to a walk or bike assessment.

walkshed map for partner schools

Arrival/Dismissal Observations

image of a cars on parking lots and street

Outreach coordinators will look at a school’s immediate environment and surroundings during school arrival and dismissal. This is a critical data collection step toward gaining a clear overview of a student, parent/guardian, and staff behavior during an often-hazardous time.  During an observation, we look at the interaction between walker/bikers, buses and vehicles. We also look at crossing guard utilization and rule violation of current arrival and dismissal procedures.

All results are presented via a formal SRTS observation report.

Walk/Bike Assessments

image of people waiting to cross street

Outreach coordinators will examine the outdoor surroundings of a school to identify or study the routes that students use to walk to/from school. During an assessment, participants observe and document safety and accessibility issues and experience walking and biking conditions firsthand. 

All results are presented via a formal SRTS assessment report.

Annual Partner Survey

Once a year, SRTS collects Program satisfaction data and ideas from our partner school, caregivers, and stakeholders in Massachusetts to better understand school and community needs. We are constantly striving to improve and adapt the Program to suit our partners’ needs in any way we can. Thank you for your participation!

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