Students in this fall 2016 studio at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy worked with clients from the City of Bayonne and the Bayonne Public School District to develop a district school travel plan that identifies barriers and explores potential solutions to address pedestrian and bicycle conditions around schools in Bayonne, NJ. School travel plans are an important part of the NJ Safe Routes to School program, a statewide initiative to address walking and bicycling safety through education, enforcement, engineering, training and research efforts. While school travel plans for individual schools are becoming more common throughout the State, the development of district-wide school travel plans remains a relatively new process within New Jersey. Staff from the NJ Department of Transportation Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs who oversee the statewide Safe Routes to School program, also served as studio clients interested in seeing the district-wide school travel plan development process streamlined for replication throughout the State. Hudson Transportation Management Association staff also played a vital role in the process, participating in the studio by providing insight, guidance and local knowledge.
To help understand the issues and concerns of such a large spatial area, students in this class analyzed demographics, mapped pedestrian and bicycle crashes and school catchment areas, gathered survey data on student arrival and dismissal travel mode and school principal concerns, conducted walkability assessments with a photo inventory around schools, gathered feedback from the steering committee, crossing guards and parents, and identified municipal or school district policies that support or hinder walking and bicycling. Based upon their findings, the students documented their research and developed an action plan to address identified concerns. Students identified a menu of actions concerning education, encouragement, enforcement, engineering, and evaluation activities focusing on both short-term and long-term projects.