December 3


Documenting Existing Transportation Systems at Schools

By Mike Spack

December 3, 2007

checklist, school safety, schools, traffic safety plan, transportation

By Mike Spack, PE, PTOE

The first step in any planning exercise, including developing a School Traffic Safety Plan, should be determining the current situation.  Then you can develop alternatives for changing the existing transportation systems.

Here’s a checklist for documenting your school’s existing transportation system

  • How do your parking lot/lots currently function?

    • Bus circulation
    • Parent parking
    • Student parking (if high school)
    • Parent drop-off/pick-up procedure
    • Students walking in parking lot?
    • Where are students outside of adult supervision?
    • Document the number of vehicles and students involved with the above maneuvers
  • What routes do kids use when they walk or bicycle to school?

    • Are there sidewalks or trails along the whole route?
    • Is there a map of the sidewalk/trail system published for parents and students?
    • How many students come along each route?
    • Where do routes cross streets?
    • What signs, pavement markings, and signals are within the routes and school zone?
    • Do you have school crossing guards?
    • Do you have “walking school buses” or “bicycling trains”?
  • Street network

    • Turn lanes
    • Speed limits
    • Traffic control in place at intersections
    • Traffic volume counts
  • Do student groups leave the campus for any events?

Links to Each of the 7 Components of an Effective School Safety Plan

  1. Documenting Existing Transportation Systems at Schools
  2. Minimizing Vehicle and Student Interaction – A Look at Loading Zones
  3. Minimizing the Impacts of School Traffic
  4. Increasing Student Visibility in School Zones
  5. Slowing Down Traffic in School Zones
  6. Controlling Arrivals and Departures at Schools
  7. Traffic Safety Education for Students

Photo Source:


  • To use a study, I will use the school I volunteer with. The school does not have any parking lots. As a result, the students are picked up in the street where patens double park on a crowded and narrow street corridor. As for the routes, students have many routes they take and some intersect with one another depending on which side of the school they are in. There are crossing guards to get the students in crossing busy streets as well. To keep students safe, the school and residents implemented speed limits, speed bumps, stop signs and stop lights to prevent any unnecessary accidents.

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    Mike Spack

    My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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