City of Maplewood, Minnesota
Every school day elementary and middle school children were forced to walk in the narrow shoulder along County Road (CR) B to and from school. Four pedestrian and two bicycle crashes with vehicles occurred over the past ten years. There were no dedicated non-motorized facilities along CR B, a roadway carrying up to 6,000 cars a day. The schools did not encourage walking or biking to school due to neither school having dedicated non-motorized connection. In addition, the schools had no bus policies for students that lived near the school which directly affected nearly 500 children who were forced to get a ride or walk. Many walked.
Safe Routes to School funds were successfully acquired. Bolton & Menk added a trail to the south side of the roadway and a Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacon at the primary crossings of CR B at each school, replaced a signal adding countdown timers, and introduced corridor improvements. Nearly 30 easements were obtained to construct the trail. Most of the neighborhood supported the project and we were able to settle with all property owners.
Now, K-8 children in Maplewood can walk to school on sidewalks and cross the busy roadway at highly visible locations.