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Safe Routes to School for Students at Taft Elementary

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In conjunction with the Youngstown City Schools and the City of Youngstown, YNDC has completed a School Travel Plan for Taft Elementary School.  The plan analyzes the area around Taft to identify improvements needed to make walking to school safer and more appealing for students.  Recent surveys of parents and students revealed that more than 30% of students walk to Taft daily, even during the cold, snowy month of January.  More parents indicated they would allow their children to walk to school were it not for crime, traffic, and safety at crosswalks.  In order to evaluate these concerns, YNDC staff conducted “walk audits” with representatives from the City Health District and Eastgate Regional Council of Governments.  During these walk audits, staff observed student behavior and traffic patterns near the school, as well as engaged crossing guards, teachers, and the school principal, in order to develop recommendations for improved safety.  The recommendations included replacing damaged sidewalks, marking crosswalks, upgrading traffic signals, participating in the National Walk to School Day, enforcing traffic laws and housing codes, and holding community workdays to board, secure, and clean up vacant houses. 


The School Travel Plan has been endorsed by community residents, local government representatives, and the school district and it will be sent to the Ohio Department of Transportation for review.  Once approved, the plan will allow the City of Youngstown to apply for funding through the state’s Safe Routes to School program to implement plan recommendations.  If awarded funding, projects would be completed by 2018.  A copy of the travel plan can be downloaded below.