City of Decatur Chosen as Safe Routes to School Friend Partner of the Year for Metro-Atlanta!

JPEG - Safe Routes to School ColorEach year, the Georgia Safe Routes to School Resource Center receives nominations for Outstanding School Partners and Champions. This year, they introduced Outstanding Friend Partner and the City of Decatur is proud to be the first recipient!

 

The City of Decatur has had a Safe Routes to School program since 2005, when it partnered with GDOT to pilot the program. Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year, the Decatur Active Living Division of the City of Decatur took on the management and development of the program.

  • The City formed a SRTS committee of Parent Champions and meets monthly to discuss ways to encourage children to walk or bike to school and any barriers that might prevent them from doing so. Meetings include our GA SRTS representative Marielena and Nichole from GA Commute Schools, whom we work closely with,  communications staff from the school system, and an occasional principal. Police often attend.
  • Champions receive a SRTS t-shirt from the Active Living Division.
  • The City holds an annual Bike Month Poster contest in May.
  • The Public Works division works hard to ensure safe routes for children. Before the recent opening of the Talley Street School in Fall 2019, the city held community meetings to receive input on safety improvements to be made around the school. The result was a safer intersection with traffic controls and a new sidewalk. Another sidewalk is in the process of being planned, again with community input, on a much traveled route to the school.  The city received a grant from GDOT and recently completed the installation of the PHB on a busy street in front of an elementary school.
  • The Engineering Department makes sure that crosswalks along the routes are in good condition and restripes as necessary before school opens each Fall.
  • The city met with MARTA to secure permission to use their bridge over a busy road as part of the safe routes network.
  • Decatur Police Department hires, trains, and manages the city’s 34 crossing guards. With that many guards in just 4.5 square miles, I would venture we have the most per capita! Crossing Guards are located at busy intersections and popular crossings. The Police and Active Living Divisions partner to host a breakfast for the guards where they also receive certificates and gifts.
  • The City has created a map of the safe routes throughout the city. It is printed and given to all the schools, and is also distributed in digital format, as well as on the city’s and the school system’s websites.