- School Drop off Infrastructure Changes
It's tough to walk or bike — or even carpool — to school when the street outside becomes congested with vehicles at drop-off and pick-up time and the cars that aren't idling are driving too fast. Sixth-graders at Christ the King School in Rutland, VT, took matters into their own hands in the 2017-18 school year, with help from VEEP educator Laura MacLachlan.
The 6th grader students observed and documented issues with the drop-off location, then redesigned the intersection with help from Local Motion, the statewide bike and pedestrian advocacy organization. After the team of youth leaders presented their plan to the town's traffic safety committee, the Rutland Department of Public Works gave them permission to temporarily change the traffic trouble spots with curb extensions and asphalt painting in a “pop-up” traffic safety project. Students also installed a new bike rack.
Testing out the solutions
The “pop-up” transportation safety pilot was installed in August 2018, and left in place for 10 days. During that time, the students worked with the Rutland Regional Planning Commission to collect data on traffic volume and traffic changes. In spring of 2019, the student group is working on a school travel plan, recruiting members for the new "safety patrol," and presented with Local Motion at the Safe Routes to School conference as well as sharing their story:
Timeline and Steps:
Spring 2019 - presentation to 6th graders on Safety Patrol to be debuted in Fall 2019
Presentation to Safe Routes to School Annual Conference
Presentation to Rutland Regional Planning Commission - Transportation Board
Fall 2019 - VECAN presentations (Success story, VECAN panel)
- Transportation Efficiency and Renewably
In early winter of 2020, members of the Green Team and their teacher partners held a mini-retreat with the assistance of VEEP staff. Through facilitated discussions, the group chose to focus on reducing the carbon emission of the U-32 community in their school related movements. Their plan was both more immediate with goals for the year, as well as larger, longer term goals of changing both mindsets and infrastructure. The group succeeded in collecting a large data set from a well crafted and responded to transportation survey. With this data they are hoping to be able to identify the largest barriers to reducing carbon emissions, as well as opportunities for change. The project was paused in the spring, just after the data was collected. Stay tuned to see what they come up with...
Project Steps Taken:
1) Meet with VEEP to organize a mini retreat for project planning in the VEEP office
2) Based on statewide emissions data, decide to focus on transportation
3) Decide on two goals: increase bus riding and carpooling in the shorter term, and start to plan for electrifying transportation for the future
4) Create a transportation survey for U-32 community to determine transportation choices and reasoning
5) Disseminate online survey widely with in person school-wide reminders by homeroom
6) Compile data and begin to analyze...next steps planned post COVID-19 restrictions…