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Safe Routes to School: Mercer Middle School

What is the Mercer Middle School Safe Routes to School Program?

The Mercer Middle School Safe Routes to School Program is a local program working to make it safer and easier to walk and bike to Mercer Middle School. When environments are safer for people on foot, safety is improved for everyone, whether they are walking from home or just travelling in the passenger seat of a car. Made possible by funding from the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Seattle Department of Transportation, the Mercer Middle School program is part of a national movement called Safe Routes to School (SRTS).  SRTS programs improve the safety of walk and bike routes near school by funding construction projects, coordinating with law enforcement, and providing education services and encouragement campaigns to get more students walking and biking on those routes. 

This project will run through November 2015 and is one of four SRTS projects in Seattle Public Schools this year. Find out about the others by visiting their program pages: Greenwood Elementary, Wedgwood Elementary, and South Shore PK-8.

Baseline Survey Results Are In!

The baseline results for the Parent and Guardian SRTS Survey have been tabulated. These are the results of the surveys taken in English. We also received surveys in Chinese, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese; however, the small quantity in which we received those surveys did not lend themselves to be put into chart form. If you are interested in learning more about the results of the Chinese, Somali, Spanish, or Vietnamese surveys please contact the Safe Routes to School Director at info@feetfirst.org

Check out the valuable input that parents and guardians shared through the survey here.

Walk/Bike Audit Report:

The Mercer Walk Bike Audit was conducted on Saturday, January 24th 2015 and a report has been compiled indicating priority recommendations. Click here to view the Mercer Walk and Bike Audit Report.

In that report improvements along 16th Ave S between S Dakota St and Asa Mercer Middle School driveway rose quickly to the top of our safety issues for students, their families and neighbors. After presenting our recommendations to the City, we were pleased to learn that Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Parks Department are working together to support our recommendations. This is a huge win for the Asa Mercer Middle School Community. The project is anticipated to be complete by December 2015. To learn more about this project click here.

Neighborhood Improvements:

The grant project will fund the construction of a paved non-motorized shared use trail adjacent to Jefferson Park just north of the school, replacing the current gravel path and connecting to the pedestrian crossing of S Spokane St at Lafayette Ave S. The trail will improve bicycle and pedestrian access for students entering at the northwest entrance of the Mercer campus. To keep up to date on the construction, visit the project engineering page.

Upcoming Events:

The Walking Mustangs
During the first three days of school (Sept. 9, 10, and 11) and then once a week for the three following weeks students are encouraged to join the Walking Mustangs. The Walking Mustang group will be student led and serves as way to help incoming sixth graders feel connected to their new school. Students will meet at one of four meet-up spots before school (click here for more details), and then walk together as a group to Mercer Middle School. The Walking Mustangs group are open to all Mercer Middle School students (and their families, if they wish to join!)  To learn more about ways to get involved contact the Safe Routes to School Director at info@feetfirst.org

Urban Cycling Club
Plans are underway for an after-school club this fall to learn more about bike safety, handling skills and rules of the road.  Students prepare to go on organized road rides around the neighborhood.

Past Events:

Bicycle Education
Cascade Bicycle Club worked with the school to provide in-class bicycle education and an after-school bicycle club.

Bike Helmet Giveaway
Cascade Bicycle Club gave away bike helmets to riders during lunch breaks in preparation for Bike to School Month in May 2015.

Bike to School Month
Cascade Bicycle Club organized a friendly Bike to School Challenge during the month of May 2015 to encourage safe riding to school.  Students recorded the number of minutes they rode each day on a tracking calendar and earned prizes at the end of the month based on their level of activity.  Bike to School Day was celebrated nationwide on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 and Cascade representatives were at Mercer before school to welcome riders with healthy snacks and prizes!

To learn more or to get involved, contact: the Safe Routes to School Director at info@feetfirst.org

Did you know? :

In 1969, 48% of students in the United States walked or biked to school on regular basis. Today, the national average is 13%.

What’s happening locally? Here are the Mercer Middle School baseline measurements from 2012:

Meet the Seattle Safe Routes to School Partnership!

The following people and agencies work together to provide education and encouragement activities for Safe Routes to School. Look for them in your school and community over the course of this grant and beyond!

Teresa Frizell is the Interim Safe Routes to School Program Director for Feet First. She facilitates the Seattle SRTS Partnership working to ensure that the grant makes it safer and easier for students to get school.

Shannon Koller is the Director of Education at the Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation. Shannon is responsible for coordinating with the school PE Specialist to deliver the bicycle education and encouragement portions of this grant.

Ruby Stacey participates in this grant as the Safe Routes to School Event Coordinator with Feet First. As an AmeriCorps volunteer, her involvement is focused on providing direct service to the school and students.

Teresa Frizell is the Interim Safe Routes to School Program Director for Feet First. She facilitates the Seattle SRTS Partnership working to ensure that the grant makes it safer and easier for students to get school.

Cathy Tuttle is the Executive Director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. She is responsible for leading family activities including Walk/Bike Audits, and making connections between the schools and nearby family-friendly streets.

Elizabeth Esselman is a Program Operations Specialist at Harborview Medical Center and coordinates Safe Kids Seattle South King. Elizabeth will connect with the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center to help evaluate the program’s impact

Phyllis “PJ” Porter is the Outreach Coordinator & Events Specialist at Bike Works and participates in this grant as part of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.  Phyllis will assist with family activities connected to family-friendly streets

Brianna Mills: is part of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center Methods Core and is working toward her PhD in Epidemiology. Brianna created the parent survey to help us evaluate and learn from local Safe Routes to School efforts.

 

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