Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School is an international movement to create safe travel opportunities for children to walk or bike to school and community members to walk and bike around their neighborhoods. In 2018, the City of Saratoga joined the Safe Routes to School initiative and started development of the Safe Routes to School Master Plan in 2020 to identify improvements that could be made around schools to encourage walking or biking to school and around neighborhoods.

The Safe Routes to School Master Plan was adopted by the City Council on September 7, 2022. The Master Plan identifies and prioritizes a list of projects to implement as funding becomes available, either through the City’s Capital Improvement Program or grant opportunities, allowing projects to be construction ready when the time comes. The City of Saratoga SRTS Master Plan represents the City’s continuing efforts to proactively improve active transportation in Saratoga by creating safer, more comfortable, more efficient, and more accessible travel routes that encourage students to walk and bicycle to school.

Through the City’s Traffic Safety Commission, Saratoga residents may share traffic safety concerns for any location in the City at any time to request review and evaluation. 

Master Plan Development 

The development of the SRTS Master Plan was a collaborative process led by the City of Saratoga. A multidisciplinary team of stakeholders, including Traffic Safety Commission members, Youth Commission representatives, Saratoga schools, and the Sheriff’s Office, served as the Safe Routes to School Technical Advisory Committee.

The Technical Advisory Committee developed the SRTS Master Plan based on the following goals:

  1. Identify all potential walking and bicycling routes to schools in Saratoga and list improvements that should be made at those routes to accommodate walking and bicycling to school and develop recommended route maps for each school.
  2. Conduct extensive outreach with the school communities and neighborhoods to ensure that the City has identified the appropriate routes for students to use and the appropriate traffic safety calming solutions at those locations. 

The Technical Advisory Committee participated in walk audits and site evaluations to identify areas around schools needing traffic safety improvements. Roadway systems, collision history and pedestrian and bicycle facilities were all reviewed as part of the evaluation. City staff worked closely with school principals, current students through the Youth Commission, and parents of students to find out routes that they believe students are using to walk and bike to school. The intent of this process was to identify locations that need improvements within a ¼- ½ mile radius around the schools and also to identify the safest routes to school within the same distance. 

Schools that were assessed for potential traffic calming projects and future improvements included:

  1. Argonaut Elementary School
  2. Blue Hills Elementary School
  3. Christa McAuliffe Elementary School
  4. Marshall Lane
  5. Foothill Elementary School
  6. Prospect High School
  7. Redwood Middle School
  8. Saratoga Elementary School
  9. Saratoga High School
  10. Sacred Heart School (Private)
  11. St. Andrew’s Episcopal School (Private) 

Saratoga’s Master Plan is based on a Safe System method developed by the Federal Highway Administration, which takes an analytical approach to improving traffic safety.