School Travel Planning in Gorham

February 15, 2015 at 12:04 pm Leave a comment

Written for the February 2015 Maine Safe Routes to School e-Newsletter

gorham-2-students-bike-through-village-on-sidewalk-sarah-cushmanDuring the process for updating the Town of Gorham’s Village Master Plan this winter, community planners coordinated with the Maine Safe Routes to School Program to assess student safety needs and their walking and bicycling activities in the Gorham village area. Both Village Elementary and Gorham Middle School draw walking and bicycling students from the village area and about half of Middle School students walk into the village on the school’s early release days.

Sarah Cushman, Southern Maine Planning consultant to Maine SRTS, held discussions with Gorham Schools’ district transportation staff and administrators at both schools to get a sense of the walk and bike culture at the two locations and to review district busing and walking policies and their implications. The process also included assessing the physical infrastructure in the village area (like sidewalks, crossings, and off-road path connections), and surveying parents and students for walking and bicycling rates and safety concerns.

These results are being collated into a sub-section of the town’s updated Village Master Plan with specific recommendations for infrastructure improvements and community programming. Interestingly, the student and family surveys offered additional support for a number of the infrastructure recommendations that had already been formulated by the project’s planners.  Schools and families will also be encouraged to participate in an upcoming community meeting about the plan in March.

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Entry filed under: Active Transportation, Safe Routes to School, Transportation Infrastucture Improvements. Tags: , , , , , .

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