Safe Routes to school
In 2019, the School District of Altoona, Chippewa Falls Area School District, and the Eau Claire Area School District, along with partners from each city, chose to work collaboratively to create a regional safe routes to school program. The intention of forming a regional partnership is to share messaging, and delivery of the SRTS program throughout the Chippewa Valley. Now known as the Chippewa Valley SRTS (CV SRTS) Partnership, the partners will implement a SRTS program at the regional scale by following the six E's framework.
The West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (WCWRPC) initiated this effort and works as the regional coordinator for the three districts. In addition, to working collaboratively, WCWRPC also works with each school and city individually.
This program is funded by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). This grant was awarded in 2020, and the formation of the group was a huge component in being awarded those funds.
The partnership continues to meet twice a year to discuss progress in their SRTS plan in the time between meetings. The meetings provide time for the members to collaborate on ideas, learn from one another, and coordinate regional implementation activities. WCWRPC facilitates the meetings, tracks progress, and serves as the liaison between the schools, cities, and other partners.
The projects listed below are examples of some of the projects from previous and current years.
Crossing Guard Training Video
Footage for this video was collected at Putnam Heights and Locust Lane Elementary Schools (ECASD). The video is seven minutes long, and provides tips and suggestions for success of the crossing guard program. This video can be found on the WCWRPC's YouTube Channel.
ECASD Bike Parking Audit
A Bike parking audit was started in 2019 but was completed in October 2020. Data provided by the City of Eau Claire Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) was field verified by the WCWRPC and evaluated using bike parking criteria from the National SRTS Program and the City of Eau Claire. The results of the audit were organized into a report detailing the findings and recommendations from each school in the district.
Altoona Community Signage
The City of Altoona was interested in installing community-wide signage indicating its status as a Safe Routes to School community. These signs would be placed along primary SRTS corridors. WCWRPC provided a map with proposed sign locations, these signs are currently in the city's budget to purchase and install.
Chippewa Falls Plan Update
Written in 2015, the CFAUSD plan was the oldest of the Chippewa Valley. A 5 year plan update is appropriate to evaluate progress made, identify new issues and opportunities, and reassess priorities. The plan update was completed in March 2021.
Informational posters were developed to be displayed at school administration offices, and at school entrances. The posters included description of the six E's, map of designated safe routes, and safety tips.
Eau Claire Sign Inventory
In September 2021, a school zone sign inventory for the City of Eau Claire was completed. Data was collected based on what kind of sign, the condition, and if there were any obstructions. This data was then mapped and given to the City.
Walk to School Day
Beginning in 1997, the first Wednesday of October is recognized as National Walk to School Day. Thousands of schools across the nation celebrate each year. The WCWRPC staff promoted the event and attended at Locust Lane Elementary School (ECASD).
School District of Altoona Plan Update
Written in 2017, Altoona's plan is currently the oldest of the three districts'. The WCWRPC will facilitate the plan updates using a similar effective planning method as CFAUSD. This plan will be completed by August 2022.
ECASD Plan Update
ECASD's SRTS Plan was completed in 2018. ECASD is the biggest school district in the Chippewa Valley and in West Central Wisconsin. The update will start in fall of 2022 and be completed by summer 2023.
School Zone Speed Studies
With new speed monitoring devices, the WCWRPC has begun a new study. WCWRPC collects speed data of vehicles traveling in a school zone. This data is then used to produce an infographic that schools can use on social media.
ECASD School Zone Speed Study Report
Once vehicle speeds were collected, WCWRPC wrote a report showing all of the data collected for each school, the average speed travelled throughout the district, and recommended traffic calming strategies to explore.