Effectiveness of a Safe Routes to School Program in Preventing School-Aged Pedestrian Injury

Department of Anesthesiology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 01/2013; 131(2). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-2182
Source: PubMed


In 2005, the US Congress allocated $612 million for a national Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program to encourage walking and bicycling to schools. We analyzed motor vehicle crash data to assess the effectiveness of SRTS interventions in reducing school-aged pedestrian injury in New York City.

Using geocoded motor vehicle crash data for 168 806 pedestrian injuries in New York City between 2001 and 2010, annual pedestrian injury rates per 10 000 population were calculated for different age groups and for census tracts with and without SRTS interventions during school-travel hours (defined as 7 am to 9 am and 2 pm to 4 pm, Monday through Friday during September through June).

During the study period, the annual rate of pedestrian injury decreased 33% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 30 to 36) among school-aged children (5- to 19-year-olds) and 14% (95% CI: 12 to 16) in other age groups. The annual rate of school-aged pedestrian injury during school-travel hours decreased 44% (95% CI: 17 to 65) from 8.0 injuries per 10 000 population in the preintervention period (2001-2008) to 4.4 injuries per 10 000 population in the postintervention period (2009-2010) in census tracts with SRTS interventions. The rate remained virtually unchanged in census tracts without SRTS interventions (0% [95% CI: -8 to 8]).

Implementation of the SRTS program in New York City has contributed to a marked reduction in pedestrian injury in school-aged children.

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Available from: Guohua Li, May 13, 2014
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    • "g . , humps , dividers , traffic circles / roundabouts ) and injury prevention ( Ewing , 2001 ; DiMaggio and Li , 2013 ) , as well as the importance of street connectedness for promoting safe walking ( Bungum et al . , 2009 ) . "
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study is to develop a measure of traffic calming with nationally available GIS data from NAVTEQ and to validate the traffic calming index with the percentage of children reported by school administrators as walking or biking to school, using data from a nationally representative sample of elementary schools in 2006–2010. Specific models, with and without correlated errors, examined associations of objective GIS measures of the built environment, nationally available from NAVTEQ, with the latent construct of traffic calming. The best fit model for the latent traffic calming construct was determined to be a five factor model including objective measures of intersection density, count of medians/dividers, count of low mobility streets, count of roundabouts, and count of on-street parking availability, with no correlated errors among items. This construct also proved to be a good fit for the full measurement model when the outcome measure of percentage of students walking or biking to school was added to the model. The traffic calming measure was strongly, significantly, and positively correlated with the percentage of students reported as walking or biking to school. Applicability of results to public health and transportation policies and practices are discussed.
    Transportation Research Part D Transport and Environment 12/2014; 33:17–25. DOI:10.1016/j.trd.2014.08.022 · 1.94 Impact Factor
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    • "Our primary intention in this paper was to precisely estimate the point at which declines in school-age, school-travel pedestrian injury in SRTS areas are likely to have occurred, and to estimate the change in risk based on this more precise estimate. A previous analysis of these data similarly demonstrated the association of SRTS interventions with decreased pediatric pedestrian injury risk, but one could reasonably interpret the time series as indicating changes prior to the implementation of interventions (DiMaggio & Li 2013). The current analysis indicates the change was very likely to have occurred at or about the time SRTS interventions were implemented, and was associated with meaningful, though in this analysis not statistically significant, decreases in risk. "
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    ABSTRACT: In 2005, the US Congress allocated $612 million for a national Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program to encourage walking and bicycling to schools. We evaluated the effectiveness of a Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS) in controlling pedestrian injuries among school-age children. Bayesian changepoint analysis of quarterly counts of pedestrian injuries among 5 to 19-year- old children in New York City between 2001 and 2010 during school-travel hours in census tracts with and without SRTS. Overdispersed Poisson modeling for difference in differences following the changepoint. In SRTS-intervention census tracts, a change point in the quarterly counts of injuries was identified in the second quarter of 2008, which was consistent with the timing of the implementation of SRTS interventions. In census tracts with SRTS interventions, the estimated quarterly rates of pedestrian injury per 10,000 population among school-age children during school-travel hours were 3.47 (95% Credible Interval [CrI] 2.67, 4.39) prior to the changepoint, and 0.74 (95% CrI 0.30, 1.50) after the changepoint. There was no change in the average number of quarterly injuries in non-SRTS census tracts . Overdispersed Poisson modeling revealed that SRTS implementation was associated with a 44% reduction (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 87% decrease to 130% increase) in school-age pedestrian injury risk during school-travel hours. Bayesian changepoint analysis of quarterly counts of school-age pedestrian injuries correctly identified the timing of SRTS intervention in New York City. Implementation of the SRTS program in New York City appears to be effective in reducing school-age pedestrian injuries during school-travel hours.
    12/2014; 1(1). DOI:10.1186/s40621-014-0017-0
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