Emporia Safe Routes to School

Emporia, KS

As part of their commitment to reduce obesity in local youth, the Emporia Community Health Coalition advocated utilizing opportunities available through the Safe Routes to Schools program. The emphasis was placed upon getting more youth to walk and bike to and from schools. The City of Emporia initially applied for and was awarded funding, used to conduct an engineering assessment and plan. BG Consultants worked closely with the CHC and numerous other community organizations to develop the plan, assisting efforts by providing expert analyses of the City’s school routes.

Surveys of all the City’s elementary schools revealed that safety concerns and lack of infrastructure were preventing students from walking or biking to school. Environmental barriers such as railroad tracks and traffic were one point of concern. Walkability audits were performed to determine conditions of sidewalks and crosswalks, review traffic signage, and identify traffic and safety issues. A lack of sidewalks or sidewalk continuity, ADA accessible ramps at intersections, and signage and traffic control were identified as problem areas.

As part of the second phase, BG engineers designed infrastructure improvements centered around three schools, entailing:

  • School Zone signing around schools at and in advance of crosswalks
  • New school speed zone signing
  • Marked crosswalks along school routes
  • Sidewalk ramps and other sidewalk improvements
  • Dividing island with sidewalk separating drop-off lane
  • Raised crosswalks

Funding for this project was provided in part through the federal Safe Routes to School reimbursement program, administered by KDOT. 


City of Emporia, Kansas