Oak Creek WI Safe Routes to School

Implementation was a key goal - and began even before the plan was completed. On the photo: implementation of high-visibility crosswalks near a school to address issues discovered during site visits and timed for implementation with the city's Engineering Department as part of previously-scheduled street maintenance.

Oak Creek, a city of approximately 35,000 people located just south of Milwaukee, is focused on improving walkability and access to Active Transportation for all people in their community.

CDG worked closely with City of Oak Creek staff and volunteers to prepare a set of Safe Routes to School Action Plans for all nine public elementary and middle schools in their school district. The Action Plans, based on a “6Es” approach, outline recommendations and implementation strategies for development of programs and infrastructure that create a safer walking and biking environment for school-age children, with the goal of increasing walking and biking to each of their schools.

The Action Plans were developed in close collaboration with each school’s community - from students, teachers and parents to district leadership, community health partners, city and county transportation staff, local police, and other stakeholders - to improve recommendations through their insights and participation, and to build support for implementation of both programming and infrastructure improvements. The Action Plans identify priorities and phasing, and offer flexibility in their approach to respond to funding opportunities.

Implementation was a key goal and benefit of the conversations and process we convened. Through a strong partnership with the city's Engineering Department, implementation of several key recommendations began even before the plans were completed (in fact, as soon as visits to individual school sites highlighted opportunities for important improvements - for example, including striping of several high-visibility crosswalks near schools as part of previously-scheduled roadway maintenance work in spring 2018). Implementation of at least three other infrastructure projects is already programmed for 2019, and this number is expected to grow as a result of a recent funding increase for school improvements.

The plan was officially approved and adopted by the City of Oak Creek Common Council at their meeting of March 5, 2019. We are excited to be part of this effort in the Oak Creek community.

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