Safe Routes to School in Wauwatosa continues to spread word

By Jon Olson
May 21, 2013

Despite a low turnout at a Safe Routes to School meeting this week, the effort to spread the program to elementary schools throughout the Wauwatosa Public Schools continues, said SRTS leader and McKinley School parent Sarah Lerand.

The success of the recent Bike to School day, plans for a walk to school day in the fall, and even a Safe Routes to School presence in the July 4th parade are recent initiatives, Lerand said.

“We’re really trying to build community awareness,” she said.

At Madison School, 10-minute parking signs have been installed on a trial basis, and several schools, including Madison, have created Safe Routes to Schools committees under their Parent-Teacher Associations, giving the SRTS structure and more recognition.

This is important, Lerand said, “because that means that on forms and fees day, there’s a place to check if you want to volunteer or get more information about Safe Routes to School.”

In the 2013-2014 school year, the majority of the elementary schools will have that in place, she said. In fact, in listing off the schools’ organizing programs, Lerand said that almost all the elementaries have a Safe Routes to School plan at some level of development.

Lerand said she and Alderman Jeff Roznowski recently met with Wauwatosa School District Superintendent Phil Ertl.

“It went very very well,” she said. “He was very supportive of what we’ve done so far, and he really expressed that the district as a whole wants to be more involved in the effort to make sure that there are Safe Routes to School programs at all the district schools.”

Ertl offered practical help, she said, such as help with printing materials, advertising the program, getting events on the calendar and so forth. He also attended Eisenhower’s bike to school day.

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