Safe Routes to School and Clara Byrd Baker Parents’ Efforts to Secure Safe Walking and Biking Routes Rewarded

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Published On: September 17th, 2018

Laurel Lane Elementary students choose incentive prizes after walking and biking to school.

Clara Byrd Baker Elementary School parent, Tyler Thomson, contacted the Safe Routes to School office seeking a solution. He did not want his children to have to continue to take a 20-minute bus ride to school because they were unable to safely make the five-minute walk across the street alone.     Dr. Darlene Dockery, the Safe Routes to School Coordinator, arranged a meeting with James City County Planning officials. This led to a successful collaboration between James City County and WJCC Schools on the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program grant application.

Recently, James City County was notified that they received a grant to fund pedestrian improvements serving the Clara Byrd Baker Elementary School. Staff from the County and the Williamsburg-James City County School division applied for the grant in 2017, after working with parents, school officials and other stakeholders to identify the needs of pedestrians at the school and surrounding neighborhoods. Funded improvements include safe crossings on Ironbound Road and the Five Forks intersection; sidewalk improvements along Ironbound Road; and pedestrian improvements at the school. Staff is working with a consultant to begin the preparation of engineered plans for the project. For more information regarding the grant application, funding and applications and allocations for Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020, visit”

WJCC Safe Routes to School target schools will also benefit from funds awarded to Sentara’s Safe Kids program for International Walk to School Day support and spring bike and pedestrian safety efforts.

Upcoming Safe Routes to School Activities include:

Fall Travel Tallies September/October 2018
It is that time of year again when Student Travel Tallies data are collected in Virginia per your school’s choice of 2 consecutive days (T, W or W, Th) during the months of September and October up to October 9th.

Zone In Not Out – School Zone Safety Campaign
Zone In, Not Out is a package of resources that can help make school zones safer for all travelers, especially children.

Norge Elementary School Walk to School Day – September 18
This Park and Walk event will begin Safe Routes to School program activities at Norge for 2018- 2019. Participants are asked to meet at Our Saviour Lutheran Church on Richmond Road between 8:45 am  – 9:00 am.

International Walk to School Day – October 10
This will be the kickoff of the Walk and Roll Incentive Programs at Safe Routes to School target sites: Matthew Whaley Elementary, James River Elementary, Laurel Lane Elementary, Norge Elementary, Clara Byrd Baker Elementary, Berkley Middle School, and our newest site, Stonehouse Elementary.

Bike Safety Club
Norge Elementary’s Bike Safety Club facilitated by BikeWalk Williamsburg will begin October 10, 2018

We need Safe Routes to School Champions!

If you are interested in being a Safe Routes to School Champion at your school, please email by 9/30/18.

Opportunities include:

  • Leading Walking School Buses & Hosting Walk and Roll to School Day Monthly Events
  • Serving as Staff Sponsor for SHIP Bike Safety Clubs
  • Serving as Staff Sponsor for a Before School Bike to School Bike Building SHIP Club (Grades 4–8 only. Participating students must bike to and from school.)

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