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News // October 30, 2013

Safe Routes to School: Lakeview Elementary School

Each weekday morning at Lakeview Elementary School, lines of cars are parked along the four-way intersection at Lakeview Road and East Lakeview Road. Children are scrambling out of cars – walking and running, with or without parents and siblings – on winding dirt paths to get to school on time. When it rains, the dirt paths become large puddles of mud, so students must walk in the street.    Recognizing an unmet need, Kelly Bailey, a parent of a Lakeside student, stepped up to take action for safer routes to school for children at Lakeview Elementary.

Bailey began researching how to improve safety and walkability, including how to work with the community to add sidewalks.  She teamed up with three other Lakeview parent’s — Kellee Dietrich, Sue Riingin and Nylea Smith — and 2nd grade Lakeview teacher, Janine Samancsin, to apply for a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grant.


Together they wrote an application that included surveillance data and plans for enforcement and engineering strategies.  The team also met with school officials and city council members, held forums for community members and worked with local law enforcement.  They received a Safe Routes to School Infrastructure grant for sidewalk, curb, and gutter installations near the school, supported by data from collaborative walkability workshops and walk audits conducted by WalkSanDiego.

Using data collected from this first SRTS grant, the team applied for and was awarded a second SRTS grant to improve the safety conditions for child pedestrians and bicyclists near Lakeview Elementary School. A SRTS workshop, in conjunction with the grant, was held in May 2013 for parents and school staff to be educated on the importance of health, community, traffic management and the environmental benefits of walking to school.

The Lakeview Elementary SRTS program has successfully completed Phase I of the sidewalk project, with Phase 2 set to begin in summer of 2014. 
In addition, Lakeview Elementary has implemented:

  • A monthly Walk to School day with over 180 students participating
  • An “I drive 25” campaign where parents sign a pledge to drive 25 mph in a school zone
  • An annual bike rodeo in which students learn about bike safety and improve their biking skills

Through collaboration with community partners, Lakeview Elementary’s SRTS programs have been successful in providing children with healthier, safer routes to school.  Partners include WalkSanDiego, Lakeview Planning Group, Lakeside Union School District, Lakeside Highway Patrol, County of San Diego Public Works Department, and the Sheriff’s Department.

For more information about Lakeview Elementary School District
or SRTS programs, click here >>

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Many thanks to Kelly Bailey and her children, Janine Samancosin, and Rhonda Taylor for sharing their story.