SRTS program contributes to Corvallis award

The Corvallis Safe Routes to School program was a key factor in Corvallis being honored today as one of 10 “Walk Friendly Communities” across the United States by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Walk Friendly Community designation, awarded from bronze to platinum, is given to applicant communities that have demonstrated “a commitment to improving and sustaining walkability and pedestrian safety through comprehensive programs, plans and policies.”

According to the announcement on the Walk Friendly Communities Web site, Corvallis was designated as a bronze-level community due to the city’s dedication to providing accessibility to pedestrians and their great Safe Route to School program. Through the SRTS program, most of the district’s elementary schools participate in monthly Walk/Bike to School Days and have well-organized and trained safety patrols to assist children walking to school.

A 2010 community survey indicated more than 90 percent of respondents said they found it easy to walk in Corvallis and gave the accessibility of walking trails and paths a rating of 90 percent. The city also was commended for its extensive pedestrian signal system, including audible pedestrian signals at all intersections outside the Central Business District and handicap accessible ramps on all corners of signal intersections.

The other cities recognized as Walk Friendly Communities were: Gold Level -- Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco; Silver Level – Philadelphia, Alexandria (VA) and Santa Monica (CA); and Bronze Level – Cary (NC), Davidson (NC) and Lee’s Summit (MO).