Back in April, Jason Duba, Assistant City Planner for the City of Dubuque, attended the Iowa Bicycle Summit and learned about the new Safe Routes to School Coordinator and unique vision to help move the needle on safe routes programs in our state. Jason has been tirelessly working to get a group of individuals in Dubuque that care and can execute changes to get more students walking, biking, and rolling to school.

Yesterday the committee met in person for the first time. With representatives from Planning Services, the School District student services and transportation, engineering, MPO, the Holy Family Schools, Dubuque Police, transportation services for the city, Sustainable Dubuque, and the Iowa Bicycle Coalition coming together.

The first step was going over the 6 E’s of Safe Routes and using them to establish the mindset for this committee. The 6 E’s led to a fruitful discussion of the current situation in Dubuque and a review of the Safe Routes Plan the city wrote in 2009. This committee will review the 2009 plan and evaluate what positive changes have occurred since then and what still needs to be worked on.

The discussion also led the group to categorize Dubuque’s elementary schools as safe to walk to, have potential, and require engineering infrastructure.

The goals of the Dubuque Safe Routes Committee are:

Increase & maximize school bus usage

Encourage active transportation

Increase attendance

Improve dropoff & pickup lines at school

Identify all problematic traffic issues around schools

With the goals secured, and the different categories of schools, committee members are looking at ways to start implementing new Safe Routes programs at the different elementary schools such as teaching traffic safety education in 2nd through 4th grade, identifying safe routes to walk to school and promoting that to parents, engaging in encouragement events to help foster a sense of community and get kids to walk or bike to school together. And to promote that a safe route for a young student is a safe route for everyone as Iowa tries to create more walkable communities.

Want to partner with Safe Routes and start improving the commute for youth in your town? Reach out to us and see how we can work together to promote active transportation in our state.

Want to help us promote safe routes, active transportation, and healthy habits in Iowa? Feel free to donate to help us achieve our matching grant.