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Evaluating the Safe Routes to School transportation program in social vulnerable communities in San Diego County, California

Location: San Diego County – Chula Vista, California

Child safety is among the strongest impediments to children walking or biking to school, but for some it is a necessity due to financial or other circumstances.

Walking or biking to school is more than twice as common among students from low-income households than students from higher income households. Creating safe routes to school is one key mechanism to achieve social equity goals by providing safe opportunities to walk and bike regardless of a community’s socio-economic composition. The project selected 2-5 elementary schools located in socially vulnerable communities in the City of Chula Vista, CA to evaluate the effectiveness of the Safe Routes to School program. The project developed (i) hot spot maps for future routing improvement and policy measures, (ii) develop a web-based interactive dashboard tool to visualize transit safety monitoring and reporting, (iii) developed virtual reality educational road safety training for children, and (iv) strengthen community collaboration across San Diego County.


Dr. Gabriela Fernandez (Principal Investigator and Metabolism of Cities Living Lab, US), Dr. Arash Jahangiri (Civil Engineering and Star Lab at SDSU, US), Dr. Sahar Ghanipoor-Machiani (Civil Engineering and Star Lab at SDSU, US), Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou (Geography); Researchers: Bita Etaati (MS Big Data Analytics, US), and Christian Mejia (MS Big Data Analytics). Special thanks to Safe-D National – University Transportation Centers Program, Texas A&M, and Virginia Tech.

Project Website