Billings seeks public input on safe routes to school

Not all parents have the luxury of being able to drop their primary-age children off at school every morning or pick them up in the afternoon. Work or life schedules can make this impossible and if so, children can walk or cycle to school. Even students who use bus transport frequently make the last round trip from their home to the bus pick-up / drop-off location.

It has been a decade since the Road Safety Plan was last updated.

The Billings-Yellowstone County Metropolitan Planning Organization is responsible for mapping and planning safe routes for children to access their schools. The plan was last revised in 2011. As our city continues to grow, there is a growing need for safety and accessibility for students who walk or cycle to school. . There are four main tasks in updating the Safe School Access Plan:

  • Assess the current walking, cycling and rolling conditions for the students.
  • Identify any obstacles or problems that might discourage students from walking or rolling to school.
  • Prioritize projects that can be built to improve conditions for students.
  • Create walking route maps for Billings’ 22 public elementary schools.

They are accepting public comment until December 17.

The group says many students in Billings do not feel safe walking or cycling to school due to things like busy streets, lack of sidewalks, unmarked crossings, and more. If your child has a difficult route to school, let the authorities know. There is an easy to use, interactive map HERE where you can report deficiencies in walking / rolling access to your child’s school.

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