Safe Routes to School: Olympia School District to partner with city council

Superintendent and city manager to draft proposal for joint city-school steering committee


The Olympia School District (OSD) and Olympia City Council are set to form a steering committee for the Safe Routes to Schools initiative, which aims to provide better walking and biking routes across the city.

“Since we passed the most recent capital levy around safety and technology, part of that levy was a little less than $2 million that was earmarked for improving routes to school for walking and biking,” OSD President Hilary Seidel said.

Seidel explained that the school board may use the capital levies for improvements that happen off-campus if they are on or connected to a designated route to school.

OSD has met with the Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) to ask for advice from them on how to proceed, as the council has been developing the routes to school for all three large districts in the county. Seidel said TRPC is the "convener” of conversations where municipalities collaborate.

TRPC suggested forming a small steering committee made up of one elected and one focal person from both jurisdictions, along with two to three community members knowledgeable about walking and biking routes.

“I think there's a lot of opportunity here for us to collaborate,” said City Manager Jay Burney.

Seidel added that the school district is also planning a “community feedback loop” with several sessions where people could weigh in on the criteria being used for the selection of proposed projects and the project ranking once it is completed.


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  • BobJacobs

    This is, of course, a good idea. But it is not new. The City of Olympia was prioritizing school walking routes for its sidewalk construction program over 30 years ago.

    Bob Jacobs

    Monday, May 6 Report this