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The Monmouth-Independence Safe Routes to School Program is a collaboration between the cities of Independence and Monmouth, the Independence Police Department, the Independence Traffic Safety Commission and Central School District 13J. The purpose of the program is to integrate health, fitness, environmental awareness and safety into one collective program.
The Safe Routes to School Program uses a 4-tiered approach which focuses on engineering, encouragement, enforcement and education as means of enabling children to walk and bike to school. An increase in walkers and bikers and a decrease in automobile use benefits students through better health, personal enjoyment, better concentration in school and environmental exposure. The community benefits through cleaner air, increased social interaction and an overall safer environment.
As part of the program, the City of Independence is working to: hold encouragement activities; address school-related safety concerns through the traffic safety commission; integrate walking and biking safety education into the classroom; increase traffic enforcement around the schools and to construct a safe off-street route for pedestrian travel.
The City recently worked with each of the K-8 schools in the district to survey parents and students as a means of evaluating current modes of travel, parent concerns and to look at potential improvements.