SRTS: Sunshine Gardens Elementary School

South San Francisco, CA (September 2020-Present)

In colloboration with the San Mateo Office of Education and Sunshine Gardens Elementary School

Project Goal:

Document safety risks near schools and encourage increased rates of walking/biking to school.

Guiding Question:

“What makes it easy or hard to walk or bike to school? What ideas do you have for making it better?”

Project Description:

Using their own or borrowed project devices, a total of 28 Sunshine Garden Elementary citizen scientists (including parents, teachers, school administrators, and other local stakeholders) conducted walking assessments over a period five days, using the Discovery Tool app to identify facilatotors and barriers of safe routes to school.


Over a total of 24 collection walks, Sunshine Garden citizen scientists collected 261 photos and recorded 232 narratives about their environment.

These records were catagorized into 9 themes:

  • Condition of Sidewalks and Pathways (85 photos)
  • Crossings and Crosswalks (59 photos)
  • Vehicle Speed (30 photos)
  • Traffic Signs, Lights and Controls (26 photos)
  • Bike Accommodations and Facilities (23 photos)
  • General Safety and Security (23 photos)
  • Connectivity of Sidewalks and Pathways (22 photos)
  • Vehicle Behavior (22 photos)
  • Uncategorized (51 photos)

After data collection, 30 project participants attended a follow-up community meeting to discuss observations, celebrate strengths, and identify areas for improvement.

Strengths Identified:

  • Residents are supportive of one another
  • Neighborhood members know who to talk to in order to make community change

Identified Areas for Improvement: 

  • Incomplete network of sidewalks & bike facilities
  • Unsafe crossings & missing infrastructure 
  • Lack of traffic safety measure
  • Unsafe vehicle speeds & behaviors

Activities and Outcomes:

Using Discovery Tool data, 23 strategies and solutions  regarding safer routes to school were generated, incuding:

  • Improvements in the pedestrian and bicycle network
  • Slower traffic/decreased conflicts with pedestrians & bikes
  • Improvements in walk/bike supports and encouragement for all students
  • Five-minute vehicle safety delay
  • Installation of satellite drop-off and pick-up areas

Associated Publications:

Our Voice Impact

"This experience has changed my life.  I see inadequacies everywhere I go as it relates to pedestrian access and safety.  I even stop [at] construction sites to remind them to be considerate of the handicapped in our community.  Thank you all so much for this awareness and empowerment to require change."

~ Pam Jiner, GirlTrek Advocacy Leader, Denver CO