The School Area Traffic Control Policy (SATCP), provides information regarding the establishment of school zones, crossings, adult crossing guards and Safe Routes to School (Infrastructure, Encouragemet and Traffic Control) maps. The School Area Traffic Control Policy can be found here.
2023 – 2024 Safe Routes to School Revised Routes, Ped/Bike Projects and Proposed Adult Crossing Guards
The Safe Routes to School Plan provides a provision to review and revise the plan based on changes to district boundaries. Following the decision by the USD 497 School Board on Monday March 27th to close Broken Arrow and Pinckney, the Safe Routes to School Working group met to discuss the timeline for the decision around boundaries. Based on the School Board decisions on April 24th and May 8th to set the new elementary boundaries for the 2023-2024 school year, the SRTS Working group developed the following proposed routes, identified pedestrian & bikeway projects and recommend adult crossing guard locations and pilots based on the final adopted boundaries. The timeline to develop these recommendations was compressed due to the timing of the decisions of the USD 497 School Board. For Adult Crossing Guard recommendations, the timeline prevented staff from following the School Area Traffic Control Policy; more detail to these exceptions can be found in the Adult Crossing Guard section of the report linked below.
Public comments on the proposed planned infrastructure route changes, identified projects, and proposed adult crossing guard locations can be provided thru the online survey at https://lawrenceks.org/mpo/tellus/ from May 10th thru 23rd or at the Open House. At the open house, staff will share the proposals, answer questions and hear your thoughts on May 16th from 4:30-6:30pm in the Lawrence Public Library auditorium. All comments collected will be shared with the Multimodal Transportation Commission for final recommendation on the SRTS plan amendment and recommended placement of adult crossing guards before the SRTS Plan Amendment and Crossing Guard decision will go to the City Commission.
View the Proposed SRTS Infrastructure Maps, SRTS Pedestrian & Bikeway Projects and Proposed Adult Crossing Guards
Generally crossing guards are at their location 30 minutes prior to the start of school and 30 minutes after school ends.
It is the City’s best intention to ensure a guard is at their assigned location on school days; however, there may be instances a guard isn’t there due to absences.
When feasible, City staff will provide coverage for adult crossing guard absences at the discretion of Division and Department heads with available staff. Ongoing City programs and operations may not always allow for coverage of unplanned adult crossing guard absences. In the event that City staff cannot provide coverage for an unplanned adult crossing guard absence, City staff will notify staff from the affected school.
Locations that were evaluated and did not meet the warrants in the last five years will be subject to re-evaluation in 5 years. The Safe Routes to School Plan recognizes there are other options available to facilitate maintaining crossing guards at intersections that do not meet warrants, such as assembling volunteer guards to assist students crossing the street. Additionally community led Walking School
Buses are also an option to encourage students to walk and wheel to school. Learn more about how to start a walking school bus.
In a typical year, new crossing guard locations can be requested in writing to the Municipal Services and Operations Department in coordination with the Site Council or USD 497. The requests will be reviewed and recommended for evaluation by the SRTS Working Group. Once data is collected and the location is evaluated, the SRTS Working Group will review the results and recommend crossing guard placement.
Requests for new crossing guards will be evaluated against the warrants based on potential crossings. If the potential crossings meet warrants, a guard will be placed for one school year and actual counts will be taken while school is in session and the guard is in place. If the actual counts meet warrants, the guard will be maintained. If the actual counts do not meet warrants, the guard will be removed at the end of the school year. Potential crossings will be calculated based on the most recent geocoded student address information provided by USD 497 and the pedestrian model routing that will use the sidewalk network to assess routes students would use to get to their assigned school. The number of students that the model reports as using the segment where the adult crossing guard is requested will be recorded as the potential crossing number. Recommendations to add crossing guards will be considered by the City Commission prior to the beginning of the following school year in conjunction with the City’s budget process. Requested locations shall be evaluated no more than once every five years.
Details about how the 2023-2024 year was conducted differently can be found in the Crossing Guard section above.
After the approval of the Safe Routes to School Plan, the Multi-Modal Transportation Commission (MMTC) scheduled discussions and review of the policy. The MMTC reviewed the crossing guard data and School Area Traffic Control policy at their Study Session on March 1, 2021
, and at their meeting on June 7, 2021
. The MMTC asked for additional data regarding equity and potential usage of crossings. At the MMTC meeting on August 2, 2021
, information was presented regarding the equity impacts of removing crossing guards by using the transportation-disadvantaged population analysis, which incorporates low-moderate income households, minorities, individuals with mobility disabilities, individuals with less than a high school education, single-parent households, zero vehicle households, youth and senior citizens to evaluate potential crossings. Additionally, to calculate potential use a crossing could have the pedestrian model mapped routes between origins (student homes) and schools. Based on this additional information and the addition of a potential crossings evaluation for requested crossing guard locations, the MMTC recommended approval of the School Area Traffic Control Policy to the City Commission. The School Area Traffic Control Policy (including crossing guard placement) was approved at their August 17, 2021
Historically, the City of Lawrence has solely funds the adult crossing guard program and as of 2020 spent $117,000 per year to provide the service.
The Lawrence-Douglas County Safe Routes to School Program is a partnership with Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health. View the Be Active Safe Routes site find school maps.
View the Safe Routes to School Plan.
Find out more about the Safe Routes to School built environment improvements.
Learn about what the City and Lawrence Public Schools does to promote school safety.