Check out the new release of the New Jersey School Zone Design Guide! 

The New Jersey School Zone Design Guide is a new resource which provides guidance for schools, local government and community members involved in efforts to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school.  The guide was prepared for the New Jersey Department of Transportation by the RBA Group and Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc.

The design guide is to be used as a resource for school boards, school administration, police, parents and engineers to advance the goals of the NJ Safe Routes to School program.  Physical improvements to the transportation infrastructure and environment around schools can improve safety for children and parents who walk and bicycle to school. Examples can range from simple sidewalk replacement/repair to more complex traffic calming such as speed humps and curb extensions. Illustrations of best practices were gathered from school communities across New Jersey.

The New Jersey School Zone Design Guide is a comprehensive manual containing valuable information and divided into the following chapters:

Chapter 1: Introduction and Overview – includes information about the Safe Routes to School program and the benefits of walking and bicycling to school.

Chapter 2: What is a School Zone? – covers the definition of a school zone, a discussion about the laws related to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, and school travel plans.[lightbox link=”” thumb=”×236.jpg” width=”300″ align=”right” title=”School ZOne sign” frame=”true” icon=”image”]

Chapter 3: MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) Traffic Control for School Areas – offers best practices for uses of school zone signage, pavement markings and other devices.

Chapter 4: Determining Placement of Crossing Guards – provides guidance on identifying where Crossing Guards are needed including guidelines for crossing guard use.

Chapter 5: Crossing the Street – suggests practices and treatments that can be used to provide safer street crossings at midblock and intersections.

Chapter 6: Along the Street – describes types of infrastructure to make walking and bicycling to school safer such as sidewalks, buffers, and bike lanes.

Chapter 7: Traffic Calming – highlights engineering techniques that are effective in reducing the speed and volume of motor vehicles.

Chapter 8: Students and Bicycling – discusses some ways that bicycling to and from school can be encouraged and made safer for students.

Chapter 9: The School Site and Grounds – presents important pedestrian and bicycle safety elements of locating a well-designed school site.

Chapter 10: Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) – reviews design and manipulation of the physical environment at and around schools to help improve personal safety and reduce the likelihood of crime.

Chapter 11: Schools near Railroad Crossings – focuses on the unique concerns related to students using railroad crossings on their route to and from school.

Chapter 12: Schools near Highway Ramps – offers design solutions to improve visibility, reduce vehicular speeds and increase safety for cyclists and pedestrians near ramps and jughandles.

Chapter 13: Maintenance and Other Improvements – discusses how regular maintenance to sidewalks and roadways is essential to promote safety, ensure ease of access and encourage the use of a designated route.

Chapter 14: How to Start Improving your School Zone – offers steps and resources to improve walking and bicycling conditions in your town.

There is a wealth of information available in this School Zone Design Guide to help improve walking and bicycling conditions around New Jersey schools and it is a valuable resource to continually reference!  Bookmark it at!!