Safe Routes To School


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Plan available on this webpage: "Plan, Maps & Data."


Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are an opportunity to make walking and bicycling to school safer for children in grades K-8, and to increase the number of children who choose to walk and bicycle. On a broader level, SRTS programs can enhance children’s health and well-being, ease traffic congestion near the school, and improve community members’ overall quality of life.

In 2016, 10 school districts won a WisDOT SRTS planning grant as part of the Northcentral Wisconsin Regional SRTS Program, administered by NCWRPC.

In the fall of 2019-2020, the City of Merrill, and the Merrill School District began SRTS Planning with the assistance of the North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (NCWRPC). The NCWRPC will guide the Merrill SRTS Task Force through the planning process.

The following schools are part of SRTS planning:
- Jefferson Elementary School (K-5);
- Kate Goodrich Elementary School (K-5);
- Washington Elementary School (K-5);
- Prairie River Middle School (6-8); and
- Merrill High School (9-12);

The Merrill Safe Routes To School (SRTS) Task Force consists of people from the schools, law enforcement, local government officials, and local residents.


Task Force Meeting #1 - (Fall 2019).

Merrill SRTS Task Force kick-off meeting.

- Overview planning process.

- Present data.

- Identify issues and concerns.

- Conduct walk audit on airphoto map around school.


Task Force Meeting #2 - (Winter 2019).

Identify solutions. The Task Force will review the issues, and include a combination of education, encouragement, engineering, and enforcement strategies to help resolve the issues of why children are not walking or biking to school. These will be listed in the Recommendations chapter.

    Education—includes teaching pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers about traffic safety and creating awareness of the benefits and goals of SRTS.

    Encouragement—strategies are about having fun; they generate excitement and interest in walking and bicycling.

    Engineering—focuses on tools that work to create safe routes by improving paths, creating safer crossings, and slowing down traffic. At the same time, it recognizes the importance of a balanced roadway environment that can accommodate the needs of all modes of transportation, be it foot, bicycle, or motor vehicle.

    Enforcement—strategies are used to deter unsafe behaviors of drivers, pedestrians, & bicyclists, and to encourage all road users to obey traffic laws and share the road safely.


Task Force Meeting #3 - (Virtual in Fall of 2020).

- Review feedback and make changes to SRTS Plan Recommendations.

- Discuss plan adoption procedures.

- Identify next steps for possible implementation.


Adoption Meetings (Winter/Spring 2021):

City Council Review & Adoption Meetings.

School Board Review & Adoption Meetings.





  North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission