Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes To School

Safe Routes to School is a national initiative to encourage youth to walk and bike to school more often. The program is robust in Richfield. The City works in partnership with Richfield Public Schools on Safe Routes to School (SRTS) projects, and has since 2009. Our efforts to encourage Richfield families to walk and bike more often typically fall within the “6 E” strategies of SRTS. They are:

  • Education
  • Encouragement
  • Engineering
  • Engagement
  • Evaluation
  • Equity

                                                   Image courtesy of Richfield Public Schools

Safe Routes to School Comprehensive Plan

The best way to accomplish any goal is to start from a great plan—luckily, Richfield is set up for success. The program is guided by the 2014 Safe Routes to School Comprehensive plan, which includes data, concepts, best practices, and specific action items in Richfield. View the 2014 Safe routes to School Comprehensive Plan.

Upcoming & Ongoing Projects

The remainder of this page describes planning and infrastructure projects that are coordinated out of the Richfield Public Works office. For more information about educational and encouragement programming, please visit the SRTS page on the Richfield Public Schools website.

Traffic Environment Improvements at Richfield STEM & RDLS

A SRTS Engineering Study of the area near Richfield STEM and Richfield Dual Language School was conducted in 2020 with the aim of identifying ways to make the roads and parking lots safer and more welcoming during student arrival and dismissal. You may read the report’s executive summary here. The full Richfield SRTS Engineering Study report can be provided upon request.

The study made six infrastructure suggestions, with an emphasis on improvements for people who are walking or bicycling. RPS and Public Works has started to seek funding for and implement some of the suggestions.

Sidewalk and Crossing Enhancements on E. 71st Street

The City has secured a SRTS Infrastructure grant to construct a sidewalk on E 71st Street (between 12th Avenue and Elliot Avenue) as well as crossing enhancements at the 71st/Elliot intersection. These improvements are scheduled for construction in Fall 2023.

Demonstration Intersection Safety Improvements on E. 70th Street

Our local SRTS program has installed temporary safety improvements along 70th Street at the intersections of 12th Avenue and Elliot Avenue. These demonstrations aim to test different strategies to calm traffic and improve safety, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists. This project is was installed in Spring 2023 and its effectiveness will be evaluated throughout the Summer and Fall of 2023. If you’ve navigated the area and have encountered the safety improvements, please take our survey and let us know what you think!

Multiuse Path on W. 73rd Street Near Centennial Elementary

Of all elementary students in the city’s public school district, the youth who attend Centennial Elementary live closest to their school and walk to school at the highest rate. That said, one of the primary walking routes to Centennial lacks safe pedestrian infrastructure.

Phase 1 – Demonstration Project: To address this safety issue, Richfield’s SRTS program will test an on-street multiuse trail along 73rd Street between Bloomington Avenue and Cedar Avenue. Installation is tentatively planned for Summer 2023.

Phase 2 – Reconstruction: Richfield Public Works will use data from the demonstration project to design and construct a permanent multiuse trail along the corridor, as well as intersection improvements at Bloomington Avenue and 16th Avenue. Additionally, the project will include ADA accessible ramps to the Nokomis-Minnesota River Regional Trail. The project is primarily funded by a successful application to the Metropolitan Council’s Regional Solicitation infrastructure program. Construction is planned for 2026. 

Past Projects

Spot Improvements on Bloomington Avenue Near Centennial Elementary

In partnership with Richfield’s Traffic Control Committee, the SRTS program facilitated the implementation of two improvements to the popular student walking route along Bloomington Avenue. In 2020, the 2-way stop at the Bloomington Ave/Diagonal Blvd intersection was converted to an all-way stop. In 2021, a painted crosswalk was installed over 73rd St.

Questions or Comments? Please contact:

Will Wlizlo
Safe Routes to School Coordinator
Richfield Public Schools, ISD #280
Office: 612-798-6055

Joe Powers
City Engineer
Richfield Public Works
Office: (612) 861-9791