Both city councils and county boards of supervisors can shape safe routes to school and other active transportation options within their jurisdictions. They determine local land-use and transportation priorities through plans, codes, and standards. They adopt land-use plans, approve park and public works expenditures for maintaining paths, sidewalks, and roads. Their police and sheriff departments enforce traffic safety and can work with schools to provide crossing guards. All of these decisions can influence the viability of safe routes to school projects and other active transportation in their community.
While school districts are not assigned direct responsibility for local transportation planning, School Board Trustees want students to arrive to school on-time, safely and ready to learn. High fuel costs and cuts in budgets for busing have many districts and families scrambling for alternatives. Students living in districts with a strong public transportation system are not dependent on school buses. Districts which favor smaller schools situated within or adjacent to residential neighborhoods have an advantage, especially when there are bicycle and pedestrian-friendly routes to school. However, many California schools do not currently have these conditions.