Delaware Department of Transportation
Safe Routes to School 

Rossi Group is responsible for developing transportation-related infrastructure improvement concepts and conceptual design, including data collection, concept development and prioritization, and cost estimates for Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) projects. 

Project Need

Eisenberg Elementary School and McCullough Middle School in New Castle County, DE, are both in need of pedestrian and bicycle improvements to better facilitate and encourage walking and bicycling to school in a safer way.  

Data Collection

Rossi staff are conducting office research and field reconnaissance for both SRTS locations. Current conditions are observed, as well as challenges and opportunities for improvement. This includes taking an inventory of existing signing, pavement markings, drainage features, utilities, property lines, and other above-ground features. Existing sidewalks and pedestrian facilities are measured for ADA compliance. Rossi is also conducting office research, including gathering aerial and GIS mapping and ROW parcels that are being used in concept plan development. We review existing relevant comprehensive and master plans, proposed development plans, prior correspondence, and commitments made. Project limits for pedestrian improvement concepts are typically within a one-mile radius around the school and bicycle improvements within a two-mile radius.  

Concept and Cost Development

Rossi is developing a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) plan consistent with DelDOT Safe Routes to School Program Guidelines. These concepts include new and/or upgraded sidewalks and blended transitions/curb ramps, crosswalks, drop off areas, speed humps/tables, traffic calming, new pedestrian signage, and others. Upon gaining consensus and approval, Rossi develops the conceptual design for the agreed-upon improvements. The proposed improvements to be considered include: 

  • Transportation Planning and Concept Development for Multi-Modal and Transportation Safety Improvements  

  • Engineering and Design Project Development including Highways, Traffic, Structures, and Water Resources as needed

  • Cost Estimating and Scheduling

  • Public Outreach

  • Landscape Architecture

  • ROW Investigation and Coordination

  • Lighting, Utilities, and Subsurface Utility Exploration 

 

Concepts are evaluated with respect to design standards, ADA, feasibility, cost, impacts, priority, and effectiveness. Rossi also develops a Capital Transportation Program (CTP) estimate for each concept. The cost estimates include major quantities as well as percentages and contingency items in accordance with the Department’s Construction Project Estimate forms. Rossi coordinates as necessary with the applicable DelDOT sections in order to confirm specific costs such as those related to utilities and traffic engineering.  

Public Involvement

Rossi is participating in public meetings and preparing graphics materials to educate and inform the student population, parents, and school officials. Rossi facilitates and conducts meetings with the project’s sponsors/stakeholders, coordination meetings, and Public Workshops. Rossi staff attend these meetings/workshops and provide all necessary conceptual displays, handouts, and other relevant materials. Meetings include in-person meetings and calls. Meeting minutes are prepared for each of these meetings. 

Innovative Approaches

To meet the project schedules, Rossi proactively schedules meetings with school officials and parent/teacher organizations during the school year so appropriate stakeholders are available. Lessons Learned: 

  1. Building consensus is challenging when combining studies for multiple Middle Schools and Elementary Schools. Projects or tasks are best defined if they are kept individualized each school.

  2. Project schedules need to be coordinated early on with the school schedules due to the limited availability of school staff and parent organizations during school breaks.  

Project Challenges

Project challenges included coordination between the multiple schools that are involved in one study. The student and parent population of middle and elementary schools have different concerns and prioritizing potential improvements might be challenging. 

 

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