Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Health Promotion

Department or School/College

Department of Health and Human Performance

Committee Chair

Laura Dybdal

Commitee Members

Dusten Hollist, Steven Gaskill


built environment, safe routes to school, school children


University of Montana


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect improvements on the built environment had on student participation in Oregon Safe Routes to School Programs, and what improvements led to the greatest increase in participation. Oregon Safe Routes to School Parent Surveys and program information were used to calculate the rate of students who actively commute to school in Oregon, and to evaluate, using logistical regression, what affect commitments to improve sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, crossing refuges, traffic calming devices, speed monitoring devices, and constructing/repairing off-road walking or bicycling paths have on rates of students walking to school. Program information was also evaluated to determine if ORSTS programs that make greater commitments to improving the built environment have higher rates of participation than ORSTS programs that do not. Results indicated that ORSTS programs had a rate of 16.3% of students actively commuting to school, and that ORSTS programs that receive funding had a rate of 19.6% as compared to 15.7% for non-funded programs. Logistical regression analysis found that the odds of children walking to school increase when children live in an urban environment, when their school made a commitment to improve crosswalks and crossing refuges, and were committed to introduce or increase speed monitoring devices. Children were also more likely to walk to school the higher grade they are in, and boys were more likely to walk than girls. The odds of children walking decreased when schools committed to adding or improving sidewalks and bike lanes, and introduced or improved traffic calming devices. Finally distance significantly decreased the odds of a child walking to school. Composite analysis indicated that ORSTS programs that make greater commitments to improving the built environment have higher percentage of walkers as compared to programs that make fewer commitments. This research was limited by an inability to evaluate actual built environment improvements as compared to commitments, but was able to establish a baseline for Oregon children actively commuting to school and provide recommendations for how future evaluation of ORSTS programs.

This record is only available
to users affiliated with
the University of Montana.

Request Access



© Copyright 2011 Marissa Lynn Becker