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The Shirley School District’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Committee welcomes members of the community to attend its next meeting on Friday, March 27 at 3:15 p.m. in the Shirley Middle School Library. During this meeting the committee will be planning events for the remainder of the school year.

Thus far, the SRTS Committee, formed over the summer of 2008, has completed three maps showing students’ routes to school and the areas of those routes considered by parents to be hazardous; coordinated bicycle safety classes for Shirley’s 5th graders; and, completed a fun International Walk to School Day on October 8. Plans for this Spring include pedestrian safety workshops for students in grade 2 or 3, a Massachusetts Walk to School Day on May 2, and traffic and speed counts for several different roads near the schools. That data will be compiled into a spreadsheet that includes a history of incidents such as auto accidents that may have occurred in these areas over the past year.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program, housed within MassRIDES, educates parents and students on the value of walking and bicycling for school travel. Schools that collaborate with MassRIDES on education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation activities become eligible for infrastructure projects (such as sidewalks and speed bumps) specifically targeted to enhancing safe access to schools.

The Shirley SRTS committee welcomes all citizens and employees of the town of Shirley who are interested in helping our school children and their parents to learn about walking and biking safely for health and for fun. If you would like to become involved or just want to learn more, contact Dina Samfield at 978-448-9311, send an e-mail to, and/or join us on March 27.