Developing Operational and Safety Guidelines for School Sites in Texas


Scott A. Cooner

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - capacity, operations - traffic, infrastructure - bus/tram lane, planning - safety/accidents, land use - planning, policy - parking, mode - bus, mode - school bus, mode - bike, mode - pedestrian


Turning lanes, Traffic signs, Traffic safety, Traffic markings, Texas, State of the practice, Site layout, Site design, Schools, School buses, Road markings, Planning, Pedestrians, Pavement markings, Parking capacity, Parking, Highway signs, Guidelines, Field studies, Drop-off/pick-up zones, Driveways, Carriageway markings, Bicycles, Access


The objective of a two-year study was to recommend school site planning guidelines for transportation-related elements such as site selection, general site requirements and design, bus operations, parent drop-off and pickup zones, driveways, turn lanes, signing and marking, parking, and pedestrian and bicycle access. The research team based these guidelines on a comprehensive review of existing guidelines and the results of field studies at school sites in Texas. Examples are provided of good practices and of practices to avoid for three of the more prominent guidelines. The guidelines are focused on transportation design, operations, and safety within school sites�”with a particular focus on the parent drop-off and pickup zones. A site plan review checklist based on the 21 consensus guidelines approved by the project advisory panel is provided. Texas Department of Transportation engineers, field crews, architects, and school district personnel can use this checklist to coordinate efforts and improve the safety and efficiency of school site access and traffic flow.