Mass in Motion communities are working locally to create safe routes for children to walk and bicycle to school. By improving sidewalks, reducing traffic, and teaching children about pedestrian and bicycle safety, communities can increase the number of elementary and middle school students walking or bicycling to school on a daily basis.
Walking and bicycling to school helps children be physically active, perform better in school, feel a sense of responsibility, enjoy the outdoors, and socialize with friends and family. It also reduces traffic, the number of personal vehicle trips, improves air quality, and supports the growth of Massachusetts communities.
Mass in Motion communities are creating safer routes to school by:
- Participating in statewide events such as Walk/Ride Day and International Walk to School Day
- Holding activities such as Walking School Buses and Park n’Walks, which get kids and families excited about walking and biking more.
- Partnering with local municipal departments, law enforcement, safety officers, and crossing guards to help identify issues and solutions (such as lower speed zones) to protect walkers and bikers.
- Designing streets and sidewalks so that they are safe for pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Adding walking signals, striping sidewalks, and adding bike lanes and racks, islands, and bump-outs are all ways to improve walking and bicycling safety.
- Partnering with MassDOT’s Safe Routes to School Program, which provides School Outreach Coordinators to teach children pedestrian and bicycle safety through classroom workshops and school assemblies.
- Assessing current student modes of travel to and from school for each school, and using data to prioritize which schools have the greatest likelihood of mode shift from cars to walking and biking.
Many Massachusetts communities are bringing SRTS to their schools. See if your community is a SRTS Partner.
This information is provided by the Department of Public Health.