Safe Routes to School
‘Walking to school’, it’s not just for kids anymore! You can make your daily routine more active and spend more time with your kids by walking them to school. If you have time in the morning or afternoon, consider planning a day or two in the week to walk to school with your kids. In addition to setting a good example to your kids by choosing to walk instead of drive, you also reap the health benefits.
You may also inspire other parents and children in the neighborhood to walk with you. Did you know that in 1969 close to 50% of the children in this country walked to school, but today fewer than 20% do so? You have probably noticed this change in your town – more kids being dropped off at school resulting in school sites that are heavily congested at morning arrival and afternoon dismissal times and frequent parental complaints about safety in the school zone. Many researchers believe that this trend with the resulting drop in physical activity for children has frightening consequences for long term health.
The Safe Routes to Schools program is designed to reverse these trends and to get more students walking and bicycling to school. A well designed Safe Routes program will diagnose what keeps kids from making the choice to walk or bike, and then develop strategies to change the environment and culture.
CRCOG Safe Routes Workshop Series
We would like to offer future workshops where they can be most effective in your town. Please contact Sandy Fry, firstname.lastname@example.org, if your town would like to start a Safe Routes program and you would like us to bring a workshop out to you.
Currently, the federal government has made funds available to help communities with Safe Routes improvements. That funding is available through the Connecticut DOT, but towns must have developed Safe Routes plans in place in order to access this funding. CRCOG designed a workshop series and a training booklet to assist our towns in developing Safe Routes plans.
Other Safe Routes Resources
National Center for Safe Routes to Schools (NCSRTS)
Connecticut Safe Routes to Schools Program
Safe Routes Tool Kit
FHWA Safe Routes Website
CRCOG Slide Show Describing the Safe Routes to School Program
"Guide to Bicycle Safety": This resource on bicycle safety was recommended to us by a fifth grade class in California (thank you Valley Charter Elementary School and Michelle!) Note - the text about state statutes is not fully consistent with CT law, but this is a useful resource, especially because it is highly recommended by students, and they are our ultimate audience for Safe Routes to Schools programs.