Safe Routes to School: Encouragement
How Do I Begin?
Start small! Pick a day to walk or bike with your children to school. Check out the School Walking Map for your school to find the best route. If you live too far, consider parking 2-4 blocks away from school and walking the rest of the way. Help decrease traffic congestion and pollution around your school. Enjoy being outside, stress free!
Better yet, meet up with other students and “carpool” on foot or bike. A group of walkers is called a Walking School Bus, and a group of bikers is called a Bike Train. You can make this a weekly tradition, meeting up for snacks before the trip.
Now that you’ve taken the first step, there are many ways for you to advance walking and biking at your school and get more families involved.
Start a Safety Patrol. Most elementary schools in Washington State have a safety patrol, usually made up of both adult and student crossing guards. Use the Washington Traffic Safety Commission Curriculum Kit and Resource Guide to help you get started.
Create a first day of school “Active Transportation Packet” to hand out to all families. The packet could include your school’s walking map, the locations of bike parking, information on any active transportation programs like Walking School Buses or Bike Trains, and upcoming school and neighborhood bike events and programs.
Organize a Walk or Bike to School event. This can be a one day, one week, or one month celebration of walking to school, biking to school, or both. Click here to learn everything you need to know about organizing an event.
There are many community groups that can offer resources or support to help you with your school’s safe routes to school program.