A Proven Way to Get Kids Walking and Biking to School Again
One generation ago, almost half of children in the U.S. walked to school. Today, only 1 in 10 children walks to school regularly.
This means most children do not experience the joy and benefits that come with getting to school with their own two feet: a sense of freedom and responsibility; fresh air and getting to know your neighborhood; a daily habit of physical activity; and feeling alert and ready to start the day.
Meanwhile, 10 - 20% of morning congestion is from parents driving kids to school, which pollutes the air near schools plus makes the streets near schools more dangerous for kids who do walk or bike.
Safe Routes to School (SR2S) programs are a powerful way to get more children walking and biking safely to school. SR2S also identifies and helps win funding to fix pedestrian and bike infrastructure near schools.
TransForm’s Pilot Program Helps Launch a Regional Movement
In 2006, TransForm started a pilot SR2S program in 2006 at two Oakland elementary schools, inspired by the hugely successful Marin County SR2S program.
The program has since grown to become a national model for urban SR2S programs and now works with more than 100 public schools, including high schools. The Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools Program is funded and administered by the Alameda County Transportation Commission.
The success of the Alameda County and Marin County SR2S programs, plus TransForm’s advocacy on the 2009 Regional Transportation Plan, helped win $17 million to initiate SR2S programs in all nine Bay Area counties.
By 2019, TransForm wants SR2S programs in at least 150 Alameda County public schools, reaching 65,000 students with more than 7,000 students walking, biking, taking transit or carpooling every day.
Meanwhile, our advocacy will continue to push the Bay Area and California to make growing investments in these programs throughout the region and state.
- The Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools website
- TransForm’s SR2S consulting: training, mentoring, presentations, and grant assistance
- Read the report, Bringing Safe Routes to Scale, which helped make the case for the regional SR2S funding
For more information, contact Carrie Harvilla.