Walking, Biking & Safe Routes Programs

Simply getting kids to and from school these days can be an expensive, polluting and frustrating endeavor. In 1969, approximately 50% of children walked or biked to school. Today, the U.S. spends over $21.5 billion per year on school bus transportation and 10-14% of morning traffic is generated by parents driving children to school. Returning to 1969 levels of walking and biking to school would save 3.2 billion vehicle miles, 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide and 89,000 tons of other pollutants - equal to keeping more than 250,000 cars off the road for a year - not to mention the positive impact it would have on children’s health.

Approximately 25 million children and adolescents - more than 33% - are now overweight or at risk of becoming so. Walking is one of the simplest, most effective and affordable strategies for kids and adults to build physical activity into their lives: One mile of walking translates to 2/3 of the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Studies also show links between physical activity and academic achievement. Utilizing safe routes to school can also help reduce traffic, lower pollutants and improve the school district’s bottom line by saving money on transportation. Learn more about creating safe routes to and from school, and developing incentives for students, staff and parents to think twice before jumping in that vehicle! (Also be sure to visit our National & State Green School Programs page to learn more about local and national Green School programs and resources to help you to continue to improve the health and sustainability of your school!)

Child and adult walking along a path

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