Safe Routes to Schools through MassRIDES provides students, parents and the school community with education and training on transportation, safety, and health benefits from walking and bicycling to school. Participating schools also qualify for financial support for improvements to sidewalks and other infrastructure surrounding schools.
The Safe Routes to School program is a key component of the Healthy Transportation Compact, an initiative of the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic transportation reform that promotes collaboration between the departments of transportation and public health to adopt best practices, increase efficiency, and achieve positive health outcomes through the coordination of land use, transportation and public health policy.
Schools receive educational resources and safety training to give students the skills they need to safely walk or bike to school. Safe Routes to School provides technical expertise to identify and fund infrastructure school access and safety improvements, such as sidewalks, traffic calming measures and on or off-street bicycle facilities.In 1969, 42 percent of American students bicycled or walked to school, but today, less than 16 percent of children walk or bicycle to classes. And in some communities, school-related traffic can contribute up to 25 percent of morning rush hour traffic volumes, as well as significant air pollution.
The United States, Canada and the United Kingdom joined together in 2000 to create International Walk to School Day. This year, more than 6,500 schools in the United States are estimated to take part in International Walk to School Day. Approximately four million people from more than 40 countries will participate. To learn more, contact Jennifer Solomon, 617-892-6086, email@example.com, or visit Safe Routes to School on the web.