Creating Safe Routes to School, Part 2

by Jessica Vargas on September 29, 2016

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WalkDenver is partnering with ten Denver schools to develop Travel Plans

Now that the school year is back in full swing, Denver students and their families are once again facing the daily challenge of getting everyone to school and work safely and on time. In 1969, almost half of all children5 to 14 years of age usually walked or bicycled to school. By 2009, that number fell to just 13 percent. One of the major factors contributing to this decline is community and street designs that make walking unpleasant or even dangerous.

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs can improve safety not just for children but for the entire community by providing opportunities for people to increase their physical activity and improve their health as well as reducing congestion and pollution around our schools.

This past spring, WalkDenver released walk audits for four Denver schools with short- and long-term recommendations for infrastructure improvements that  would improve pedestrian access to the schools and other neighborhood destinations.

Starting this school year, WalkDenver will be partnering with the Denver Department of Environmental Health (DEH) and ten elementary schools to design comprehensive Travel Plans that address not only infrastructure improvements, but also encouragement activities, education on walking and biking safely, and enforcement policies that work together to create an environment where everyone feels safe getting around their neighborhood on foot or bike.

This project aims to engage students, parents, and school faculty and staff in the creation and implementation of the Travel Plans. Each school will have a team of at least one school administrator, one teacher, and one parent who will collaborate with WalkDenver and DEH on developing strategies that will sustain a community culture of walking and biking year-round.

The ten elementary schools are Ashley, Cheltenham, Colfax, College View, Garden Place, Godsman, Greenlee, Harrington, Maxwell, and McGlone.  For more information about the Travel Plans, contact WalkDenver’s Program Director Jessica Vargas.

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