Safe Routes to School

NIRPC has supported policies and programs that encourage children to walk and bike to school so as to promote healthy habits for a lifetime. In the 1960’s, it is reported that up to 60% of children walked to school – which has plummeted to 13% today. The causes are many, including safety perceptions, but also inadequate infrastructure (such as broken or missing sidewalks). The result has caused heavy automobile congestion around schools during pick-up and drop-off times, which increases the danger for children.

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) policies serve to counteract these trends by providing safe access for children through new infrastructure projects, school programs, and law enforcement. SRTS polices have been recognized as key components to an overall strategy towards fewer automobile miles traveled, and more importantly, providing children the daily physical activity they need to remain healthy.

A wealth of SRTS information is available through the National Center for Safe Routes to School at www.saferoutesinfo.org. To start your understanding of the benefits of SRTS policies and how to implement them in your community, please review this primer: guide.saferoutesinfo.org.

Please contact Mitch Barloga at NIRPC for further information and assistance at 219.763.6060, or mbarloga@nirpc.org.