The 2022-23 school year is about to begin! A new school year is a great time to help students change habits and start walking and rolling to school. Starting safe routes programming in your community can feel daunting, but the ODOT SRTS team has resources to help! Below are some tips and resources for you to start or grow walk and roll programs in your community:
For parents and caregivers:
- Talk with your children about bicycle and pedestrian safety. Test out trips to school with them, by taking a walk along their school route prior to the start of the school year.
- Read up on walking safety tips by navigating to this link, and learn about age appropriate walking skills to share with your children.
- If your child plans to bike to school, be sure they have an appropriately fitted bicycle and helmet.
- Help your child choose clothing that will keep them safe and comfortable as they walk or roll to school. Encourage your child to wear weather appropriate, bright clothing so they can be seen by others on the road.
- Make it fun! If you are walking or rolling with your child, encourage them to point out things they notice in their neighborhood.
For Safe Routes advocates and practitioners:
- Walk+Roll encouragement events are a great way to get students walking and rolling, even if they don’t do so regularly. ODOT SRTS has resources available to help you plan successful events.
- Walking School Buses help students become more confident pedestrians, socialize with fellow students, get healthy exercise before and after school, and reduce traffic around school zones. You can find resources to plan your Walking School Bus on our website.
- Incorporate walking and rolling safety in the classroom! Talk with school administrators about including lessons in classroom curriculum, or about participating in the Jump Start program.
- Encourage students’ creative side by implementing art contests into your safe routes programming.
- Read more about how you can build equity into your safe routes programming, and be sure to check out our webinars on how you can include Black, Native, and Latino families in all safe routes efforts.
For school districts and school staff:
- Connect with the regional Hub lead and/or your area SRTS coordinators to learn how you can be involved in and support safe routes in your community.
- Learn about different modes of transportation to schools, and how you can support them in your district.
- Consider organizing a Walk+Roll encouragement event in your district.
- Talk with safe routes advocates, families, and staff about formalizing a safe routes program in your district to promote walking and rolling all year round. Many grants are available to help support safe routes efforts!
- The Jump Start program trains school staff on how to perform bicycle and pedestrian safety education in schools. Talk with your staff about bringing this training to your community.