Safe Routes to School: A Transportation Legacy - A National Strategy to Increase Safety and Physical Activity among American Youth

Previous generations of Americans have made strides that have advanced the well-being of those to follow. Progress in technology, health, and science often provide greater opportunity for future generations to lead full, healthy and productive lives. What will be our legacy? Despite many advances, we are documenting epidemic rates of overweight and obesity across the U.S. Simultaneously, we have seen dramatic changes in the way we live and travel. Traffic and land use patterns are causing many communities to become increasingly isolated, removing walking and bicycling as viable modes of transportation. Unintended consequences include record-setting figures of vehicle miles traveled, increased safety conflicts, diminished air quality, less physical activity, and negligible social interaction between neighbors. The multiple impacts of these changes are seen most keenly with respect to travel to school. Few children today are able to fully enjoy the simple pleasure of walking and bicycling to school. With increasing frequency, American school children arrive at school in the back of a parent or caregiver’s automobile – even those who live close enough to get there on foot or by bicycle. As a result, traffic congestion is rising, the opportunity for routine physical activity is missed, and children don’t know their neighborhoods very well. Those who do still walk or bicycle to school often face traffic safety hazards that can overshadow any perceived benefits of the activity. By way of diverse partnerships, Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs improve the lives of our children and grandchildren by creating safer and more vibrant connections between our schools and our communities. Through a combination of engineering treatments, traffic enforcement, safety education and encouragement programs, families can return to a way of life that gets children to and from school more safely and efficiently, reduces traffic congestion, improves air quality and gets people moving again.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Appendices; Photos;
  • Pagination: 92p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01111290
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2008 1:26PM