SRTS_2inch_ColorSafe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are sustained efforts by parents, schools, community leaders and local, state, and federal governments to improve the health and well-being of children by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school. SRTS programs examine conditions around schools and conduct projects and activities that work to improve safety and accessibility, and reduce traffic and air pollution in the vicinity of schools. As a result, these programs help make bicycling and walking to school safer and more appealing transportation choices thus encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age.

In 2015 we completed a Safe Routes program from grant funding we received. We collected data that can be summed up here:

Crowds of students and parents in front of Northeast Elementary at the 2014 Bike to School Day.

Crowds of students and parents in front of Northeast Elementary at the 2014 Bike to School Day

Top 5 Barriers Active Commuting:

  1. Weather or Climate
  2. Speed of Traffic Along Route
  3. Amount of Traffic Along Route
  4. Distance
  5. Safety of Intersections and Crossings

Potential in Buffalo County for Children to Walk and Bike to School:

  • 59% of students live within 0.5 mile from school
  • 83% of students that live less than 1/2 miles have asked to walk to school
  • 95% of parents think that walking and biking to/from school is healthy or very healthy
  • 51% of parents said active transportation is encouraged or strongly encouraged at their school

Download a PowerPoint of the results.

To keep the Safe Routes Initiative going we need help,so Get Involved!

Our Safe Routes to School program is ambitious and needs volunteers, advocates, parent champions, and other leaders. If you are passionate about improving children’s health and getting them active, please contact:

Wellness Coordinator
Becky Squiers

308-865-2287
Email

Back to School Tips

Students and parents from Park Elementary walking and biking for Walk to School Day in May 2014.

Students and parents from Park Elementary walking and biking for Bike to School Day in May 2014.

Parents:

  • Map out and walk the route with your child, demonstrating safe walking habits and explaining your actions.
  • Choose routes that have the least amounts of traffic and lowest speeds.
  • If possible, always have your child cross at a crosswalk or intersection with a walk signal.

Teach your child to:

  • Stop at the curb of all intersections and driveways and look in all directions for traffic before crossing.
  • Obey all traffic signs and symbols.
  • Always walk across the street. Do not run!

Children:

  • Ask a parent before walking or riding anywhere without them.
  • Always use a sidewalk or path. If none are available, walk as far away from the vehicles as possible on the side of the street facing traffic.
Bike racks were overflowing at the 2014 Bike to School Day.

Bike racks were overflowing at the 2014 Bike to School Day.

Bicyclists:

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Follow all the same walking rules.
  • Ride in a straight line with two hands on the handlebar.

Neighbors:

  • Do not park cars in the driveway that block access to the sidewalk.
  • Keep sidewalks clear and completely visible. Trim all bushes and trees that could decrease visibility of walkers and bikers.

Tips for parent drivers:

  • Know appropriate pick up and drop off locations.
  • Never speed through school zones.
  • Be aware of student crosswalk locations and always yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Learn more about Safe Routes to School at SafeRoutesInfo.org.

Activate Buffalo County

Activate Buffalo County is committed to creating a healthy community. They focus on bringing education and resources to the community in order to make the healthy choice the easy choice.