Schools are back in session and the weather is still nice so hopefully kids are walking and biking to schools when they can.... if of course they have a safe route to do so. Schools around the state have been receiving federal funding to implement these "safe routes to schools" making it safer and easier for kids to walk or bike to school. This year Boulder will received over $500,000 from the federal government to move forward on projects for Heatherwood Elementary and Linden Ave Sidewalk Infrastructure Project. So far Denver has no grants for 08 or 09.
Click to enlarge From www.saferoutesinfo.org
But don't blame Denver, these projects take lots of volenteer help and the community needs to be asking for them. I've personally spent many hours of my time working with County and school officials in Boulder to make the Heatherwood project successfull... and I probably donated the least time on the committee I was on. For Heatherwood students they will be getting a MUCH safer cross walk on 75th street. This school community is cut in half by 75th street and the danger of 75th street is preventing even adults from using the existing crosswalk.
Crosswalk or not, the success of getting the Safe Routes to Schools grant has sparked a new interesting in leaving the car behind and walking and riding to school and it is making a difference!
How can you get involved?
On the most basic level do your part and bike or walk to school. Get the school interested in a Walk or Bike to school day October is International Walk to school month and many are selecting Oct 7th and THE day to walk to school.
You can also simply contact your local officials on dangerous areas for kids for general budget improvements. You might be surprised at how supportive your county might be.
Lastly, google, you're not alone, many others have been there and done that. The video below isn't entirely a Safe Routes to school video but it's about communities getting involved to make safer and healthier communities. Check out what local bike organization, Bikes Belong does for Safe Routes to Schools