San Francisco launches the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program with International Walk & Roll to School Day October 10. Thousands of families will celebrate by heading to school on foot and by bike–and also scooter, bus, wheelchair, stroller, and little red wagon. Your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition supports Walk & Roll to School Day as a proud member of the SRTS partnership. Make this day special for your family and your school by choosing one of the four fun ways to get to school: walk, bike, take transit or carpool.
“On Walk and Roll to School Day, you can start a healthy habit for a lifetime,” says Vernon Haney, the event organizer at Walk SF, our SRTS partner. “Studies find that walking to school provides health and academic benefits, as students arrive energized and ready to learn. Plan beforehand to meet up with other parents and start a Walking School Bus — then keep it going all year!”
The SF Bicycle Coalition’s family and school programs staff promote walking as well as biking in every neighborhood. Every school has its unique barriers to walking and biking, which may include inadequate infrastructure, high traffic volume nearby and other safety issues.
In Chinatown, for example, families face many barriers on their way to school such as narrow sidewalks, hilly streets, and most importantly, dense traffic along the city’s High Injury Network, the 12% of streets where 70% of severe and fatal traffic injuries occur. Our multilingual staff engage with monolingual Chinese families to host “walking school buses” where a large group of children and caregivers gather at a common start point and walk to school together.
Elsewhere in San Francisco, the challenge may be longer commutes to school. We teach families to ride together in “bike trains” and promote park-and-walk groups, public transit, and carpooling. All Safe Routes to School resources are free and available to any interested parent or school staff member. Celebrate, build community at your school, and help raise awareness of the benefits of biking and walking. Check out all the SRTS program options when you sign up your school for Walk & Roll to School Day. For information in Chinese about our walking school buses, please contact Janelle Phung at 415/431-2453 x 324. We’re looking forward to celebrating International Walk and Roll to School Day with you in October!