Safe Routes to School Increases Livability and Connectivity at Four South Sacramento Schools
February 2018 - WALKSacramento is a community based organization that works to advance health, sustainability, and livability throughout the Sacramento region through advocacy and planning for communities that support greener, healthier forms of transportation such as walking, biking, and public transit.
WALKSacramento’s work is centered around community-based planning, where residents are given a greater voice in identifying and advocating for the transportation solutions in their communities.
Over the last year, WALKSacramento has been facilitating Safe Routes to School programs at four schools in South Sacramento - Peter Burnett Elementary, Ethel I. Baker Elementary, Fern Bacon Middle School*, and Pacific Elementary*. Safe Routes to School programs aim to combat the rising trend in childhood obesity through engineering and design efforts that make it safer for students to walk and bike to school as well as encouragement and education programs that promote traffic safety. Research has shown that students who walk or bike to school get more daily physical activity, have lower rates of obesity, miss fewer days of school, and see greater early academic performance.
WALKSacramento is working to promote safe walking and biking by addressing school-specific safety barriers through community walk audits, providing hands on pedestrian and bicycle education, and holding large encouragement events such as Walk to School Day. Last October, over 2500 students and parents walked or biked to school on Walk to School Day across 4 schools in the Sacramento City Unified School District. These policy, systems, environment (PSE) change efforts have the long term benefit of retrofitting communities to be more supportive of active transportation, while working to instill a culture of regular physical activity at a young age.
Through 2020, WALKSacramento’s Safe Routes to School programming will expand to include several more schools. Our goal is to drive public investment toward safe, walkable infrastructure through data collection and collective community action. To learn more visit: www.walksacramento.org/safe-routes-to-school