Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are designed to encourage and enable students to walk, bike, and scoot to school safely. These programs offer a variety of benefits to both individuals and communities, a few of which I list below.
- Reduced Traffic Congestion: Safe Routes to School programs encourage active transportation, which means fewer cars on the road. This helps to reduce traffic congestion around schools, making it easier and safer for everyone to travel.
- Improved Air Quality: Fewer cars on the road and idling outside of schools mean reduced air pollution, which benefits the entire surrounding neighborhood. Encouraging active transportation through SRTS programs can help to improve air quality and create a healthier environment for everyone.
- Increased Physical Activity: Active transportation options like walking and biking to school can help to increase physical activity levels for children, which is important for maintaining good health. This helps children reach the daily goal of 60 minutes of physical activity as recommended by the US Dept of Health. SRTS programs can help to promote a more active lifestyle for children and reduce the risk of obesity and other health problems.
- Improved Safety: SRTS programs prioritize safety, with measures like crossing guards, traffic calming measures, and education programs for children and parents. By making it safer for children to walk and bike to school, communities can create a safer environment for everyone.
- Strengthened Community Connections: When children and families walk or bike to school, they can connect with their community more meaningfully than with every student isolated inside a car. This can help to strengthen community bonds and create a sense of belonging.
- Reduced Costs: When more children walk or bike to school, there are reduced costs associated with driving. This can result in significant cost savings for schools and families, which can be redirected to other important programs and activities.
Safe Routes to School programs offer a variety of benefits to communities. From reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality to increasing physical activity levels and promoting safety, SRTS programs can help to create healthier and more connected communities across Iowa. By investing in these programs, communities can help to ensure a brighter and more sustainable future for students in Iowa. If you’d like to help guide the curriculum for Iowa Safe Routes to School or execute a program in your community please contact firstname.lastname@example.org