In 1969, about 50 percent of children in the United States walked or biked to school. Today, less than 15 percent do. As a result, kids today are less active, less independent and less healthy.
“The research is pretty clear that kids who walk and bike to school are more active. They will be healthier and perform better in school.” - Community Health Director Chris Tilden
Safe Routes to School (STRS) programs use a comprehensive approach to make neighborhoods safe for children to walk and bike to school. Safe Routes to School looks a little different in every community. Locally, one of Be Active Safe Routes's initiatives is to create safe opportunities for children to bike and walk to and from schools. The goal is to get children moving again and to reverse the growing rate of childhood obesity.
Safe Routes programs use the “5 E’s” to create a safe environment for children to walk and bicycle to school: Education, Encouragement, Enforcement Engineering and Evaluation. Lawrence strives to also incorporate a sixth E — Equity — and seventh E — Engagement — into all Safe Routes activities.
Keeping the community and local leaders informed of the Safe Routes to School progress is an important part of the work the Be Active Safe Routes team does. For the City of Lawrence's latest update, click here.