School Walking Routes Pilot Project
Greenest City is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building healthy and livable urban environments by working with people at the community level. Greenest City's approach is to create networks and partnerships that enable communities to identify environmental issues that affect their quality of life, develop appropriate solutions and take the necessary steps to effect healthy change.
What are they doing?
Greenest City is expanding "School Walking Routes" project, part of the Active & Safe Routes to School (ASRTS) project, from Toronto into three additional cities in Ontario.
The "School Walking Routes" pilot project is directly linked to the longer-term sustainability of active travel to school and the Walking School bus and will likely increase participation in ASRTS programs. School Walking Routes observes and analyzes traffic around designated school routes, places signage along designated routes, and surveys parents and receives community feedback on the project.
What did the project accomplish?
Notable results include:
- The participation of an additional 12 schools in 6 communities and the creation of 27 Walking School Buses. Nine new communities have been involved in the Ontario ASRTS project since 2001.
- The attrition rate of participating families has remained low. Walking School Buses have continued to operate over the winter and participant numbers are increasing.
- Estimates are that one-third of the families who are participating have switched from driving to walking, at least some of the time. Community partners and principals report decreases in traffic at drop-off and pick-up time with more families walking at least twice per week.
- The Resource Guide completed in December 2003. 1,000 copies were printed in January 2004 and 800 copies of this guide will be distributed to Ontario communities during 2004.
- The new ASRTS Ontario website (www.saferoutestoschool.ca) went online in January 2004. Many sections of the Resource Guide can be accessed on the website.
- ASRTS has received wide media coverage. Over 30 newspapers with approximate circulation of 1.5 million people carried stories on the program.
- An estimated 68.24 tonnes of CO2 were offset.
Where can you find more information?
Actvive and Safe Routes to School