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Active _ Safe Routes to School



Canadian TDM Summit
Calgary 2007
           Green Communities Canada
 A national association of non-profit organizations that
  deliver innovative, practical environmental solutions to
  Canadian households and communities
 40 member organizations coast to coast
 Energy, greenspace, waste reduction, sustainable
  transportation ... Leadership
 Active & Safe Routes to School - Ontario
 Walk21 Toronto 2007; Canadian Walkability Roadshow;
  YWALK Youth Forum; World Record Walk 2007
 GCC: 12 employees; $2.5 million revenues
 See:
Active & Safe Routes to School
                         Active and Safe
                     Routes to School is a
                     program that taps into
                     the latent demand for
                         safe, walkable

      The taste of freedom – walking to school in
•    WALK21 „05 participants had a
     chance to walk to school with
     students in the Balgrist
•    Led by the students, and one of their
     dogs, we embarked on an adventure
     to school.
•    Students are encouraged, through
     Children‟s Conferences, to comment
     on mobility within their community.

    Great way to offer children and youth access to city council. After all, who
    better knows the routes to school than the children!;;
 Belgium: Octopus for safer and child friendly
              school journeys

•Campaign involves 5,600 fundamental
schools across Belgium (6-12 yrs)
•Focus on the built school zone
•Reduced speeds to 30 km/hr in all
school zones – legislated
•Many partners involved including
federal, regional and local governments
and the private sector with many
       Safe Routes to School in Canada
• A decade of experience:
   – Green Communities (Ontario) and Way to Go! (BC):
       • 3,600 elementary and intermediate schools
       • extending to high schools
       • high retention rate
• A growing national network of community-based initiatives:
       • Green Communities Canada, Ontario
       • Way to Go!, B.C.
       • Go for Green
       • Resource Conservation Manitoba
       • Ecology Action, Nova Scotia
       • Vélo-Québec
       • SHAPE, Alberta
        Walking to School in the 21st Century
  Children‟s experience is wonder,
   discovery, adventure, connection
            and happiness.

 What has changed since the
 Why is a Walk to School
  movement even necessary?
 Are we even considering the
  needs and aspirations of children?

“We walk to school because we can see a kitty or
  a pup and sing along with the birds”
       Why Safe Routes to School?
Concerns:                        Benefits:

    safety                           safer streets
    perceived convenience            greater public
   of driving                        awareness
    distance                         increased daily
    reduced opportunities           physical activity
   for daily physical activity        reduced emissions
    increased greenhouse             social capital,
   gas and air pollution             community cohesion
    lack of sense of
    loss of unstructured
   play time for children
             Challenges and opportunities

• Recognition of walking as viable transportation choice
• Community design results in car dominant transportation choices
• Community capacity building key to meeting demand
• Communities unclear regarding funding opportunities for AT/ASRTS
• Health professionals recognize need – next step is to empower
  transportation and school board professionals
• Provincial and federal recognition is key to municipal success

“Short term goals are being met. Longer term goals will be more difficult but we
   are on the right track.” Municipal professional commenting on outcomes of
   Stepping Out, a Green Communities ASRTS project.
       Recognition for Walking to School

• OPPI: Healthy Communities, Sustainable Communities:
  November 8, 2007
   “I’m going to argue in part that childhood obesity is because of the inability
       of children to walk to school. Nothing in America has gone down except
       the number of schools – 70% since World War II. Schools have gotten
       bigger and the number of kids who walk to school has decreased. In
       1969 half the kids walked to school; now it is less than 15%. Because
       very few children walk to school, it feeds on itself because you don’t
       want to be the one child that’s out there walking.”
   Jackson, Richard, “Solving the public health crisis with smarter city
       planning,” The Planning Report, February 2007,
• ITE Journal, September 2007: Four articles on U.S. SRTS
• Recent Tools of Change Webinar – 100 lines / 216 participants
         Global Impacts of IWALK (2007)
• 4,864,000 students
• 2,430,000 kilometres walked
• 230 tonnes GHG were kept out of our atmosphere

• Data from 12 countries reported back to
• Kilometres walked (.5 km average distance between home and
• Average school population 300 students
• 75 per cent student participation rate
• Mode switchers = one third
• Combined light duty auto/van, 0.00029 tonnes of CO2 save for 1 km
                 School Travel Planning
• Engages children, parents, schools
  and boards, municipal planners,
  police, public health officials,
  politicians and others
• Maximizes healthy, sustainable ways
  of getting to and from school
• Identifies objectives for community
  priorities: transportation choices, air
  quality, safety, physical activity, and
  community cohesion
• Outlines strategies and timelines for
  achieving objectives
• Integrates actions with school and
  municipal plans and policies
                 School Travel Planning
Pilot Project:
 Phase 1: Research and Development
     International Best Practice
     Recommendations for Canada
     See
 Phase 2: Pilot in four provinces:
    Ontario
    British Columbia
    Alberta
    Nova Scotia
 Funding provided by 07-09 Physical Activity & Healthy Eating
Contribution Program, Public Health Agency of Canada
                IMAGINE - IN 2012 …

Every elementary school in Canada has implemented a School
  Travel Plan, resulting in:

• 60% of Canadian students walking to school - from 36% in 2002
• A downward turn in childhood obesity thanks to increases in
  improved childhood mobility
• Fewer fatalities and injuries due to child-friendly improvements to
  pedestrian and cycling infrastructure
• Reductions in transportation related emissions of greenhouse
  gases and other pollutants
• Safe Routes to School becoming a recognized TDM tool
  employed by municipalities across the country
             U.K. School Travel Planning
Goal: 100% U.K. schools with STP in place by 2010
Cost: £50 over 2 years (2003/04)

National Support:
• Dept for Transport and Dept for Education/Skills share responsibility
• Travelling to School Project Board
• Provide funding
• Setting project standards
• Training of regional STP advisers
• Monitoring progress and evaluation

Regional/Local Support:
• School Travel Advisers trained and in place in each County Council
• Work closely with schools to create School Travel Plans
• Work closely with schools and county to implement School Travel
• Monitoring and evaluation
                       SAFETEA-LU, U.S.A.

•   July 29, 2005, U.S. Congress approved the $286.5 billion federal
    transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU
•   SAFETEA-LU includes $612 million for a federal Safe Routes to School
•   Each state will receive a minimum of $1 million per fiscal year for the next
    five years for Safe Routes to School
•   Each State is charged with creating a full-time Safe Routes to School
•   10–30% allocated to non-infrastructure activities including encouragement,
    public awareness, and educational programs
•   Legislation creates a new Safe Routes to School Clearinghouse and a Task
    Force that will develop strategies for advancing Safe Routes to School
Visit /
            National School Travel Plan

• Works in partnership with County Councils to develop best
   travel planning
• Promotes International Walk to School Week
• School Travel Planning (STP) – creation of a national model
• STP piloted, in partnership with: North Shore City, Auckland
   Regional, Auckland City and Waitakere City Councils
• Auckland:
     – 50 schools involved in School Travel Planning – 8 are
     – Part of Auckland Sustainable Cities Programme
     – $1.5M over two years
Walking School Bus Program: Victorian Health
 Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), Australia
• Today thirty per cent of students use active travel to school
• VicHealth’s WSB program aims to increase this to sixty per
• WSBs implemented by more than 58 local councils
• Involves 3,200 primary students in 200 schools
• Utilizes 800 volunteers
• WSB Evaluation Tool tracks triple-bottom line – in partnership
   with ICLEI (International Council for Local Environment Issues)
• Implementing a School Travel Planning Program (TravelSmart),
   funded through Victorian Greenhouse Strategy
• TravelSmart piloted in 34 schools
Child & Youth Friendly Planning
                     Project BEAT
        (Built Environment & Active Transport)
                                             Research Objectives
New research programme funded by the         1.   Identify the prevalence and correlates of
      Heart and Stroke Foundation of              active school transport in Ontario;
      Canada (HSFC) & the Canadian
                                             2.   Examine the personal, family, social and
      Institute of Health Research (CIHR).
                                                  environmental correlates of active
                                                  school transport in the Toronto region
Three year, multidisciplinary research            a)   Are kids who walk or cycle to
       programme being led by Guy Faulkner             school more physically active than
       (Faculty of Physical Education and              those who do not?
       Health, University of Toronto) and
                                                  b) How does the built environment
       Ron Buliung (Geography, University
                                                     influence school travel decisions?
       of Toronto) with input from a broad
                                             3.   Develop research and evaluation
       base of researchers and
                                                  capacity to appraise the impact of
                                                  initiatives promoting active school

    For more details about the BEAT
    project contact
                   YWALK - Engaging Youth

 STEP Pilot Projects – 2005/06
 YW Crew – Summer 2007
 Planet in Focus
 Walk21 Toronto 2007


                      David Godri
                      Walk21 YWALK
            International Charter for Walking
Creating healthy, efficient and sustainable communities where
                     people choose to walk
   8 Principles supported by 34 actions
   Provides a framework and benchmark for local policy and investment

                                                                1. Increased inclusive mobility
                                                                2. Well designed and managed
                                                                spaces and places for people
                                                                3. Improved integration of networks
                                                                4. Supportive land-use and spatial
                                                                5. Reduced road danger
                                                                6. Less crime and fear of crime
                                                                7. More supportive authorities
                                                                8. A culture of walking

David Miller, Mayor of The City of Toronto, signs the Charter
David Miller, Mayor of The City of Toronto, signs the Charter
                                        Thank You

“Walking and talking with my dad was the best
bit. We saw two slugs with no homes, but they
still had their aerials, and someone had
dropped their apple from their packed lunch. I
wish my dad could walk with me all the time.”
Student, Sherborne County Primary in
Sherborne, Dorset

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