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Active and Safe Routes to School

Pilot Project + Expansion Project with the Halton District School Board

After a year of collaboration with the Halton District School Board (HDSB) the Region closed a successful pilot that worked on "getting kids" to use active transport to travel to school. The pilot culminated with a final reportAdobe Portable Document Format (PDF)630KB containing 22 recommendations for the HDSB to consider if they were to continue the program.  The HDSB External Link responded by approving a budget to expand the program to 25 more schools in the 2009-2010 school year.

In January 2010, the Halton Catholic District School Board External Link committed to the participation of 5 of its schools in the project.

The expansion project at the Halton District School Board ended in July 2011. The Health Department continues to promote students using active transportation to school and supports local school boards and other municipalities interested in starting the program.

If you are interested in starting the program in your area, or have questions about the projects, you can contact Jennifer Jenkins-Scott, Health Promoter, at 905-825-6000 x7386, for consultations or presentations.

What is Active and Safe Routes to School?

  • Active and Safe Routes to School is a provincial initiative that strives to create an environment that is conducive to, and supportive of, safe, walkable communities. 
  • As stated on Green Communities External Link website (the promoter and champion of the program): Active and Safe Routes to School logo

    "Active & Safe Routes to School promotes the use of active and efficient transportation for the daily trip to school, addressing health and traffic safety issues while taking action on air pollution and climate change."

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What are the 8 initiatives of Active and Safe Routes to School?

  1. Walking School Bus: Parent volunteers walking a route, picking up children along the way and taking them to school.
  2. Walking Wednesdays: One day a week is set aside as the day to walk to school.
  3. iWalk (International Walk to School Week and Day): This is an annual event held during the first week of October where schools and their surrounding community have the opportunity to learn about the many issues surrounding transporting children to and from school and to discuss alternatives.
  4. Walk a Block: A drop off zone for parents and school busses is set-up a block (or more) away from the school to encourage walking. This also helps to decrease traffic congestion at the school grounds.
  5. Neighbourhood Walkabout: A community group including the police, school staff, parents, public health nurse, and appropriate municipal/city employees conduct a tour of the school area looking for safe routes and appropriate infrastructure to support the walk to school.
  6. Walking Buddies: Older students are ‘buddied’ with younger students for the walk to school.
  7. No Idling at School: Initiatives are adopted to promote parents to turn engines off while they wait for their children
  8. Classroom Mapping: A program that is available to teachers to assist them in having the children map their neighbourhood to discover the enablers and barriers to active and safe transportation.

Schools often pick 1 or 2 of these initiatives to concentrate on during the school year.

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Related Links

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