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Bike + Walk to school

woodlandsJoin children and adults around the Greater Nanaimo area to celebrate the benefits of bicycling and walking. This will be the 4th year that the GNCC will be organizing this event in conjunction with the City of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island University, and School District 68.

Bike and Walk to School Week is an annual event that promotes bicycling and walking for several reasons:

  • Physical activity and Healthy Living
  • Teaching safe bicycling and pedestrian skills to children
  • Awareness of how bikeable & walkable a community is, seek improvements were needed
  • Concern for the environment
  • Reducing traffic congestion, pollution and speed near schools
  • Increased sharing time between young commuters as they walk to and from school

For more information on Bike + Walk to School (2014) go to Woodland School web page


SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL

Safe Routes to School programs promote health and physical activity among children of all
ages and abilities by encouraging travel to school via safe, active transportation. It emphasizes collaboration and often includes health officials, educators, planners, elected officials and community leaders.

SRTS programs may include infrastructure improvements such as the construction of new bike lanes, sidewalks and other pathways; they incorporate education, engineering, evaluation and enforcement. The program may include activities such as walking school buses. GNCC supports changes to the city environment that encourage active transportation and ensure the safety of all users. Safe Routes to School is a program that dovetails seamlessly with this standpoint.

Why we need Safe Routes to School:

  • Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death among children ages 3 to 14; in 19% of these fatalities, the children involved were pedestrians.
  • In 2009, 28,076 children under the age of 20 were hospitalized for non-fatal traffic-related injuries.
  • In 40 years, the percentage of children using active transportation to get to school has fallen from 48% in 1969 to 13% in 2009.
  • Since 1980, obesity rates for adolescents and school-aged children have tripled. In 2008 between 14.1% and 19.6% of children and adolescents between ages 2 and 19 were considered obese.
  • In 2010, 9.6% of children in the North America had asthma. The prevalence of asthma is higher among children than adults.
school

Balanced transportation systems are fundamental to healthy communities. A strong economy and high quality of life depend on safe and easy access for all residents to jobs, schools, transit, shops, services, places of worship, parks and playgrounds, and friends and family. Public health is improved by providing a built environment that facilitates routine physical activity. Investing in networks of infrastructure that enable walking and bicycling—or active transportation—is critical to providing transportation systems that meet everyone's needs, regardless of whether they drive, and to increase mobility, improve access for people with disabilities, spur economic development and promote healthy practices.

How Safe Routes to School can help:

  • Students whose routes to school were improved through SRTS programs were over three times more likely to begin bicycling or walking than those whose routes were not.
  • Safe Routes to School programs have been associated with 20-200% increases in biking and walking.
  • Active commuting to and from school has been associated with an increase in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and a decrease in body fat in children between 12 and 19 years old.
  • Schools designed to encourage active transportation as a form of commuting can have significantly better air quality due to the decrease in nearby traffic.
  • Studies have shown that the more pedestrians and bicyclists are in a given area, the less likely each is to be involved in a motor-vehicle crash.

Parent and School Involvement

If you want to contact us and receive more information on to how we can assist with Safe Routes to School email us at saferoutes@bikesense.org