Why We Walk To School
Kyle February 8, 2015 Safe Routes to School 1
The Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition wants you to be aware of all the great things going on in our area for biking and walking. Especially as it involves children. We are fortunate to have a robust Safe Routes to School Program. Thanks to the help of Sentara RMH Community Health, SVBC member, Nathan Barge is our local Safe Routes to School Coordinator. In addition to the Safe Routes to School Program, we are very fortunate to have Becky Johnston also working at RMH Sentara Community Health to tackle childhood obesity. Becky works with the Safe Routes to School Program – See out last post where Nathan and Becky secured a grant to purchase 100 bikes for our area schools.
Nathan and Becky with Safe Routes To School are promoting walking and biking to school across Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Why are they doing this?
IT’S FUN – Walking and bicycling bring a sense of joy and independence.
IT’S HEALTHY – The trip to school is a chance for children (and adults!) to get the physical activity they need.
IT’S CLEAN – Replacing car trips to school with walking or bicycling can reduce congestion and air-polluting emissions.
IT’S SAFE – Building sidewalks, providing education programs and adding traffic calming measures are some of the ways to improve safety. Encouraging walking and bicycling to school can help build support for infrastructure improvements in the broader community.
IT BUILDS COMMUNITY – Reducing traffic co gestion, boosting a sense of community, and improving neighborhood connections benefit our community.
Currently these schools have regular walking events before school involving 3,000 students. Keister Elementary School walks their track MON, WED and FRI and has Walking School Buses that bring 100 students to school on WED and FRI. Stone Spring Elementary School walks their track each WED. Spotswood Elementary School walks their track each FRI. Smithland has a walking program at school for all students that want to participate. Thomas Harrison Middle School walks the First Friday of each month on the track or inside during the winter. We are working with two more schools in starting programs in the Spring.
Video: Walk This Way: Getting Children Walking
Yes, and we need Council to fund both the multi-use path from Hilandale Park to Garber’s Church Road and the multi-use path along Garber’s Church Road so that it is constructed by the time the new elementary school opens.