On October 10, student and families across the City of Chicago will participate in Walk to School Day. The National event is held annually and is both a celebration of the freedoms and benefits of walking to school and an opportunity for communities around the City to highlight the traffic safety issues that are relevant to their school and the surrounding community.
Families and schools use the day to organize walking school buses to bring groups of students safely to their destination. The national event coordinator, Safe Routes, also provides organizers with a checklist to conduct a walkability survey to easily record safety problems along walking routes to school. They can also be used to share information with school and community leaders.
Vision Zero Chicago and other event organizers also suggest pairing Walk to School Day events with age-specific safety education. The ability to walk and bicycle safely is an important life skill, so any program that encourages walking should help build these skills.
The events of Walk to School Day are a powerful reminder to community members and leaders in Chicago that kids deserve safe places to walk. And that by creating this environment for students, we are furthering the goals of Vision Zero – the commitment to eliminating death and serious injury for people of all ages and abilities in the City.