Safer Streets. Healthier Kids. A Stronger Community. That is Redwood City’s Safe Routes to School Program. Walking and biking to school is a great way for kids to build healthy habits that will last a lifetime and spend time with their families. Studies show that active children do better in class; walking or biking to school helps students focus once they are in the classroom.
The program also helps families and educators get kids moving by making it safer and easier for them to walk or bike to school. Implementing the program includes the following strategies:
- Increase students’ and families’ knowledge about pedestrian and bicycle safety.
- Increase volunteer capacity and the number of volunteers supporting Safe Routes to School.
- Increase options and student/family knowledge about physical activity.
- Collaborate with professional partners to further identify and address physical barriers to safety.
- Evaluate and improve Safe Routes to School programs in Redwood City.
Knowledge about pedestrian and bicycle safety
- Redwood City 2020 is inviting schools to host educational programs during the school day and in after-school programs, and contracting with vendors to provide hands on programming such as bicycle rodeos and school-based workshops for students and families.
- Redwood City Parks and Recreation is continuing it’s successful SPOKES program to teach student bicycle safety and basic bicycle maintenance and repair. The program also provides helmets, bike locks, basic tool kits, and new bikes after successful completion of the six-week course. In addition, they will be continuing last year’s successful Grind program, which teaches students about safety while riding on skateboards, as well as getting to build their own boards.
- Redwood City 2020 and the Redwood City School District is conducting outreach to students’ families to encourage participation in activities such as a Walking School Bus, which brings greater safety to students and families walking to school.
- Redwood City 2020 is providing volunteer training, providing materials and supplies for programs (such as stop signs, reflective vests and whistles) and incentives for volunteers and students (such as pedometers and reflective flashers).
- Redwood City 2020 is training student volunteers to conduct Student Valets, which mitigate morning traffic in and around schools.
Knowledge about physical activity
- Redwood City 2020 is promoting International Walk to School Day and Bike to School Day and educating students and parents about the health-related benefits of increased physical activity. Redwood City 2020 and the Redwood City School District are educating students and parents about the health related benefits of increased physical activity.
- Redwood City 2020 facilitates quarterly Safe Routes to School Task Force meetings and coordinates closely with county and city engineering and law enforcement departments.
- Redwood City 2020 partners with the Redwood City School District administrators and school leaders to shape and guide educational efforts and community engagement.
- Redwood City 2020 has partnered with thirteen Redwood City schools to conduct Walk and Bike Audits, which included collaboration with staff from city, county, school sites, law enforcement, and school parent/guardians.
Evaluation and Improvement
- Redwood City 2020 conducts classroom tallies, parent/family surveys, gathers feedback during site council and PTA/O meetings, tracks participation numbers and seeks input from school administrators and teachers.
- Redwood City 2020 staff, families, school staff, and partners conduct Walking Audits, which identify barriers to walking or biking to school and identify where improvements can be made.
- Initiative started in 2010.
- Between 2010 and the present, over to 11,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions were averted as a result of children walking to school instead of being driven.
- During the 2016-2017 school year, over 100 volunteers led and/or participated in Safe Routes to School programs.
- Over 1,500 students participated in International Walk to School Day in 2016.
- Overall, 32,000 student trips were recorded throughout all SRTS activities to date (i.e. Walking School Buses and Walk to School Day events).
- Fifteen Redwood City School District schools participated in some form of Safe Routes to School programming in 2016-2017.
Make Time For Fitness
Make Time For Fitness (Interviews)