School Travel Planning
The City of Edmonton and SHAPE Alberta (Safe Healthy Active People Everywhere) encourage students to walk or bike to school on a regular basis.
About the program
School Travel Planning is an active transportation idea that encourages children to choose walking and cycling as their main way to travel to and from school.
A School Travel Plan is developed by the SHAPE team in coordination with multiple stakeholders including the candidate school and their dedicated volunteers. Each plan is customized to address the barriers and safety needs of walking, cycling, and other sustainable transportation options.
Some considerations may include:
- New sidewalks, curb ramps and bike racks
- Awareness and educational campaigns to encourage safety
- Active student programs such as walking school buses, walking and cycling buddies
- Recognition programs to celebrate and reward walking and cycling to and from school
- Increases health and fitness of the students
- Encourages road safety awareness
- Fosters relationships and interaction in the community
- Reduces overall traffic congestion in neighbourhoods with schools
- Improves access to schools by minimizing traffic
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions and pollution
- Helps save money on fuel and vehicle costs
Contact your school’s parent council to express interest in starting a School Travel Plan. If the motion is supported, the school’s principal must contact the City of Edmonton, Sustainable Transportation to move forward.
Parent volunteers are necessary to carry out a School Travel Plan. If the school has the resources to support a School Travel Plan, the City of Edmonton and SHAPE Alberta will use existing resources including traffic data combined with feedback from parents and students to identify issues and develop a plan.
Idea’s for Developing a Plan
Here are some tips for organizing safe and fun ways to walk to school in your community:
Map Safe Routes to School
Get students to mark their designated route to school on a neighbourhood map. The most popular routes may be identified as Best Routes to School.
Assign Walking Buddies
Peers in the same neighbourhood arrange to walk to school together. Older students can partner with younger students, to model and promote safety.
Organize a Walking School Bus
Young students can walk to school in a group along a designated route under the supervision of an adult volunteer.
Implementing the Plan
Each plan is customized to the school and neighbourhood’s unique needs. School staff and parent volunteers implement the plan and measure its progress and success in getting students to walk and cycle to school.