International Walk to School Day is a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day. It began in 1997 as a one-day event. Over time, this event has become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school and a celebration – with record breaking participation – each October. Thousands of schools across America – from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico – participate every October.
Communities and schools are using Walk or Bike to School Day as the first step to change community culture and to create options for getting around that are more inviting for everyone, both young and old. Here are some reasons to support walking and bicycling to school:
Walking and bicycling bring a sense of joy and independence.
The trip to school is a chance for children (and adults!) to get the physical activity they need.
Replacing car trips to school with walking or bicycling can reduce congestion and air-polluting emissions.
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.
Reducing traffic congestion, boosting a sense of community, and improving neighborhood connections benefit the community.