Join the movement of communities committed to walking and biking.
Walk and Bike to School Day events have transformed from a one-day celebration to long-term efforts to create places where children have more opportunities for physical activity, and everyone feels a little more connected. In the meantime, Safe Routes to School programs were established in every state with the goal of building infrastructure and conducting education and encouragement programs to make the walking and biking trip to school a safe one. Today, mayors and their cities are taking an even bolder lead—they are setting a new standard with ambitious goals to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries and calling it Vision Zero. Read below for actions to take to make this commitment.
In 2017, join National Bike to School Day on May 10 and Walk to School Day on October 4. Registration for Bike to School Day is now open and registration for Walk to School Day will open in June. Register here and find schools participating in your community here.
Cities have identified an array of ways to prevent pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and promote walking. A growing number of cities are considering or currently implementing “Vision Zero” plans to eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Critical factors include reducing motorist speeds in areas where pedestrians are present, shortening the distance to cross the street, and constructing communities where the buildings, streets, and transit system all work together for safer walking and bicycling.
Choose to start with actions that suit the issues your community is facing. Use Walk or Bike to School Day to announce your selected actions and talk about how it will benefit children, youth and ultimately all ages.
Find more details in the following resources:
For more information on using Bike to School Day and Walk to School Day to advance community change see “Events as Tools for Change.”
For more information on Vision Zero programs and the benefits of starting where children walk and bike see “Focusing on the Safety of Children Can Propel Vision Zero Initiatives.”
For more information on slowing down traffic where children walk and bike see “The Benefits of Slowing Down Traffic — Starting Where Children Walk and Bike.”
Mayors are encouraged to use the statement to articulate their commitment to safety. Community groups can use it to propose a proclamation, speak with media, and integrate it into public messages.
The ability of people to safely walk and bicycle is a vital part of what makes communities thrive. We recognize that by creating opportunities for children and youth to safely walk and bicycle, we can benefit people of all ages, abilities and resources. My community is committed to work to promote safe walking and bicycling and to eliminate fatal and serious traffic crashes among all road users. Now is the time to act. We know the benefits this would bring to the health and well-being of our children, our communities, and the nation are immeasurable.
The National Center for Safe Routes to School’s report Advancing Safe Walking and Bicycling for Youth: Approaches from the Federal Safe Routes to School Program that Support Broad Safety Benefits for Youth discusses how accomplishments can serve as a jumping-off point for broader initiatives.
NACTO, the National Association of City Transportation Officials, champions urban streets designed to be safe, accessible, and attractive for people walking and bicycling, and promotes an approach to urban transportation that aims to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries on streets and highways. The NACTO Urban Street Design Guide and Urban Bikeway Design Guide provide practitioners and the public with the design knowledge needed to create safe streets for all cities.
The National League of Cities is a key partner of the Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties initiative, which calls upon local elected officials to adopt long-term, sustainable and holistic approaches to addressing childhood obesity. Over 520 cities, towns, and counties are currently participating in the initiative. For more information, click here.
The Vision Zero Network is a collaborative campaign committed to helping communities reach their goal of Vision Zero. Case studies, sample action plans, and information regarding key components of strong Vision Zero commitments can be found at their Resources Library.
The FIA Foundation is a global road safety philanthropy which convened the Global Initiative for Child Health and Mobility. The Initiative provides a voice for the particular needs and rights of children within transportation and urban mobility policy making. With UNICEF, the Foundation produced a report titled Rights of Way that examines the impact of road traffic injury on families living in poverty in low- and middle-income countries. It calls for a global policy response protecting vulnerable road users and providing a safe and healthy journey to and from school for every child.
Road to Zero is an initiative led by the National Safety Council in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with the goal of reaching zero traffic fatalities nationally within the next 30 years.